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I've got headphones plugged into my desktop, and a laptop nearby that I use for work as well. Whenever I touch my MacBook Pro with the noise-canceling on my headphones turned on, it makes my headphones go nuts, creating a lot of buzzing, crackling, and popping.

I assume this has something to do with conduction between my hands and the computer, but is there any way to get around this?

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It appears your wall socket is not properly grounded, which may cause electrical interference on your headphones when touching the MacBook Pro.

Have a look at this related answer on possible measures you can take to establish a proper electrical grounding.

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I have a similar issue with my MacBook Pro and an old Pioneer amp. Whenever I plugin the laptop into a power socket the amp (plugged into the same wall socket) starts to buzz and make popping sounds. This is called a ground loop and to get rid of this loop needs to be "broken". I have found two ways to do this:

  • Connect an external display to the MacBook Pro. It gets rid of the hum.
  • Get a ground loop isolator and connect your headphones through it.
  • Ensure your Mac power adapter connects with three conductors to a properly grounded outlet and check for a stuck pin in the MagSafe connector in case the break in grounding is there.
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