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Why does touching the headphone cable create noise?

The sound that is created when an audio cable is touched or the cable rubs against a surface (like clothing) is known as "Microphonics".  Mechanical noise can find its way into the electrical circuit of the cable and result in audible noise to the user.  "Microphonics" can occur with wired headphones.  There are a few measures that one can take to alleviate or reduce this noise.

The first method is to prevent excess movement of the cable. Often the use of a clothing clip to help anchor the cable to clothing where it dangles most is effective.

Another solution is to experiment with how the headphones are placed into the ear and how the cable hangs. Sometimes changing the angle of the how the cable hangs or routing the cable over the top of the ear will help.

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  • 20-May-2015