Nothing interrupts a listening session faster than static or electronic noise. If you use your iPod for the majority of your listening, you may be using a dock to integrate the device with your speakers. If your docked iPod seems to be the source of your music and your interference, you can take steps to troubleshoot and isolate the real culprit.
IPod or Dock
If you suspect your docked iPod is the cause of your audio interference, you need to isolate which is the culprit. Turn on your iPod and dock the device with your stereo turned on. Listen for the introduction of static into the audio stream. Remove the iPod to see if the static persists. If not, your iPod may have a defective internal ground or problem with the dock connector, requiring repair. If the noise remains, your dock is likely the issue.
Replace the audio cable connecting the dock to your stereo. A bad connector on an RCA cable will produce popping and static. Also, a thin cable with poor shielding running next to an AC power cord may pick up noise along the way. Move RCA cables away from high-voltage wiring. Should moving or replacing the RCA not solve the problem, determine if your dock and receiver supports an optical cable connection. Consult the dock and receiver’s manual for this information. Worst case with this cable type is no sound at all if the audio output on the dock is defective. If you still have noise or no audio at all, the dock is at fault.
Move the Dock
Slide the dock as far away from competing electronics as possible, particularly those that use wireless transmission. Such devices include radios, routers, wireless speaker modules and Wi-Fi adapters on computers and gaming systems. Move these devices away from the dock if moving the dock itself is not possible. Listen for improvements or elimination in noise levels.
Solid State iPods
Try swapping an iPod with a hard drive to one that uses solid state or flash memory. Certain units with internal hard drives are reported to have hard drive-related noise issues. In this case, a trip to Apple is required, since this noise is not something you can solve on your own. Hard drive noise is a rapid “squealing” or whirring noise that occurs in conjunction with the device’s hard drive seeking data. Static at the beginning or end of a song is another anomaly present on these devices.