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Self-hum on Focal SM9. Anybody experiencing the same?
Old 27th April 2017
Gear Maniac
mossie23's Avatar

Self-hum on Focal SM9. Anybody experiencing the same?

I have a pair of Focal SM9s and the right speaker is silent except for some self noise. The left speaker has some hum on top of that though. It's not loud, I have to put my ear within a few centimeters of the speaker to hear it. I can not hear it on my listening position. So it's not really a problem, I'm just curious.

I have no cables except for the power connected, so it has nothing to do with incoming audio. I switched the power cables, but it's still only the left speaker that has hum. SO I think I can rule out power problems as well.

I just want to know whether this low volume hum is within margin for a €3000 speaker. My right speaker has no self-hum and I've heard SM9s in other studios that had even more hum (although I don't know whether their power was OK). So if the general consensus is that this can happen, even in high-end speakers, then that's fine with me.

Focal somehow doesn't want to answer any of my questions on the subject, so that's why I come here, hopefully to hear other's experiences.
Old 29th April 2017
Gear Maniac
ericzang's Avatar

is the hum still there when you have audio cables connected on both ends?
Old 1st May 2017
Gear Maniac
mossie23's Avatar

Originally Posted by ericzang View Post
is the hum still there when you have audio cables connected on both ends?
Yes. With and without audio connection, it doesn't matter. I did every possible test to rule out problems with my power supply, cables etc. I really think it is the speaker. I sent it to Focal for repair, but it still had hum when it came back. Not sure whether it was the same level though. I've asked Focal multiple times whether they repaired anything, but so far they have refused to answer.
Old 10th July 2017
Here for the gear

Self-Hum on Focal Sm9


Yes I noticed the same on my right speaker too.
The left one is fine though. In fact when you use an SPL meter to measure the delta between the right and left is about 5dB on average. If you use the back of your fingers and gently press against the surround of the woofer you can even feel the hum. I have written to Focal online too. Still waiting for their response. Like you from the sitting position I cannot hear the hum. You have to really put your ear up close to hear it. And it's only the right speaker that is hum detectable. I am curious if this is a fault too.
Old 5th January 2018
Here for the gear

Same for me, except its the left speaker (SM9-L)

Again, tried everything - different cables, with/without power conditioner, seperate circuits.

Cannot seem to get rid of the hum - 50hz, my scope confirms it (Australian power).

Interestingly when I press my ear against each cabinet the hum of the electronics inside (transformers) is different.

I'm sending mine back to my dealer.
Old 22nd March 2018
Here for the gear

Hello! Does anybody have managed how to solve/troubleshoot this issue without a replacement? I have my Right SM9 that produces a 50hz hum.. Sometimes it’s noticeable even far away from the monitor (~1,8m).

I’ve tried to switch both audio and power cables, with or without, tried another outlet, two different audio interfaces and two different Fuman, but no luck.
Old 30th April 2018
Here for the gear

Sent mine back to the dealer and received a replacement, following a burn-in the speaker (SM9-L) still exhibits the same hum. Checked in different sockets, with/without power conditioner, with/without audio cable, with/without ground defeat.

Basically, the problem must be the actual transformer within the speaker. I understand that Focals contain quite large transformers to help with transients on playback.

The SM9-R I have has a very minor hum - nothing quite as pronounced as the SM9-L (either the first one I received, or the replacement).

Some hum is to be expected, but when that hum is not balanced it is quite off putting.

Dealer is asking Focal for a response... will I need to go through another replacement cycle?!
Old 9th May 2018
Here for the gear

I just wanted to clarify that the hum from the SM9-L *is noticeable* from the listening position, some 1.5m back from the speaker.
Old 4 weeks ago
Gear Nut

Resurrecting this: any solutions found?
Old 4 weeks ago
Here for the gear

I'm on my third left speaker after 2 replacements with the dealer.

This one has less hum than the others I had in my possession and is now on par with the right speaker.

I'm putting this down to either quality control at source or the shipping from EU to AU.

Last edited by screenslave; 4 weeks ago at 03:24 AM.. Reason: typo
Old 4 weeks ago
Gear Nut

French engineering. Can't live with it, can't live without it.

Still.....problem solved, this morning, not sure why or how. Now I've got complete silence, L & R, balanced and, incredibly, unbalanced.

Maybe something to do with recent events.... God forbid.
Old 1 week ago
Gear Addict
barbital's Avatar
Reading these reports is concerning but I still believe most units (95%+) have no problems. I don't know how shipping would cause a hum unless it was shipped carelessly and big speaker manufacturers these days would ensure to reduce any chance of harm during the shipping process.
Old 1 week ago
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by johnlewisgrant View Post
can't live without it.

And the French aren't so bad. Just FOCAL. See all other threads on Focal.
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