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#2887805 09/07/19 08:44 AM
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Hi everyone,
In the pursuit to obtain a good sound when using external speakers with my Kawai ES8 I have borrowed some used Yamaha HS5 monitors to have a play with. Although they sound reasonable I am getting a lot of high frequency hiss. How do I get rid of this ? Do all powered monitors hiss ?

I have plugged the speakers directly into the keyboard using balanced 1/4 jack to jack leads (stage audio leads approx 3m long). Speakers are placed in front of me and to the sides approx 1m away but the hiss can still be heard and it’s really annoying.

It does not seem to be the keyboard since if I unplug the speaker cable from the speaker I an still hear a gentle his from the speaker when it is not connected to anything. I have tried plugging the speakers into another wall socket separate from the keyboard but no difference. No obvious signs of damage to the cables.

Please can somebody advise. Would getting higher quality balanced cable be any better ? Or could it be the speakers themselves ?

Does anyone else get a hiss from there monitors ?

Many thanks,


Kawai ES-8
Yamaha HS5 Monitors
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Seinnheiser Momentum 2.0 headphones

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If you remove the input plug and you still get hiss ... then it's the monitor.
Whether defective or just cheap quality ... it's the monitor.

BTW ... cables won't produce hiss, not even cheap cables.

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Originally Posted by ScoreMonkey
It does not seem to be the keyboard since if I unplug the speaker cable from the speaker I an still hear a gentle his from the speaker when it is not connected to anything.


noise floor.



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Thanks MacMacMac !

Tyrone, thanks for sharing the video. As my hiss is definitely audiable I don’t think it is the noise floor.


Does anybody have Yamaha HS5 monitors with a similar problem ?


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@ScoreMonkey: You did not mention what type of monitors you're using.

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@macmacmac Yamaha HS5 active (powered).

Apologies, i may have not described the issue sufficiently. Have done some further tests. If the speaker has no jack plug in, ie. it is switched on but not connected to the keyboard there is a gentle hiss similar to the noise floor video above. When I plug in the speaker (both do the same) I also get a hum and it’s the combined hum/hiss that is annoyingly loud. When you stop playing you just have this white noise sound which defeats the object of having high quality monitors to listen with.


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You could try turning the ES8 down, and the monitors up . . . .or vice versa.


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I have JBL 305MP MKII monitors which have the hiss and no hum.

I notice it when I'm not playing but as soon as I am playing I can't hear. It fits exactly the description he has for the noise the tweeter produces. This is with and without cables connected. It sound very much like white noise.

The speakers sound great when I am playing.

It sounds like you have the hiss on top of a ground loop hum which I don't have and that problem is external to your speakers.

I tried playing with the volume control and hi/lo pass filter switches on the back of mine with absolutely no effect. The guy in the video describing the problem as being 100% the power amp inside the monitor as being where the noise comes from makes sense to me.


Last edited by KevinM; 09/07/19 10:03 AM.
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Hum should definitely not be an internal problem unless the quality is poor (not the case with hs5) or they are defective. I have the HS7s and they do have a low level of hiss which is only audible (to me a anyway) if you put ear to tweeter. They are not perfect, but the noise floor is not a problem for me.

However you can get an inconsistent hiss (hiss with bits and chunks) and/ or hum caused by ground loop. But that only occurs when it's all plugged in and linked up, and it shouldn't happen at all if you're using balanced lines.


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Hi All, I have managed to reduce the noise by adding a stereo mixer into the setup and by carefully adjusting the gain settings and equaliser to reduce the hiss. Much better but will cont8nue experimenting.

Just out of interest, for those with monitors (@toddy) where do you position them ? How close to your ears. I don’t think I would move them closer than a meter away as I will hear the sound again. I thought near field monitors meant that you could be quite close to them ?

Thanks all for your comments, very valuable !


Kawai ES-8
Yamaha HS5 Monitors
MK K-9 Subwoofer
Seinnheiser Momentum 2.0 headphones

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I wouldn't put speakers closer than a metre away from the listener, especially because the distance between left and right should be more than a metre, and the listener-speaker-speaker arrangement should be about an equalateral triangle.

The noise floor level at full volume on these speakers is fairly high, I would think. Certainly, it's not really reference standard for those who expect high performance audiophile quality. But it doesn't bother me particularly - which is to say, I've never heard the white noise unless I've expressly tested for it at close quarters.

Last edited by toddy; 09/07/19 03:05 PM.

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Thanks @toddy, I wonder if this triangular formation that we are suggested to follow is really to keep the speakers away from the player to stop us hearing the white noise ! Strange that near field monitors don’t work too well if up close.

My next step is to compare these monitors with my hifi speakers to see what offers the best sound.


Kawai ES-8
Yamaha HS5 Monitors
MK K-9 Subwoofer
Seinnheiser Momentum 2.0 headphones

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Well, to be honest, that's standard advice for speaker placement. I imagine it's similar for monitors and near field monitors.

Out of interest, I've just dug out the instructions for my HS7s. They mention the 60 degree rule, so no change there. They also say the minimum recommended distance from the wall or corner is 1.5 metres. Otherwise you need to compensate with the room control (filters).

They do not mention a listening distance. But really, at the notch on the volume controls which is half way, I think, I can't hear any noise at all. Louder than that would be too loud for very near field work - you'd blow your ears out.


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This topic piqued my interest ... so I measure 30" from monitor to ear.
I don't know why there a one meter minimum. They sound superb.
The one meter must be some made up number?

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And anyway ... no hiss here with these Adams. None at all.

I'm really surprised to read that Yamahas produce hiss. I'd expect that from the low-end junk, but not from Yamaha.

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Originally Posted by ScoreMonkey

I have plugged the speakers directly into the keyboard using balanced 1/4 jack to jack leads (stage audio leads approx 3m long).


As I understand you use stereo (TRS) 1/4" cables, and hear more noise when the cable is connected to HS5? Try high quality unbalanced (TR) instrument cables instead. Your cables might have low quality shields (just a guess).
Also, try to turn off all lights and all high powered electric devices you have in 15' range just to verify.

Last edited by VladK; 09/07/19 06:08 PM.

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Thanks all for your input. It is interesting to hear how you are all setup. I have done some googling and it appears Yamaha do suffer from a hiss. I can get reasonable results when playing with the dials when the sound is fed through a mixer. But when the speakers are plugged in directly to the keyboard it is not so easily controlled. I might investigate a higher quality balanced lead as @VladK suggests. Can anyone (with no hiss !) suggest a make that works ??

Many thanks all


Kawai ES-8
Yamaha HS5 Monitors
MK K-9 Subwoofer
Seinnheiser Momentum 2.0 headphones

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Trying different cables is a cheap test but if the same cables are being used to connect the keyboard to the mixer and the issue is less severe, then it is less likely to be the cables.

What type of keyboard are you using? Does it have balanced outputs?

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Hi @sweelinck well, the cables are balanced but looking at the Kawai es8 manual it doesn’t say if the line out jacks are balanced or not. The diagrams show unbalanced Cables so there is a strong possibility that it could be unbalanced. Why on earth would this be on an expensive piano ?

@kawai_james, do you know if the lineout is balanced or not please ? Fingers crossed. If not how could I make them balanced or convert the outputs to get rid of the hiss ?


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Line out are 1/4" unbalanced.

https://kawaius.com/product/es8/

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