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Hey all, I have a pre-owned Roland FP30. When I connect my TRS stereo headphones in the 3.5mm or 1.4”. I don’t experience any hiss at all, even with the volume maxed. I also don’t hear any hiss from the internal speakers either. Which is a good sign so far.

BUT when I connect powered speakers via 3.5mm or 1/4” using a stereo TRS cable. I can hear white noise/hiss through the speakers. I’ve tested separately using my powered computer speakers, and an acoustic guitar amp. I even used a good quality cable and still experienced hissing.

Is there a work around to using powered speakers or studio monitors that feature white noise/hiss reduction?


I appreciate any info!

Last edited by Raf702; 09/20/21 06:57 PM.
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Speaker/Monitor hiss has been a recurring topic in the past, across various brand lines, and may be somewhat of a matter for debate for at least a few reasons such as 1) some people hear it while others do not OR do not hear it enough to find it something to be concerned with; 2) if i remember correctly, some designs of amplifiers built for powered monitors or speakers inherently produce low level hiss “white noise”.

Your FP 30 does not have standard line outs. Its probably recommended to use the 1/4 inch jack for connecting to external speakers but since you’ve already tried connecting your speakers to both headphone jacks, this may be moot.

Do you notice the hiss while playing the piano or only during idle ( not pressing / playing keys)?

Typical hiss is generally not noticeable but may depend on how young/old you ears are. My 508 produces a little hiss but i must get on all fours, crawl under main cabinet body and press ears against speaker box to hear it , but do not notice while playing with normal sitting posture; likewise with 308 monitors, they hiss a little but only noticeable when the keyboard is idle and i need to stand close to hear it.

Last edited by drewr; 09/20/21 08:45 PM.

- Kawai MP7 and LSR308 monitors
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Originally Posted by drewr
Speaker/Monitor hiss has been a recurring topic in the past, across various brand lines, and may be somewhat of a matter for debate for at least a few reasons such as 1) some people hear it while others do not OR do not hear it enough to find it something to be concerned with; 2) if i remember correctly, some designs of amplifiers built for powered monitors or speakers inherently produce low level hiss “white noise”.

Your FP 30 does not have standard line outs. Its probably recommended to use the 1/4 inch jack for connecting to external speakers but since you’ve already tried connecting your speakers to both headphone jacks, this may be moot.

Do you notice the hiss while playing the piano or only during idle ( not pressing / playing keys)?

Typical hiss is generally not noticeable but may depend on how young/old you ears are. My 508 produces a little hiss but i must get on all fours, crawl under main cabinet body and press ears against speaker box to hear it , but do not notice while playing with normal sitting posture; likewise with 308 monitors, they hiss a little but only noticeable when the keyboard is idle and i need to stand close to hear it.

The hiss is present regardless if it’s idle or during play, when connected to external speakers.

I can hear the hiss if I put my ears at least 4-5 inches to the speakers. And at normal sitting position with the speakers roughly 2 feet from my ears. I can hear a slight hiss, but enough for me to still notice. This is with the external speakers cranked 100% using 10w powered computer speakers. And with my 60w guitar amp, even at +25% gain and 25% volume the hiss is noticeable. Not loud, but again enough for me to notice.

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I also have the latest firmware and was able to toggle between having both internal and external speakers on, or just external speakers. And I adjusted the volumes for each setup and hissing doesn’t change.

Maybe I need a better quality set of powered speakers with higher watts. And see if that might help

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This might be a "ground loop" issue (if what you're hearing isn't exactly white noise, more of a buzz thing), because the FP30 and the speakers are powered separately. You could try using a ground-loop isolator (with headphone connectors; mind it may weaken the signal). Or check power supply wiring, try connecting the grounds of the two with a fat cable, mind not shorting something...

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Originally Posted by Raf702
I can hear white noise/hiss through the speakers.

Only when connected to the Roland?

What about e.g. a smartphone?

I mean is it absolutely a Roland problem and definitely not a speaker problem?

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Originally Posted by _sem_
This might be a "ground loop" issue (if what you're hearing isn't exactly white noise, more of a buzz thing), because the FP30 and the speakers are powered separately. You could try using a ground-loop isolator (with headphone connectors; mind it may weaken the signal). Or check power supply wiring, try connecting the grounds of the two with a fat cable, mind not shorting something...

I’ll look into that ground-loop isolator. And regarding power, I have the FP30 plugged directly to the wall outlet.

Not sure what you mean by “connecting the grounds of the two with a fat cable”?

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Originally Posted by Raf702
I can hear white noise/hiss through the speakers.

Only when connected to the Roland?

What about e.g. a smartphone?

I mean is it absolutely a Roland problem and definitely not a speaker problem?

Correct, it only occurs when I have external speakers connected via the headphone Jack. The internal speakers I don’t hear any hiss/noise, they’re fine.

Never tried using a smartphone. Not sure how that would work? Using my iPhone as a speaker?

I don’t know if it’s a Roland issue, or something to do with the internal mechanism associated with the headphone Jack/internal amp/etc.

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Originally Posted by Raf702
Never tried using a smartphone. Not sure how that would work? Using my iPhone as a speaker?

I mean connecting something else to the powered speakers instead of the Roland.

Originally Posted by Raf702
I don’t know if it’s a Roland issue, or something to do with the internal mechanism associated with the headphone Jack/internal amp/etc.

I guess a noisy headphone amp in the Roland is a possibility. But then the noise could be detectable with headphones too. (But maybe for some reason isn't.)

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Originally Posted by Raf702
Originally Posted by _sem_
This might be a "ground loop" issue (if what you're hearing isn't exactly white noise, more of a buzz thing), because the FP30 and the speakers are powered separately. You could try using a ground-loop isolator (with headphone connectors; mind it may weaken the signal). Or check power supply wiring, try connecting the grounds of the two with a fat cable, mind not shorting something...

I’ll look into that ground-loop isolator. And regarding power, I have the FP30 plugged directly to the wall outlet.

Not sure what you mean by “connecting the grounds of the two with a fat cable”?

Small consumer electronic devices are often ungrounded. EM waves are all around us, wires sometimes act as transmitting/receiving antennas. One technique to fight this is to bring them to the same electric potential. Locate ground points of each device, and connect them to a common ground point, using thick and short cables.

You can also try connecting the powered speakers and the fp30 to the same splitter, and running the power cables together as much as possible.

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May I ask how long are the cables running to your speakers? Sometimes long cables (especially those cheaply made) work as antennae which pick up unwanted noise from any surrounding electronic equipment (this includes your digital piano, laptop, cell phone, etc.) and comes out out of your active speakers/studio monitors.

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Originally Posted by clothearednincompo
Originally Posted by Raf702
Never tried using a smartphone. Not sure how that would work? Using my iPhone as a speaker?

I mean connecting something else to the powered speakers instead of the Roland.

Originally Posted by Raf702
I don’t know if it’s a Roland issue, or something to do with the internal mechanism associated with the headphone Jack/internal amp/etc.

I guess a noisy headphone amp in the Roland is a possibility. But then the noise could be detectable with headphones too. (But maybe for some reason isn't.)

Sorry for misunderstanding you. I have used the powered speakers with my computer for many years without issue.

I also use guitar amp quite often without issue as well. Yes it’s strange that when using headphones I don’t hear any hiss/noise whatsoever even with the volume maxed out.

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Originally Posted by _sem_
Originally Posted by Raf702
Originally Posted by _sem_
This might be a "ground loop" issue (if what you're hearing isn't exactly white noise, more of a buzz thing), because the FP30 and the speakers are powered separately. You could try using a ground-loop isolator (with headphone connectors; mind it may weaken the signal). Or check power supply wiring, try connecting the grounds of the two with a fat cable, mind not shorting something...

I’ll look into that ground-loop isolator. And regarding power, I have the FP30 plugged directly to the wall outlet.

Not sure what you mean by “connecting the grounds of the two with a fat cable”?

Small consumer electronic devices are often ungrounded. EM waves are all around us, wires sometimes act as transmitting/receiving antennas. One technique to fight this is to bring them to the same electric potential. Locate ground points of each device, and connect them to a common ground point, using thick and short cables.

You can also try connecting the powered speakers and the fp30 to the same splitter, and running the power cables together as much as possible.

I’ll try that as well, connecting the power cables together in one area. And unplugging any other nearby electrical devices.

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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle
May I ask how long are the cables running to your speakers? Sometimes long cables (especially those cheaply made) work as antennae which pick up unwanted noise from any surrounding electronic equipment (this includes your digital piano, laptop, cell phone, etc.) and comes out out of your active speakers/studio monitors.

I did use a 4ft and 6ft stereo TRS 3.5mm cable. And I also tried a stereo TRS 1/4”; 12-15ft cable. Both cheaper and good quality cables, all netted same results.

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Surprisingly enough, I happen to stick my head under the piano about 4-5 inches from the internal speakers. And at idle, not playing, and at 75% volume. There is actually a hiss/white noise. When sitting at normal position I can not hear it of course.

And I also had unplugged any other electrical devices nearby the piano too.

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So, it is possibly not the cables. FYI, for cable runs longer than 10 ft., try to go with “balanced” cables as they tend to be better made and avoid picking up external noise.

What brand/model are your powered speakers?

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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle
So, it is possibly not the cables. FYI, for cable runs longer than 10 ft., try to go with “balanced” cables as they tend to be better made and avoid picking up external noise.

What brand/model are your powered speakers?

I have some powered computer speakers Creative Labs T10(not the best), and also used a Loudbox Mini 60w Acoustic Guitar Amp. These are my only 2 options of using external speakers to test with.

Also when I stick my head under the piano. I checked both the left and right internal speaker with my ears about 4-5 inches away. While it’s on and at idle without striking any keys, and at any volume level. There is a consistent noticeable white noise/hiss sound.

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All speakers in general produce white noise or “hiss” at varying degrees in decibels - i.e., some speakers produce more audible white noise than others. That’s why you also hear white noise under your piano when you get close to its speakers. There is a lot that goes into a speaker or studio monitor to be able to produce a decent sound (good treble, bass) and volume the manufacturer intends to have. But sometimes this goes at the expense of something else, especially when the speaker is mass-produced very cost effectively. You want great sound, high volume, low or no distortion and no discernible white noise from your powered speakers/studio monitors, then you will need to pay a lot more for them, unfortunately.

The Creative T10 powered speakers are considered low-end multimedia speakers made to be sold at a very accessible price - $50/pair on Amazon. These are okay to play videogames, listen to music and, generally, at higher volumes several feet away. Now, you plug these speakers to your Roland FP-30 where you sit relatively close from the speakers, have a lot of quiet moments as you practice your pieces and voilà, that white noise (“self noise” is the proper term used by manufacturers) becomes really obvious and even bothersome.

I searched on Amazon to see what other users say about these speakers. I found this 4-star review:

Pretty good for the money.
The Creative T10 speaker system has reasonably good sound out of a fairly simple, compact 2.0 speaker system. Volume is pretty good for the size. The only flaws I found with these speakers were a somewhat poor signal-to-noise ratio (sometimes had a noticeable hiss at moderate volume when no sound was playing or between songs), and that the speaker with the amplifier/transformer in it has a very low hum (not produced by the speaker itself but rather the transformer in it.) It's not nearly loud enough to bother most people, many probably wouldn't even notice, but if noises bother you, it's something to consider. Overall they're pretty good for the price.


If this makes you feel better, I really don’t think there is anything wrong with your pre-owned FP30. The culprit is most likely your powered speakers themselves. You will see complaints of white noise even in studio monitors that cost $300 USD/pair.

Last edited by Chris Pringle; 09/21/21 02:59 PM.
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Originally Posted by Chris Pringle
All speakers in general produce white noise or “hiss” at varying degrees in decibels - i.e., some speakers produce more audible white noise than others. That’s why you also hear white noise under your piano when you get close to its speakers. There is a lot that goes into a speaker or studio monitor to be able to produce a decent sound (good treble, bass) and volume the manufacturer intends to have. But sometimes this goes at the expense of something else, especially when the speaker is mass-produced very cost effectively. You want great sound, high volume, low or no distortion and no discernible white noise from your powered speakers/studio monitors, then you will need to pay a lot more for them, unfortunately.

The Creative T10 powered speakers are considered low-end multimedia speakers made to be sold at a very accessible price - $50/pair on Amazon. These are okay to play videogames, listen to music and, generally, at higher volumes several feet away. Now, you plug these speakers to your Roland FP-30 where you sit relatively close from the speakers, have a lot of quiet moments as you practice your pieces and voilà, that white noise (“self noise” is the proper term used by manufacturers) becomes really obvious and even bothersome.

I searched on Amazon to see what other users say about these speakers. I found this 4-star review:

Pretty good for the money.
The Creative T10 speaker system has reasonably good sound out of a fairly simple, compact 2.0 speaker system. Volume is pretty good for the size. The only flaws I found with these speakers were a somewhat poor signal-to-noise ratio (sometimes had a noticeable hiss at moderate volume when no sound was playing or between songs), and that the speaker with the amplifier/transformer in it has a very low hum (not produced by the speaker itself but rather the transformer in it.) It's not nearly loud enough to bother most people, many probably wouldn't even notice, but if noises bother you, it's something to consider. Overall they're pretty good for the price.


If this makes you feel better, I really don’t think there is anything wrong with your pre-owned FP30. The culprit is most likely your powered speakers themselves. You will see complaints of white noise even in studio monitors that cost $300 USD/pair.

I appreciate your detailed explanation. And how about when I connect my Loudbox Mini 60w Acoustic Guitar Amp. Adjusting both the volume and gain to about 25% of 100%, I still experienced the same noise issue. And cranking it to 50% volume it becomes very pronounced.

I do understand most if not all speakers do have some minimal white noise/hiss. But in this case, the sound on the FP30 just doesn’t seem normal.

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To minimize this, when using external speakers turn the volume on the FP30 all the way UP. Turn the volume on the speakers all the way DOWN. Then raise the volume on the speakers to the level you want. This is just the way it is. You also could try facing the speakers away from you and you will hear the hiss less.


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