USB charger + iPod = static
January 25, 2011 8:08 PM   Subscribe

Cheap wall USB charger seems to interfere with iPod headphones, do I just need a better charger?

So, I bought a $2 usb wall charger online. It seems to charge my iPod Touch, but the main point is to keep my iPod charged overnight. I listen to streaming radio while going to sleep, and my iPod battery will be near death in the morning unless I remember to set a sleep timer.

Anyway, the problem is that it seems to cause some nasty (if fairly quiet) static to come through my earbuds while plugged in. This doesn't happen when plugged into my laptop. Is it just a crappy charger? For that matter, how do my headphones pick up static from it? Is it more likely to fry my iPod? Other than playing online roulette or paying more (I don't think I want to pay more than ~$10) is there any way to guarantee that I won't have this problem with another one?
posted by BungaDunga to Technology (4 answers total)
It really sounds like you got a crappy charger. It screams that it's not grounded correctly. You probably won't fry anything, but you won't fix it either. Find a new charger, if you are willing to do so, go to a local store and pay a bit more for a charger. That way, if you get another crappy one you can at least return it. Otherwise more charger roulette.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:39 PM on January 25, 2011

If you don't *need* to have your earbuds on (i.e. you won't wake anyone playing music quietly) you could find a pretty cheap dock at Walmart or KMart that will charge your phone and play your music.

Otherwise, if you already have the USB cord that came with the iPod, I've had good luck with this Apple plug.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:07 AM on January 26, 2011

Have you tried using it plugged into a different outlet... preferably one that wasn't in your house i.e. have you eliminated your home electrical system as the source of the problem?
posted by mmascolino at 6:25 AM on January 26, 2011

Did the Touch not come with a charger, or is it an older one with the large bulky charger which just won't work for where you want to use it? Or is the original charger lost? The newer-style iPhone/iPod Apple plug IndigoRain links is what my wife and I use for all our iWhatevers (three iPods and two iPhones all happily use it, and sometimes we charge other USB-powered stuff with it too).
posted by caution live frogs at 7:41 AM on January 26, 2011

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