What Is a Ground Loop Isolator?

By Jon Ireland ; Updated September 15, 2017
An ground loop isolater prevents noise interference.

A ground loop isolator is used to eliminate the buzzing sound made by a ground loop, which occurs when multiple pieces of sound equipment are connected to each other. These devices are both simple to operate and inexpensive.

Ground Loop

A ground loop occurs when a connection to ground is made through an interfering electrical conductor. When currents of above approximately 50 Hz flow through these multiple paths, noise occurs.

Use

An isolator prevents the noise by breaking the loop. It is connected by phono cables and positioned between audio connections, with installation only taking about two minutes. It is used in cars and home entertainment systems, and also by professional DJs. As no battery is used, it can be left as part of an audio system at all times.

Availability and Price

These devices can be purchased from most retail audio stores or online, with costs starting at about $15 as of January 2010.

About the Author

Jon Ireland started writing professionally in 2010 by doing freelance work at the BBC in London. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from the University of Kent before gaining a Master of Arts in European public policy from Kings College, London.