White noise, mostly in channel 1, of a brand new UR22

I just received a new UR22 today that I ordered from Musician’s Friend. This is my first USB audio interface, so I am not sure what to expect, but I plugged it in and inserted a microphone and it sounded fine.

However, I was curious about noise (from things that I have read on the internet), so I unplugged the mics and with phantom power off, I turned the gain on channel 1 all the way up and I noticed some faint noise. I recorded a sample and normalized it to confirm what was otherwise barely audible.

I then did the same thing with the second channel and did not notice the same noise.

While this is almost completely inaudible, I am mostly concerned that the white noise pattern from either channel is different. Does this point to a general issue with the unit or is it common for a USB audio interface to emit some small amount of noise that is not necessarily even on both channels?

I am also curious as to why I might get noise without any input device plugged in to the unit. I tried unplugging my computer’s power supply, turning off the monitor, turning off the lights in the room, changing the location of the room, but the noise (on channel 1) stays consistent.

I mainly want to confirm that this is alright and that I do not have a defective unit.


Actually, the noise is even in both channels. I just was only playing through channel 1. Whoops.

Either way, is this sort of white noise expected? Like I said, it’s not really so audible unless you turn up the gain on the interface. But I would expect it to be almost completely silent when no input devices are plugged in. Is this normal for a ~150 dollar audio interface?

no, it’s not normal. Do you use a USB3-Input? I have the same issue on an new MacBook Pro. With an active USB2-Hub: no noise.

Whoops, I did not see this reply right away.

No, I am using a MacBook from 2010 with USB2 inputs. And I observe the noise through headphones even when not going through the DAW (i.e. Mix knob is all the way to the left)

Here is what I have observed:

  1. The actual white noise is less than 40db.
  2. It is still very noticeable through the headphones, even when not going the the DAW and even when both the gain and headphone volume is NOT up all the way. (Although it is more obvious when the gain is turned up.)
  3. This happens when no input devices are plugged in and phantom power is off.

That said, I have done some actual recording with this device already and it sounds pretty good. I don’t notice the white noise in the recordings.

Still, I appreciate you pointing out that this is not a normal situation. Does anybody from steinberg read these posts? Could somebody possibly advise the best way to handle this?

I have attached a sample of the white noise that I am hearing. It is best heard with a pair of headphones or if you turn up the volume a bit.
ur22-white-noise-sample.m4a (649 KB)
I would appreciate if somebody could direct as to what is the best thing to do.

Using a noise gate, I have mapped the levels of white noise at different gains:

-79dB at max gain
-94dB at 75% gain
-100dB at 50% gain