In the context of technology, noise refers to any unwanted or extraneous signal that interferes with a clear signal or data transmission. It can originate from a variety of sources, including electrical and thermal activity, and it often leads to a reduction in signal quality or data corruption. In computer systems, noise can significantly affect the performance and accuracy of data processing and communication.


The phonetics of the word “Noise” is /nɔɪz/.

Key Takeaways


  1. Noise is an unwanted sound or signal that interferes with the interpretation or clarity of the intended signal. It is commonly a byproduct of various natural and artificial processes.
  2. Noise can negatively impact various areas of life such as communication, health, and the environment. It can cause stress, hearing loss, and contribute to harmful effects on wildlife.
  3. There are different types of noise like thermal noise, shot noise, and environmental noise, each with their distinct characteristics and sources. It’s critical to implement various noise reduction or noise control techniques to reduce its harmful impacts.



The technology term “Noise” is crucial because it refers to the unwanted or irrelevant data or disturbance that interferes with the actual signal in any form of electronic or digital communication. Noise can adversely impact the clarity, quality, and reliability of communication, often leading to inaccuracies or misinterpretations in data transmission. It can be caused by various sources, including electrical interferences, radio frequencies, thermal noises, or hardware deficiencies. Thereby, understanding and managing noise is of paramount importance in maintaining efficient and effective communication and signal processing within any technological system.


Noise, in the context of technology and electronics, refers to the random signal or disturbance that interferes with the clarity of an original signal, often reducing quality and efficiency. Noise is essentially unavoidable in digital and analog systems; it may arise from various sources such as electrical and thermal activity, transmission errors, or even external factors like weather conditions. It is commonly encountered in communication systems, audio recordings, digital photography, and television broadcasting, where it may appear as random dots on the screen or static sound.However, it’s important to note that noise isn’t always undesirable. For instance, in the arena of digital security, noise is used purposefully to protect sensitive data during transmission. By adding ‘noise’ to data, a layer of disguising information, it becomes far more difficult for unauthorized individuals to intercept and understand it. Meanwhile, in creative fields such as music and digital art, noise is often intentionally integrated as an aesthetic choice. For example, ‘noise music’ embraces dissonance and unpredictability, and grainy ‘noise’ can add a sense of nostalgia to photographs. So, while noise often refers to unwanted disturbances, it can also serve valuable purposes when used judiciously.


1. Electronic Noise: In radio and telecommunication systems, noise refers to the random, unpredictable variation of the quality or strength of a transmitted signal. For instance, you might have noticed a grainy, unclear picture while watching TV or static sound while listening to the radio. These are all instances of electronic noise.2. Acoustic Noise: This refers to the unwanted sound, particularly in environments where focus or communication is needed. For example, in an office environment, excessive chatter, ringing phones, or construction noises outside might interfere with productivity. This is known as acoustic noise.3. Digital Noise: In digital photography, ‘noise’ describes the occurrence of color pixels appearing distorted or of an entirely different color. For example, when you take a photo in low light conditions with high ISO settings, the resulting image may show a ‘grainy’ texture, known as digital noise.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Sure, here is a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section for the technology term: Noise.Q1: What is Noise in the context of technology?A: Noise often refers to random, undesirable signals or disturbances that interfere with the normal functioning of certain electronic devices or systems. In data communication, it can cause data loss or degradation.Q2: What are the common sources of Noise?A: Common sources of noise can include electrical interferences, thermal vibrations, cosmic sources, and even user errors.Q3: How can Noise affect data transmission?A: Noise can cause data loss or alteration during transmission, leading to communication errors. This may require the data to be retransmitted, leading to slower overall transmission speeds.Q4: What is Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)?A: SNR is a measure that compares the level of the desired signal to the level of background noise. A higher SNR means a less noisy (therefore, better quality) signal.Q5: Can Noise be completely eliminated in a system?A: While it is almost impossible to completely eliminate noise, numerous techniques are used to reduce its impact. These include error detection and correction algorithms, signal filtering, and using shielded cables for transmission.Q6: What is ‘noise reduction’ in terms of audio technology?A: Noise reduction in audio technology usually refers to the process of removing unwanted background noises or distortions from the audio signal.Q7: What is White Noise and how is it used in technology?A: White Noise is a type of noise that has equal power across all frequencies. It is commonly used in audio technologies to mask other sounds, in sleep aids, and in certain signal processing techniques.Q8: How does noise affect image quality in photography?A: In the context of photography, noise refers to visual distortion that appears as random grains or speckles of color. It can degrade the quality of the image, making it look less sharp and clear.Q9: What is ‘Noise Cancellation’ in headphones?A: Noise Cancellation, specifically Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) in headphones, is a technology that reduces unwanted ambient sounds. It does this by creating a sound wave that is ‘anti-phase’ to the ambient noise, which effectively cancels it out.Q10: How does noise impact communication in networking?A: In networking, noise can introduce errors into the data being transmitted. When the noise level is high, it might lead to frequent retransmissions, thereby reducing the efficiency of the network.

Related Tech Terms

  • White Noise
  • Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)
  • Acoustic Noise
  • Noise Reduction (NR)
  • Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

Sources for More Information


About The Authors

The DevX Technology Glossary is reviewed by technology experts and writers from our community. Terms and definitions continue to go under updates to stay relevant and up-to-date. These experts help us maintain the almost 10,000+ technology terms on DevX. Our reviewers have a strong technical background in software development, engineering, and startup businesses. They are experts with real-world experience working in the tech industry and academia.

See our full expert review panel.

These experts include:


About Our Editorial Process

At DevX, we’re dedicated to tech entrepreneurship. Our team closely follows industry shifts, new products, AI breakthroughs, technology trends, and funding announcements. Articles undergo thorough editing to ensure accuracy and clarity, reflecting DevX’s style and supporting entrepreneurs in the tech sphere.

See our full editorial policy.

More Technology Terms

Technology Glossary

Table of Contents