Abstract In readout electronics for photon-counting pixel detectors, the tight integration between analog and digital blocks causes the readout electronics to be sensitive to on-chip noise coupling. This noise coupling can result in faulty luminance values in grayscale X-ray images, or as color distortions in a color X-ray imaging system. An exploration of simulating noise coupling in readout circuits is presented which enables the discovery of sensitive blocks at as early a stage as possible, in order to avoid costly design iterations. The photon-counting readout system has been simulated for noise coupling in order to highlight the existing problems of noise coupling in X-ray imaging systems. The simulation results suggest that on-chip noise coupling should be considered and simulated in future readout electronics systems for X-ray detectors.