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  • crackling sound on speakers, can i safely ignore it in this circumstances?

    Home Forums AskWoody support PC hardware crackling sound on speakers, can i safely ignore it in this circumstances?

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      • #2363550
        AskWoody Lounger

        So recently I noticed that there is a crackling sound of my speakers, however I managed to “mute it” by playing with the balance of both speakers

        Can I leave it like that? or its something I should be worried about?

        Just someone who don't want Windows to mess with its computer.
      • #2363585
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Crackling is bad, m’kay.
        It means something is not right and it may cause damage if it happens at high volumes – the crackle is often at a very high levels.

        When does it happen?
        Does it happen when playing any source?
        Can you play from your phone through the same system?
        How did you minimize it?

        cheers, Paul

      • #2363773
        AskWoody Plus

        Crackling might happen if one manages to play at too high a volume, because that ramps up the sound distortion that is always present in sound systems, but at a reasonable volume is unnoticeable. By ‘reasonable’ I mean ‘the range of volume the system has been design to work in’.

        So exceeding that range is the most usual cause of distortion. What is the ‘reasonable’ range? Among other things, that tends to depend on the price the PC.

        On the other hand, if this happens at the volume the system has always been used without noticeable crackling, then that means something is gone wrong. whether a bit or a lot, that’s the question.

        You tell us that you fixed  the problem by ‘adjusting the sound balance’: if that means making one of the speakers less loud and the other louder, then the one where the volume is now lower is where you have the problem: that channel’s hardware is not what it used to be.

        Do you need to have it fixed? In your place, I would wait and see: if the crackle comes back without changing back the balance, then probably yes. Otherwise, I would ignore it.

        But I like to live dangerously.

        Windows 7 Professional, SP1, x64 Group W (ex B) & macOS Mojave + Linux (Mint)

      • #2363782
        AskWoody MVP

        Is this a desktop with external speakers or a laptop with built-ins?

        Either way, you could try plugging in another speaker set or a headphone. If it is the built-in speakers on a laptop, that would turn them off, and it would help narrow down where the problem is originating. Same with a desktop, only it’s easier to replace the speakers if you have determined they’re bad.

        Group "L" (KDE Neon Linux 5.22.0 User Edition)

      • #2364604
        AskWoody Lounger

        Audio crackling speaker sound maybe from many areas.
        Troubleshoot, easiest 1st:

        1.  Maybe the source is noisy itself (such as the amp itself). Try wholesale replace entirely the electronic source to the speaker. Or drive the speaker entirely from another source and amp.
        2.  Earphone, or other connector, has contact problem. Test: Do not wiggle, just twist the connector barrel circularly back and forth. If sound gets better, or worse (especially high frequency sound) it is contact problem. Clean or replace connectors with… gold plated connectors; real metal, not just the color. Gold is only second best. Real silver plated is best. Copper (real metal type, not the color that looks it) is good. Thick chrome plated is good. Thinly plated Chrome type worst. Earphone type connector is worst.
        3.  Wiggle the wire/cable of the connector, (not the connector itself), while holding steady and tight of the connector. If crackling sound ‘follows’ the wiggling, the wire to the connector is loose. Re-solder the wire to the connector, or re-tighten (some use screws). Better, replace with new cable/wire.
        4.  Get another speaker and connect (just one channel, left or right channel, would do). If crackling sound goes away on the replaced speaker, the original speaker itself is damaged. Replace speaker.
        5. Volume turns too loud. Either the amplifier is over driven, or the speaker is over driven. Test: turn down the volume.
        6. Amplifier goes bad: unstable/conditional-stable amp causes this crackling sound non-stop, not an occasional thing. [Amps are always in stable negative feedback mode (even switch-mode audio system such as class D or class T. Even not their pre-amplifier is still a feedback system by itself). When components, especially capacitors go bad, there is not enough phase margin for stability, causing instability, thus the crackling noise.]
        7. Power supply to the amp is going bad, generating excessive noise, especially those switch-mode power supplies. If the sound source is from another device, sometimes, its bad power supply may generate enough noise that propagates to the amp output. Crackling noise is not hum noise leaked to amp. It is sharp spike pulsive noise, which is from electronic circuit going bad (or the going-bad components causing it).
        8. If the source is from a laptop or a PC, it could be noise from it. Capacitors inside it go bad, unable to filter out the spiky digital noise that can now propagate to the audio circuitry.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2364740

        If you have external amplified speakers with a volume knob, the potentiometer can become dirty with dust ingress, has oxidized or has simply worn out.

        If rapid movement of the volume knob does not work, disassembling the speaker and then spraying cleaner inside the potentiometer can remedy that condition (you may need to disassemble that too). Knowing somebody that can replace the potentiometer. (Sealed potentiometers may need to be replaced with a new like type.)

        Tutorial video 1, Tutorial video 2.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2364769

        I guess it’s fixed.  Or the bacon’s done.


      • #2364901
        Susan Bradley
      • #2368447

        Did you or Windows update the sound chip driver lately?

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