Get Rid of Popping and Crackling Noise in Computer Speakers

Listening to music from your computer through external PC speakers is enjoyable. You get to enjoy enhanced sound than what internal speakers offer. However, it can be quite disappointing to plug in your speakers only to get popping and crackling noise in the middle of a video game or movie. This can destroy your overall listening experience. 

Don’t panic if your external PC speakers are making a funny popping or crackling noise, don’t panic. Simply try these fixes.

1. ​Check for a Loose Speaker Cable Connection

​If you’ve started playing some music on your PC, but there is noise, the first troubleshooting option is to check whether you’ve plugged in the speakers properly. Loose cable connections are a major cause of popping and crackling noise in speakers. Ensure the speaker cable is plugged into your PC firmly. If the 3.5mm pin is loose, try another speaker cable. Also, check whether you’ve plugged the speaker cable into the correct port on your PC.

​2. Disable Any Audio Enhancements on Your PC

While audio enhancements are designed to improve audio in computers, they sometimes create audio problems.  If you’ve installed such software, disable it and check whether the noise issue is resolved.

​3. Check Equalizer Settings on Your Music Player Software

Unbalanced equalizer settings on your PC music player can create sound problems, including noise. For instance, if you’ve used your EQ to boost the bass beyond what the speakers can handle, they’ll make a crackling and popping noise. Simply reduce the bass boost in the EQ software until the noise vanishes.

Also, when using software EQ, you must equalize preamp and frequency properly. For instance, if you increase the EQ frequency and fail to lower the preamp, you’ll get distorted sound and, thus, noise. For example, whenever you increase the frequency by 5 decibels, also reduce the preamp by 5 decibels and vice versa. This way, you’ll not create distortion.

man seated in front of extensive computer display

​4. Update Your Sound Card Drivers

Outdated sound card drivers can cause noise issues in your speakers. Simply update the drivers to fix this issue.

For Windows OS, click start or the windows icon. Once done, type device manager. After that, press enter and select device manager from the results. Then go to the sound category and right-click on the audio device. Finally, choose the update driver option and allow your PC to search and update the driver automatically.

For Mac OS, open the Apple menu. Click software update, which will list all available updates. Select audio to see if an update is needed.

Ensure you have an active internet connection when updating the drivers. After the update, you can reboot your computer and check whether you can get clean sound.

​5. Check DPC Latency on Your PC

​Deferred procedure call, abbreviated as DPC, is responsible for handling the efficiency of drivers in your PC. It ensures that slow drivers do not interfere with the processing time of other drivers. If soundcard drivers do not respond in time, the result will be crackling and popping noise.

You’ll need to install a DPC latency checker to fix DPC latency issues. The software will analyze your system and issue a report on the drivers causing the delays. Update the driver causing the problem and check whether the noise issue is resolved.

​6. Move Your Cellphone Away from the Speakers

​Keeping speakers close to gadgets that relay electromagnetic signals, like cell phones, interferes with sound signals. This, in turn, creates noise like crackling and popping. This mostly happens when a call or message comes in or goes out. If your speaker is unshielded, it will produce noise when a mobile phone is kept close. Simply move the cell phone away from the speaker. This will eliminate electromagnetic interference, thus eliminating noise.

​7. Balance the Volume Level Between Your Computer and the Speakers

Different speakers are designed to handle specific amounts of power. If the power they can handle is exceeded, the speakers will produce noise or even get damaged. If the volume on your speakers is set to the maximum, and you have also set the volume on your PC to the maximum, there may be noise because the speakers can’t handle the extreme volume. To resolve this, you need to balance the volume correctly. While increasing the volume level in your PC, lower the volume on the speakers to a level where there’s no noise. You’ll balance the volume and eliminate any popping or crackling noise.

​8. Test the Speakers on Another Computer

​If there’s still noise in your speakers, you should test them on another device or computer. If there’s no noise when testing them on another PC, the problem is still in your computer.

However, if the speakers make noise when plugged into another PC or even your smartphone, the problem is with the speakers. You can try another cable and see whether the noise is eliminated. If there’s still noise, your speaker cone is probably torn, or the coil is damaged. If this is the case, have the speaker repaired or get a replacement.

Now You Know How to Ban Crackling and Popping Noise

In the event that your PC speakers develop sound problems such as crackling or popping noise, it’s possible to troubleshoot and fix the issue. You’ll enjoy clean sound and improve your overall listening experience by fixing these noise issues in computer speakers.