So you just got yourself a brand new laptop, and everything is going fine, except for one glaring issue – the speakers are crackling. Not only is this distracting, it can severely affect the experience of using the laptop and watching or listening to media on it. Is there a way to fix this, or do you have to give up on the laptop? Luckily, there are a few ways to fix this.
In most cases crackling or popping sounds on your laptop come about due to issues with audio settings, the driver, or the interference of other programs. For some people, this issue comes up after a system update. However, here are the steps you can take to fix this:
- Check the audio settings.
- Disable audio enhancers.
- Check for latency issues.
- Disable conflicting programs.
- Install new sound drivers.
As you can see, you can fix this issue with your laptop relatively easily. So, if you are interested in what this problem is, how it can happen, and most importantly, how to fix it, you are not alone! Keep reading this article to understand this problem and to find an easy to follow guide on troubleshooting and fixing a crackling sound issue on a laptop.
How To Fix Crackling Sound From Laptop Speakers
If you have a problem where your laptop speakers are making a crackling sound, there are a few ways to resolve this problem. You will need to adjust some settings on your laptop, but don’t worry! We are going through a step by step troubleshooting guide to help you counter this problem and fix it before it gets worse.
However, before you get started on these troubleshooting steps, you need to make sure that the issue is not because of damage. For example, if you recently dropped your laptop, or if there is water damage to the speakers, you will need servicing. In that case, these steps will not resolve the problem at hand and your best bet is a service center.
Check The Audio Format
To start, the first thing that you can do is to change the sound quality on the laptop speakers. There are a number of options that you can get if you use a Windows Operating System. Some of these include CD or DVD audio quality. They differ from each other on the basis of frequencies, so the possibility is that one of the frequencies isn’t working right.
Out of all of the options available, the maximum frequency is at 192,000 Hz. The lowest is at just 44,000 Hz, so that gives you a decent range to see if this is the problem. When you choose a different frequency, this may resolve the issue. Here is what you need to do:
- On your laptop, click the Start button at the bottom left of the screen.
- From this menu, choose the Control Panel option to run the tool.
- Look for Sound in the Search Bar in the Control Panel.
- You will see the results for Sound Settings. Click this option.
- In the new dialog box, select the speaker device on your laptop.
- Right-click, and then choose the option ‘Properties.’
- From here, a new dialog box will open. Choose the ‘Advanced’ tab at the top.
- Click on the ‘Default Format’ option to choose from a dropdown menu.
- Select one of the new options and save changes.
- Restart the computer, and test to see if the issue persists.
After testing this with one of the quality options, you can try the other formats to see if any of them work. If this does not solve your problem, you can proceed to the next step in this troubleshooting guide.
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Disable Any Audio Enhancements
If you are using a sound driver with any additional enhancements, there is a chance that it can cause issues with the laptop speakers. Most drivers will use enhancements to give you better sound quality, but this can also backfire. There are two primary reasons this can happen. Either there is a compatibility issue, or there is an overload on the CPU processing.
If this is the problem at hand, disabling enhancements is a very simple process. You can do it with a few steps, but keep in mind that not all drivers will even have enhancements. However, just to rule it out, do try and disable any enhancements to see if it resolves the issue. Here are the steps you need to follow to make this happen.
- Just like before, run the Control Panel software on your laptop.
- From here, navigate to the Sound section so you can see all of the settings.
- Now, choose your laptop speakers, right-click, and then select ‘Properties.’
- With this dialog box, you should navigate straight to the ‘Enhancements’ tab.
- You will see a list of all of the enhancements that are on this device.
- Uncheck all of the enhancements.
- Also uncheck the ‘Disable all enhancements.’ option to be safe.
- Navigate to the ‘Advanced’ tab and then uncheck Exclusive Mode.
- This will allow the application to override any other settings.
- Save the changes in the dialog box.
You can now test to see if the problem is taken care of. If that is not the case, you should move on ahead in this troubleshooting process.
Check For Latency Issues
One thing you may not have considered when trying to resolve this issue is DPC latency. DPC is a term to describe the ‘Deferred Procedure Call.’ This is part of the Windows Operating System and it takes care of all of the drivers and the execution of any and all of their functions. Latency means a delay.
Therefore, if there is a DPC latency problem at hand, that means that there is something causing a delay in the driver. While commands may be coming in and out, the issue is that they are being processed slower by the computer. In fact, latency in one driver can also affect other drivers, such as the audio driver. This may be the cause for your problem.
There are plenty of latency checking programs available online. You can download any program you trust and run it on your laptop to see if there is a latency error. In most cases, you will see that there is no real latency issue. However, if there is an issue, you will have to fix it on an individual basis. The program will likely help you identify what driver is at fault.
Once you know the cause of the latency, you can disable that driver. If that takes care of the crackling sound, you know that you chose the right driver. You may need to update the driver or reinstall it so you can get back to normal functioning on your laptop.
Disable Conflicting Programs
Sometimes, the problem isn’t the system you are using, but how compatible it is with other tools you download onto the laptop. You are most likely using some kind of programs that are not native to the Windows operating system. In this case, there may be a possibility that the crackling sound is happening because your audio system is conflicting with programs.
This is especially true if you are using software that will disrupt the pathway of the sound. Normally, sound will transmit from the system to either the speakers or headphones. If there is software in the path that is conflicting with the system, this can result in disruptive sounds such as crackling or popping.
To take care of this issue, there are two possible avenues you can approach this from. The first option is to check your laptop for any such programs. You are likely to get this issue because of programs whose function is related to the sound. All you will need to do is to identify the programs, and then disable them all.
The other way to solve this problem is to put your laptop in Safe Mode. Safe Mode is one of the best ways to rule out such programs, because all third-party apps become automatically disabled on your laptop. You can then try playing any sound and see if the crackling persists. If there is no crackling, you have your solution!
Install High Definition Audio Driver
If you have tried all of the solutions above to no avail, there is still one more method you can use to get your laptop speakers working again. This is the use of a High Definition Audio Driver for your computer. Unlike the IDT or Realtek driver, these are not going to give you access to some sound setting features.
However, when you use this audio driver, you can still get the same audio quality as before, and for some users, this took care of the audio issue on their laptop. Keep in mind that when you use this driver, you may not be able to access sound settings and advanced options through the Control Panel anymore. Here is the process of using this driver:
- Hold down the Windows button along with the X button.
- This launches the quick start menu. From here, choose the Device Manager.
- This will open the Device Manager window. You will see a list of all devices.
- Click the heading ‘Sound, video, and game controllers’ to expand it.
- Now, you will see a list of all of the devices in this category.
- Right-click the name of your laptop speaker device and then choose ‘Update Driver.’
- You will see the option to install drivers either automatically, or manually.
- Choose the option ‘Browse my computer for driver software.’
- Next, choose ‘Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.’
- You will have to uncheck ‘show compatible hardware’ to see all results.
- Now, select the option ‘High Definition Audio Device.’
- Select Next, and then follow all the instructions on the laptop to install the driver.
- Restart your system to apply the changes.
When you restart your laptop, you can try playing audio again to see if the problem is still there. If the problem has not been taken care of, you can also try updating the drivers by uninstalling and then reinstalling them.
Related: Why Can You Still Hear With Noise Canceling Headphones?
What Causes Crackling Sounds On Laptops?
At this point, we know how to take care of the crackling sound you can sometimes hear from laptop speakers. While this is irritating, it is also important to know why the problem is there in the first place. In most cases, if there is no sign of damage to the laptop, you will find that this is an issue related to your system – probably why it is so common after an update.
Sometimes, this can happen because your system is unable to connect to your audio system correctly. There could also be an issue with system settings at fault, or this could be an indication that the sound drivers aren’t really doing their job.
In some extreme circumstances, this could be because of conflicts with existing programs or because the CPU is so overwhelmed, it cannot keep up with the demands of the laptop. If you feel like this problem is because of damage, you will want to first check where the problem is coming from. Make sure that your hard drive and laptop fans are working fine.
However, if the problem is still persisting, you can try all of the troubleshooting methods that we went over in the section above. If nothing else works, you can also talk to a professional and get the laptop serviced.
Another option is to talk to the laptop manufacturer’s customer support team for guidance. As a last resort, you can either replace the laptop speakers, or replace the entire laptop. Ultimately, the decision on how to handle this will fall onto you and what you are comfortable with.
There is no doubt that the signs of crackling sound on a laptop can be pretty frustrating. Hopefully though, this article has helped you identify the problem and solve it!