Why Are My Speakers Crackling?

By Gina

Are your speakers crackling and you can’t figure out why?

Perhaps your new speakers have started to crackle when playing music, or when playing movies. Maybe you have noticed the dialogue crackle and any explosions seem crackly, with little popping sounds?

Well, you aren’t alone!

Many people cite issues with their speakers’ performance, finding that they start to crackle or that the sound isn’t what it used to be.

These speakers might be brand new or old and beloved, but the issue remains the same and leaves many people scratching their heads, unsure what to do. 

But no more! Today we are here to answer all your speaker-related cries for help! Keep reading to find out why your speakers are crackling and how you can fix them at home – often with no tools needed! 

Why Are My Speakers Crackling?

Let’s get straight into it! The most common reason why your speakers are crackling, is a poor connection or faulty cables.

A loose or dirty connection, usually where the cables connect to the speakers, will result in a crackling or sometimes popping sound. It can seriously impact your listening experience, ruining movies or your favorite music. 

The crackling is caused when the electrical current (audio signals) is interrupted. In more technical terms, these interruptions will impact the sound waves that your speaker produces, resulting in a crackling sound.

The movement from the speaker driver will not be smooth, and it is interrupted, at which point there is no voltage. And when there is no voltage, there is no sound, so you get the crackling. 

It can result in poor quality music or movies that leave many of us annoyed and ready to hurl the speaker through the window.

You can read up more on sound waves, their peaks and valleys, and what crackling is caused by if you want to, but for now, we have just covered the basics of what you need to know. 

So let’s take a look at how we can fix your crackling speakers! 

How To Fix My Crackling Speakers 

Almost always, your crackling speaker will be the result of a connection problem, like we mentioned earlier. But that connection problem can vary from speaker to speaker, making it tricky to identify and fix the problem.

Before taking your speaker to a professional for a (costly) diagnosis, use our steps below to troubleshoot the issue and see if you can fix it yourself! 

  1. To start, turn off the audio device your speaker is connected to or pause anything the speaker is playing. 
  2. Next, check your speaker’s wires. Check that they are properly connected to the speaker and the audio device (TV, computer, etc.). It can also be handy to remove the wires and check that the connection input and output ports are working properly. 
  3. Clean out any debris in the ports or blow gently on them to remove any dust that could be stuck and is affecting the connection. You can do the same with the ports at the ends of the wires, too, if you wish. 
  4. Place the wires back in and try to play sound again. If there is no crackling, the issue is likely resolved, and you can get back to enjoying your music or movies. If not, keep reading for further advice. 
  5. If this does not work, check the internal wires on your speaker. If you notice any loss or damaged connections, replace these and try the speaker again. There can be lots of internal wires with some speakers, and even if just one fails, it can leave you with poor or crackling sound quality. Remember to test the speaker after every adjustment you make to see if there are any improvements.

If your speaker is still crackling, use these other tips and tricks to troubleshoot and/or resolve the issue. 

  1. Turn off any nearby electronic devices that might interfere with the speaker’s sound; sometimes, devices charging or remote-controlled toys can cause trouble! 
  2. Move the speaker wires away from any other electrical cords where possible. Sometimes the electrical currents and waves emitted from these other cords can interfere with your speakers and its sound. 
  3. If you are still noticing the crackling, disconnect your speaker and play it with a different source. You could try another TV, a laptop, or connect your phone to see if it still crackles. If it doesn’t, the issue could be with your audio device or the wires you are using. 
  4. If you are still noticing crackling, reset the device to factory settings where possible. You can do this by following the instructions in your user manual. If you don’t have your user manual handy, type in the make and model of your speaker and a downloadable manual usually appears for you to use. 
  5. If you are still having issues, try replacing the speaker’s wires. Even if the wires look fine, there could be an internal problem or loose connection. If you don’t have spare wires, you can usually pick them up online or in-store for a reasonable price. 
  6. If you are still having issues, try connecting your device to a different set of speakers. If you do this and there is no crackling, the issue is with your speakers, and we would suggest taking them to a repair store. If the noise is still there, the issue is with your audio device, and you should see about having this repaired or examined. Be warned that it can be costly if there is internal repair work that needs to be undertaken. 

Final Word

And just like that, we have come to the end of our speaker journey today. As you can see, the most common cause of crackling speakers is a faulty connection, which can easily be assessed and rectified!

Before getting to work, be sure to familiarize yourself with the wires and connectors your speaker has to save yourself some troubleshooting time! It can also be good to have your manual on hand to see how the wires should look. 

Often you can rectify crackling speakers yourself at home using one or a combination of our tips and tricks listed today.

However, if you find that these do not work, be sure to contact the manufacturer or a repair company for more help. Before doing so, remember to check your warranty to see if the work could be carried out for free!