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Why Your Speakers Crackle & Tips for How to Fix It

by Crawford Moore 07 May 2024

Table of Contents:

When you're listening to music or watching a movie, nothing ruins the mood quite like a sudden crackle or pop from your speakers. It's a common, yet frustrating issue in the world of audio equipment. The good news? With some understanding of what causes the crackling or popping, you can easily take action to prevent it.

The Short Answer: There are four primary causes for speakers making a crackling or popping sound…

  1. Connectivity Issues: Connectivity issues can be as straightforward as a bad Bluetooth connection or problems with the power supply. A disruption in these connections can cause crackling and popping noises. Always check these connections first for issues.
  2. Damaged Components: Every speaker, whether a sturdy floorstanding model or a compact Bluetooth speaker, consists of many interconnected components. If parts like the speaker driver or cables are damaged, they can get in the way of the smooth transition of sound, causing the speaker to crackle.
  3. Speaker Quality: All speakers are not made equal. Lower-quality speakers may struggle to handle higher volumes, distorting the sound and leading to crackling. To resolve this, keep your speakers on a low volume or invest in a high-end audio system.  
  4. Vinyl Quality: When it comes to vinyl, the issue is often the discs you are using. It is common for vinyl to become scratched over time leading to a crackling noise. On the other hand, many vinyl recordings were taken long ago, and listening quality issues can be attributed to poor recording quality. However, you can still enjoy your favorite tracks by purchasing new or remastered pressings of the old recording!

Now it is time to take a closer look at each cause and how they contribute to the annoying crackling sound. Don't worry, we will also provide some practical solutions for how to tackle them effectively.

The Causes of Speaker Crackling & How to Fix Them

Issue #1: Connectivity Problems

Infographic outlines how connectivity issues can lead to speaker crackling.

Bad Connection via Bluetooth

Establishing and maintaining a strong connection is crucial for uninterrupted listening. Given the prevalence of Bluetooth listening today, a common issue that leads to crackling is an unstable connection. These disruptions can disrupt the flow of the audio output, causing frustration for listeners. It's important to make sure that your speaker remains within the optimal range of the audio source to limit any connection issues that could lead to crackling. Additionally, interference from other electronic devices on your network can hurt connectivity stability.

Issues with the Power Supply

If you are not listening to a wireless speaker, the power supply could be the root cause of the issue. Instabilities in the power supply to your speakers can significantly impact their performance, resulting in that all-too-familiar crackling sound. Proper management of power cables and connections, including checking for twists or pinches, is crucial to minimize these disruptions. In cases where troubleshooting proves ineffective or connectivity problems persist, seeking professional assistance from audio technicians may be necessary to conduct a thorough inspection and address any underlying issues.

Issue #2: Damaged Components & Their Solutions

Infographic outlines how bad components can lead to speaker crackling.

When connectivity troubleshooting falls short, it's time to take a look at your speaker components. Each speaker comprises various interconnected components, pivotal for delivering pristine sound quality. Damage or defects in these components can manifest as disruptive crackling noises, diminishing the overall audio experience. Conducting a thorough inspection of components such as the speaker driver, wires, and connections is essential to detect any signs of damage or deterioration.

How to Inspect Individual Speaker Components

To check the speaker driver, inspect it visually for any physical damage, such as tears or deformities in the cone or surround. For wires and connections, ensure they are securely connected and free from fraying or corrosion. Any loose connections or exposed wires can lead to crackling disruptions.

Issue #3: Speaker Quality & Problems with High Volume 

Infographic outlines how bad speaker quality can lead to speaker crackling.

Speaker popping and crackling issues can also serve as a tell-tale sign of a blown speaker. Exceeding recommended volume levels can lead to distortion and crackling, particularly with lower-quality speakers that are only made to be played at a lower level of volume. For those of you who are like us and love to crank up the volume knob to truly immerse yourself in your favorite music or movies, investing in high-quality speakers and audio hardware engineered to withstand loud noises is the way to go.

Issue #4: Vinyl Record Quality

Infographic outlines how vinyl issues can lead to speaker crackling.

Damaged Vinyl Records

While speakers often shoulder the blame for crackling, the quality of the audio source, particularly vinyl records, can significantly contribute to this issue. Vinyl enthusiasts enjoy the warm, analog sound of records, but over time, these discs can accumulate wear and tear, resulting in audible crackling during playback. Scratches, dust, and imperfections on the surface of vinyl records can interfere with the stylus's smooth traversal, producing unwanted crackling noises that detract from the overall listening experience. To mitigate these issues, meticulous care and maintenance of vinyl records are essential. Regular cleaning using specialized solutions and anti-static brushes can help remove dust and debris, minimizing the likelihood of crackling disruptions during playback. Additionally, storing records in their protective sleeves and maintaining proper handling practices can further safeguard their integrity and preserve their audio quality.

Poor Recording Quality

Sometimes, the culprit behind crackling isn't the condition of the vinyl itself, but rather the quality of the recording. Many vintage vinyl tracks were recorded decades ago, using technology that may not meet modern standards. Poor recording techniques or degraded master tapes can result in subpar audio quality, no matter how well-preserved the vinyl may be. Unfortunately, there's little that can be done to improve the quality of a poorly recorded vinyl.

Quality Speakers: Your Key to a Crackle-Free Audio Experience

Navigating issues with your speaker crackling might seem daunting. However, investing in quality speakers can prevent such issues from arising in the first place.

Perks of Quality Speakers

The advantages of investing in quality speakers are countless. High-quality audio systems are meticulously engineered with superior components, offering far better performance across a broad range of frequencies. This degree of precision minimizes the odds of audio distortion and consequent crackling sounds. 

Durability is another primary aspect of high-quality speakers. They're built to last, making them less prone to wear or damage that can lead to crackling. In addition, their adept handling of higher volumes is good news for music enthusiasts who love cranking it up — without causing sound distortion or speaker crackling. 

Finally, for those who love the vintage charm of vinyl records, high-quality speakers can provide an even greater upgrade, taking your analog experience to new heights.

High-Quality Speakers from Audio Exchange

At The Audio Exchange, you'll find speakers that are a testament to quality and performance. Our collection accommodates various needs – whether you prefer compact bookshelf speakers for small spaces or floorstanding speakers for a fuller sound. 

Our collection of speakers also boasts excellently designed subwoofers, capable of delivering deep, rich bass without the risk of blowing your speakers. Finally, if you appreciate the convenience of modern technology, our wireless speakers combine ease of use with superior sound quality. 

So what are you waiting for? Keep speaker crackling at bay and elevate your listening experience with quality speakers from Audio Exchange. We're here to make your audio experiences as smooth and enjoyable as they should be.
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