How to Stop Headphones from Crackling


A good headphone gives your effortless audio and phone calls. However, even if you buy a high-end headphone with quality features, it can get prone to produce static noises and crackling sounds. As a result, you are distracted or even forced to plug the AUX cord out or end the phone call. 

When you notice crackling in your headphones, the first important thing is the isolation of the problem, which can be caused in the signal chain at any point – for instance, it can be a problem in the earpiece, in the mic, or some sort of interference from other devices. It is hard to track down the issues and likewise, it can be very frustrating. 

When you hear crackling sounds in your headphones, you feel upset. It is likewise alarming and can be harmful – depending on the severity or consistency of the crackling sound. There are many causes of crackling in the headphones. It is vital to consider all possible causes for headphones crackling before they cause further damage to the device. Many users have reported the issue of crackling sound on their headphones while playing on the PS4 Console.

Before telling you “how to stop headphones from crackling,” let us briefly tell you about the possible causes. Read on! 

Loose Wires

Most often, headphones have thin or fine layers of rubber, which surround thin conductive wires. These wires allow sending and receiving electronic signals from the speakers. When the rubber casing around these wires are loosened, bent, or disconnected, the wires trying to send electronic signals can cause crackling sound or noise in the headphones. 

AUX Port Issues

Aux ports

A defective AUX port can also cause crackling headphones. You can test the AUX ports on different devices to determine the persistence of the crackling. In addition, you need to ensure that the AUX cord and port are fully plugged in. When your headphones are not properly plugged in, it can crackle because of a poor electrical connection. 

Broken Speakers

The most common causes of broken speakers are long-term wear and tear, listening to music or any other media on excessively on high volumes, poor wiring, and general physical damage. 

Poor Equalizer

Cracking in your headphone may also result from bad or poor equalizer settings. If certain treble or bass settings are set too high, then the volume can max out – causing popping and crackling noises. This can harm the speakers of your headphones.

Stop Headphones Crackling – Solutions

There are many ways to fix the issue of crackling in the headphones. Some of the best solutions to solve this problem are:

Disconnect and Reconnect the headphones

If you are using Bluetooth or wireless headphones, the issue may due to interference. You can test this by moving the device/computer and headphones to another location. 

Once confirmed that the problem indeed is due to interference, it is important to move the device, which is causing the interference. Another thing you can do is to use a wired headphone. In addition, you can also reset your Bluetooth or wireless headphones, change the channels, and/or move the base further from the device or computer. This may also solve the issue. 

Check the Persistence of the Issue

You can do this by plugging the headphones into another smartphone, computer or any other device in order to determine the persistence of the crackling issue. If you are still hearing the noise, the issue is likely a loose wire in your headphone or cord. If the crackling occurs only when you speak in the mic, and your callers are also hearing the static as well, then there is no problem with the headphones. The problem is with the mic. 

How to fix this? Well, you can wiggle the wire or cord at the plug as well as at the headphone while moving the microphone to determine if you can find the loose connection. When you have found it, you can loop the wire and tape it down at the loose connection point. This will temporarily stop crackling until you re-soldered the connection or replace the headphones. 

Plug another headphone into the device

You can plug a different headphone into the computer or device. If you still hear the crackling noise, the cause may be even harsh. For instance, it may be due to worn or cracked jack or the issue may be with the sound card of your computer. 

So, how to solve this problem. Well, the solution is quite simple. Grab a cotton swab and then clean the jack using it in a gentle way. Next, snip off one end to get a small portion of the cotton. You can dip it in a small amount of alcohol and rub the jack. After doing this, the jack is clean. Let it dry. Check your computer’s sound card and make sure it is properly seated. 

Turning Down the volume of the device

Another solution to fix the issue of crackling is to “turn down” the volume on your device or computer. If you see there is no issue, then the actual problem is due to loudness. In simple words, your headphones can’t handle the loudness. 

In addition, this problem may also be due to the amplifier of the device – for instance, the amplifier does not have enough capacity to drive the headphones. On a desktop computer, you can test your headphones with a different sound card. For this, you need an external amplifier so that the right amount of power is supplied in order to drive the headphones.

Change the Sound Format

When you “ON” the Exclusive Mode, it means the application has taken full control while in use. This also means that other applications won’t play any audio through the device. However, this feature may also interfere with the driver of the audio device. As a result, you hear the crackling sound in your headphones. 

How to disable “Exclusive Mode?” First and foremost, you need to press the “Windows Logo Key” to open the taskbar window. Here in the search bar, type “audio.” Once done, click on “Manage Audio Devices.” Next, right-click on the “Speakers” and choose the option “Properties.” 

Now, Click the “Advanced” tab. Here, you need to un-check the box. This will disallow the application to take exclusive control of the device. Click Apply or OK. Play an audio file or music file to check if the sound coming is noise-free. If you still hear the crackling sound – on the “Advanced” tab – you need select 16 bit, 44100 Hz. Next, click “Apply” and then “OK.” 

This will solve the problem of popping sound and crackling noise in your headphones. However, if the problem persists, you need to change the audio formats and find out if it works. 

Update Audio Device Driver

The issue of crackling may due to the installation of the wrong audio driver. In many cases, the audio driver is correct. However, there is still the problem of crackling. Do you know why? Let us tell you. The answer is simple: “Your audio driver is outdated.” You need to update your audio device driver in order to see if the problem is fixed. 

Installing the driver manually can be problematic because sometimes, it requires the user to manually place some “DLL” files in the “System 32” directory of the Windows folder. Another great solution to install or update the driver is to use a software application that automatically installs or updates the driver. 

One such program is “Driver Easy.” This software application has been designed specifically to identify your system, the devices in your system’s motherboard, and then find the correct drivers for them. Likewise, you would fearlessly install your audio device driver using the “Driver Easy” program. 

Conclusion

Headphones are important for computer or mobile phone users. They are even important for people who love to listen to music on devices such as MP3 Players. 

Headphone lovers usually don’t buy cheap and poor quality devices. They often buy expensive and high-quality headphones. However, even after buying an expensive piece, sometimes, it is really annoying when you don’t hear a smooth sound. You definitely think “what is this problem” – even with your new headphones. 

Simply put, the problem may not be with your headphones and the crackling sound may be due to your sound card, driver issue, etc. In this article, we have given you the possible causes of crackling noise in your headphones.

Following the tips given above, you can certainly fix this issue. Remember, in case the above tips don’t work, then there is a problem with your headphones. So, the best solution is to return it to the manufacturer or the retailer (if your device is new or have warrantee time left). This way, you can get a new headphone and the problem can be solved. 

Lastly, hearing crackling sound on your headphones while playing games on your PS4 Console can also be very disturbing. Check this video to fix PS4 headphone crackling. Good Luck!

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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