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Why Do My Speakers Crackle?


We all know how speakers act up—and it’s not fun when you hear them make those weird hissing, popping, or crackling noises. But what exactly causes them? 

There’s a range of reasons why your speakers can crackle and pop. It can be anything from a loose connection, dust accumulation, damaged speaker drivers, and so on.

How exactly does all this happen, and how do we fix it? Let’s find out.

Why Do My Speakers Crackle?

Are crackling noises serious? 

In most cases where it’s just a loose cable, it’s generally not serious. But note that there are many causes for crackling noises on speakers, and some of them involve mechanical issues which can severely damage your speaker. 

Loose cable connection

loose speaker cable connection

One of the most common causes for crackling, crunchy speaker sounds is a loose connection.

A loose connection sometimes happens when your cable isn’t connected properly. And let’s admit it, the wire is the first thing we all check and nudge when we hear those dreaded static noises.

It’s quite an easy fix. A simple replugging or adjusting of the cable can be the perfect solution to an otherwise temporary problem. No need for fancy tech knowledge!

Dust build-up

dust build-up on speaker

Do you know that familiar pop vinyl players make when you put in a record? The same concept can happen to speakers. 

Dust, in large amounts, can sometimes interfere with electrical current. Your cable terminals are susceptible to accumulating dust because they are exposed. Dirt accumulation is why cleaning your speakers is essential. 

You’ll need an electrical contact cleaner and a microfibre cloth to clean your speaker terminals. Simply spritz a shy amount of solution onto the cloth and wipe all the terminals. Do NOT spray directly on your speaker. 

Voice coil issues

voice coil issues

The voice coil plays an integral part in a speaker assembly—it picks up electromagnetic current from the amplifier. The coils are attached to a cylinder-shaped magnet, and this magnet picks up the vibrations from the coils, which then prompts the speakers to blast sound.

If the voice coil is damaged or has accumulated dust, that’s when you might hear crackling noises.

Cleaning the voice coil is actually tricky. If you’re not an experienced technician, you might risk destroying the internal parts altogether. 

On top of that, since cleaning the voice coil involves digging in and taking speaker parts out, you’ll risk voiding your warranty. 

So if you plan on tinkering with the insides of your speaker, it’s best to have a professional check it out. 

To clean the voice coil, you first need to remove the cone’s dust cap so you can access your coil gap. Then, get your vacuum, put it on the lowest setting, and vacuum the voice coil area. 

Damaged speaker cone

damaged speaker cone

Ruptured speaker cones typically cause low buzzing or scratching sounds. Sometimes, a tear can be visible that you’d know it’s due for a replacement. Other times, you need to do a soundcheck. 

If you’ve ruled out the possibility of having loose cables, it may be time to inspect your speaker cone. 

An intact cone should make virtually no rattling sound when you tap it. A blown cone, one that rattles when the speaker is on, shakes and makes noise when tapped gently. 

If you have no experience switching out cones yourself, it’s best to visit your nearest speaker cone replacement shop to have it fixed. 

Audio clippings

Audio clippings are very loud sound waves that distort when raised at a frequency past what the speaker or amp can handle. This scenario is why you’ll sometimes hear a scratchy, annoying sound when your speaker plays something on full blast.

If you hear clippings or distortion, don’t be alarmed. The distortion is simply a sign that maybe you should keep it down a little bit. 

Loose solder joints

Speakers and amps have soldered parts inside of them. Anything that may come loose or come undone might be what’s causing all that crackling noise.

Old amplifier

old amplifier

So you’ve checked your wires and cables and inspected your cones and coils. If the problem isn’t on your speakers, then your amplifier might cause all that crackling.

The internal parts of your amplifier will age and are prone to corrosion. Such damage will likely affect your sound quality.

If you think the issue is with your amplifier, it’s best to go to a specialist to have your equipment checked or replaced altogether. 

Frequency interference

frequency interference

Bluetooth speakers are ubiquitous, and there are high chances that you own one. If so, you might have noticed that everyday devices affect the sound of your Bluetooth speaker.

Certain household items like your phone, WiFi, or even your microwave oven all run at the same frequency as Bluetooth technology, causing interference. As a result, you get those unwanted static hissing noises.

The quickest remedy is to move your speaker away from these devices. 

Weak battery

Bluetooth speaker with weak battery

Another problem applicable to Bluetooth speakers is having a weak or low battery. 

When your Bluetooth speaker is running low on juice, you can expect to start hearing crackling noises. It’s always good to invest in speakers with a high-capacity battery so you won’t have to charge as often.

Bottomline

Anyone who owns speakers will, at least once, experience the dreaded crackling and popping noises. It’s a fairly common thing, and it happens more often than not. 

When dealing with such a problem, it’s good to remember a few things:

Check your cables and cones first. They are the easiest to deal with, and it’s easy to find a solution for them. 

If the problem is internal, it’s best to have a professional check your equipment. This way, you won’t risk any further complications for your speakers. 

We hope all this helps. Good luck!


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