Computers & Electronics

Computer speakers making a crackling sound, are they defective?

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  • Aug 17th, 2021 9:52 am
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If you tried multiple sources for generating the sound and it still does it then you should take apart the speaker. You were going to throw these out anyways.

Once you open it you'll see the bare speaker inside and 2 copper wires going into the fabric of the speaker and other end towards a metal plate. Figure out which wire is causing the problem and go from there. Try not to yank at the wires going into the fabric. All you need is another copper wire to make a duplicate route to nearest to fabric and other end to as far out as you can and see which of the 2 wires is the problem.

There is also another possibility - and it could be the electronics part of the amp dying on you.

How much time do you want to put into this? Most of the time crappy speakers cannot be fixed.
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evilYoda wrote: If you tried multiple sources for generating the sound and it still does it then you should take apart the speaker. You were going to throw these out anyways.

Once you open it you'll see the bare speaker inside and 2 copper wires going into the fabric of the speaker and other end towards a metal plate. Figure out which wire is causing the problem and go from there. Try not to yank at the wires going into the fabric. All you need is another copper wire to make a duplicate route to nearest to fabric and other end to as far out as you can and see which of the 2 wires is the problem.

There is also another possibility - and it could be the electronics part of the amp dying on you.

How much time do you want to put into this? Most of the time crappy speakers cannot be fixed.
I'm not throwing them out, they should still be under warranty, though i suspect they won't have a replacement to send me.
I also tried plugging them into a battery pack instead of grid power and turning of the internet router in case the wifi was somehow getting to them, both did not fix the problem either.
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Crackling normally happens when there is a tear in the speaker cone or the surrounding materials. Have you checked for this?

Though then would only do this, when something was being played. Do they ever crackle without anything being played on them? That would indicate an issue in the internal electronics

Another thing to try would be to isolate the actual speaker from the amp, by connecting to another amp for a short period.
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Do you have any other wires running near the speaker wires? I had crackling noises and moving the other wires away fixed it for me.
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Both speakers developed the crackling at the same time? If so, it's either your output (you verified that's not the case), the cable to the speakers (unlikely), or the physical amplifier that makes the speakers work.

If one crackles and the other doesn't, could be all of the above listed, but also a speaker could be blown (pretty rare).

I'd guess amplifier, especially if it's small (like my little Dayton) or integrated.
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he says this is within warranty period, but says this might no longer be available. What did the manufacturer offer in exchange for these?
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Plug the speakers to the power and disconnect any connected devices. Adjust the volume and see if you still hear any crackling or popping. If so, there could be some internal connection that is loose, a faulty power connection, or needs soldering. If the speakers are not very expensive, just replace them.

If you want to try to fix it, see if you can open them up and spray some contact cleaner on the contacts as that should help.
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kramer1 wrote: Crackling normally happens when there is a tear in the speaker cone or the surrounding materials. Have you checked for this?

Though then would only do this, when something was being played. Do they ever crackle without anything being played on them? That would indicate an issue in the internal electronics

Another thing to try would be to isolate the actual speaker from the amp, by connecting to another amp for a short period.
Its happening both times, when something is being played and when nothing is playing.
rugerty100 wrote: Do you have any other wires running near the speaker wires? I had crackling noises and moving the other wires away fixed it for me.
Yes i do and its near to the computer tower.
ChubChub wrote: Both speakers developed the crackling at the same time? If so, it's either your output (you verified that's not the case), the cable to the speakers (unlikely), or the physical amplifier that makes the speakers work.

If one crackles and the other doesn't, could be all of the above listed, but also a speaker could be blown (pretty rare).

I'd guess amplifier, especially if it's small (like my little Dayton) or integrated.
Now that you mention it its only the left speaker, closest to the tower if that matters.
evilYoda wrote: he says this is within warranty period, but says this might no longer be available. What did the manufacturer offer in exchange for these?
This is my concern. Also dealing with dell's customer service is not fun.
hightech wrote: Plug the speakers to the power and disconnect any connected devices. Adjust the volume and see if you still hear any crackling or popping. If so, there could be some internal connection that is loose, a faulty power connection, or needs soldering. If the speakers are not very expensive, just replace them.

If you want to try to fix it, see if you can open them up and spray some contact cleaner on the contacts as that should help.
Adjusting the volume makes no difference.
I tried leaving it unplugged from the computer earlier in the thread and also tried plugging it into the cell phone, crackling still there.
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As you move speakers around or the soldering gets old wires may come lose from the speaker itself.
Headphone jacks receptacles may also become slack over time.
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gh05t wrote: As you move speakers around or the soldering gets old wires may come lose from the speaker itself.
Headphone jacks receptacles may also become slack over time.
They are not old nor do i move them or use the headphone jack (the cell phone and tablet built in speakers are very good for their size).
They are beside the monitor and are connected to the computer.
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well you cant take the speakers apart while the warranty is intact. So you will have to deal with dell. I suggest you do it soon so that you can research their offerings with similar frequency and wattage.
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I clicked your Amazon link to these speakers. If you look at the 1 star reviews, seems to be a common problem with these (at least with the people giving 1 star reviews).

If these are discontinued and Dell has many returns, perhaps they have refurbished units that are "fixed". However, personally I'd just accept the loss and move on to something else.
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and I reread your 1st post.

Cycling noise every 30 seconds ... Do you have any automotive or rechargeable battery chargers close by or plugged in anywhere in your home? LED desk lamps maybe? If you have a portable AM radio, you might try using that around the house to look for possible interfering appliances.
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HWDAN55 wrote: I clicked your Amazon link to these speakers. If you look at the 1 star reviews, seems to be a common problem with these (at least with the people giving 1 star reviews).

If these are discontinued and Dell has many returns, perhaps they have refurbished units that are "fixed". However, personally I'd just accept the loss and move on to something else.
Its hard to find good quality sound in 2.1 speakers.
Many of the options sound cheap and tinny.
HWDAN55 wrote: and I reread your 1st post.

Cycling noise every 30 seconds ... Do you have any automotive or rechargeable battery chargers close by or plugged in anywhere in your home? LED desk lamps maybe? If you have a portable AM radio, you might try using that around the house to look for possible interfering appliances.
Its not on a regular schedule, sometimes its every 10-30 seconds, sometimes its many in rapid succession
Sometimes there are none for minutes.

I did try running it off my lithium power bank, it still made the noises.
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What has Dell said about this? Seems like a lot of time invested for something that is still covered under warranty and Dell should provide a solution for.
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jrees wrote: What has Dell said about this? Seems like a lot of time invested for something that is still covered under warranty and Dell should provide a solution for.
I posted on RFD first, believe me this is far less time and energy invested than calling dell.
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Quentin5 wrote: I posted on RFD first, believe me this is far less time and energy invested than calling dell.
Hell, I wouldn't want to call them either. I'd submit a support ticket ideally (I haven't dealt with Dell warranty support in years, so I'm not sure if that is available).
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jrees wrote: I'd submit a support ticket ideally
How would i do this?
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Quentin5 wrote: Its happening both times, when something is being played and when nothing is playing.

Now that you mention it its only the left speaker, closest to the tower if that matters.

Adjusting the volume makes no difference.
I tried leaving it unplugged from the computer earlier in the thread and also tried plugging it into the cell phone, crackling still there.
If it is happening when nothing is playing or connected, then that means the crackling sound is being generated internally. I assume the speaker circuitry is in the left speaker, and so that is crackling. Unfortunately, I don't think you can do much except RMA it.

If that doesn't work, then I would suggest bypassing the circuitry in the left speaker and making them passive speakers, connected to an external amp. The right speaker should already be a passive speaker and should work when connected to an external amp.
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