It is extremely irritating to experience audio glitches. If there is something wrong with your PC or headphones, then you will start hearing a variety of different sound problems. Lagging audio, jittery playback, wind-like noise, popping, and crackling sound are all just some examples of these problems.
In this article, we are going to scrupulously understand the underlying problem behind the headphone’s crackling sounds in Windows 10 and try to figure out some solutions to prevent this from happening.
You need not try out each and every solution mentioned in this article. Simply look for the causes of the crackling sound from the next section and try to make a calculated guess about what might have gone wrong in your case. Then read the steps and keep following them one by one until your issue is solved.
Headphones crackling Windows 10
Causes of headphone crackling sound
Three of the very common reasons why you hear headphone crackling in Windows 10 are listed here.
- Issues related to software and content
There is a vast range of different possibilities that may cause a crackling sound in headphones. Half of the problems can be traced back to the software. It can be anything related to an old and faulty driver or poor quality audio.
- The computer’s audio jack might be damaged
The crackling headphone sound can also be an indicator of a hardware defect. If the 3.5 mm audio jack of your PC is damaged (which happens a lot of times), you will hear a severe distortion in the audio.
- The headphone’s audio driver might be damaged
While this is relatively rare than the other two reasons mentioned above, a damaged headphone driver can also cause issues related to the audio quality. The headphone drivers are made with powerful magnets and very durable materials, and that is why they don’t get damaged easily.
Connect the headphones to another port
If you are on a desktop computer, this is what you should be doing first. If you have plugged in your headphones in the front headphone jack and you hear a crackling sound from them, then you should pull them out off the front jack and plug them in the rear port.
If the reason for the crackling sound was the headphone jack, then you should hear everything clearly now. To test it out, play a music video from your web browser and increase the volume a bit. The crackling sound should vanish completely.
If that happens, you have to get your headphone jack replaced. You can replace it from your home if you are good at electronics, DIY stuff and have all the required tools like soldering iron, solder, spare audio jack, etc. If that sounds like too much work, then simply take your device to a service center you know.
Disable Spatial sounds
The spatial sounds feature lets you experience 3D audio from your headphones. The technology modulates volumes to make stereo devices behave like surround sound devices. While this certainly is a fantastic feature to have in Windows 10, there are times when the same feature becomes the reason for many other problems. Let’s see if we can get rid of headphone crackling by disabling this.
Step 1: Right-click on the speaker icon in the Windows 10 taskbar.
Step 2: The third option in the menu will be about Spatial sounds. Click on it.
Step 3: Turn it off from here.
Step 4: Now play some music from your PC and see if the crackling sound is still present.
Update the headphone’s drivers
Try this only if all the previous steps don’t work out for you. We are going to update/reinstall the headphone’s drivers now. Here’s how:
Step 1: Open the desktop on your PC and find ‘This PC’ icon.
Step 2: Right-click on the icon and press the ‘Manage’ button to open computer management settings.
Step 3: Here, navigate to ‘Audio input and outputs’ under the device manager tab.
Step 4: Find your headphones in this list, right-click on them and open their properties.
Step 5: You can try updating your device configuration files from the ‘Driver’ tab by pressing the ‘Update Driver’ button.
Step 6: The recommended way to update a driver is to let Windows search automatically for it. The operating system will find a suitable driver and install it for you.
Step 7: However, if you don’t find any updates, you can try completely uninstalling the existing drivers by pressing the ‘Uninstall’ button.
Step 8: Confirm the prompt by pressing the ‘Uninstall’ button again.
You do not have to be worried about installing the driver again manually, as Windows 10 will automatically install the correct driver the next time you plug in your headphones.
Reset Windows 10 or use system restore
If none of the solutions listed above work for you, then the last resort is to reset Windows 10 completely or restore it to a previous date. Let’s check if your operating system even has a restore point.
Step 1: Open the control panel.
Step 2: Click on ‘Recovery’.
Step 3: Click on the second option that reads ‘Open system restore’.
If your PC is set to create system restore points, you will get a list of the most recent ones that you can roll back to. Otherwise, you will get this error screen:
If you see that error screen, you have no option but to reset your PC.
Step 4: Start off by visiting the Windows settings.
Step 5: Open the‘ Update and Security’ tab in the Windows settings.
Step 6: On the left side, you will find the ‘Recovery’ tab. Open it.
Step 7: From this tab, you will be able to reset your PC. We recommend you to take a backup of your device and finish up all the pending work before pressing the ‘Get started’ button.
If you choose to keep your files after the reset, all your data will be stored in a folder with the path: C:/Windows.old
Otherwise, if you choose to remove everything, all the data stored in the C:/ drive will be cleared. Resetting Windows 10 does not remove data from other drives unless you select to do so.
Once the reset is complete, you can set up your PC by logging in to it and installing/synching all your applications’ data. After a complete reset, there is no way for the software to cause any more issues. If your headphone still makes a crackling sound, then it is loud and clear that it is time to get your hardware checked from a nearby service center.