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Windows 7: Speakers crackle and pop


23 Nov 2013   #1

Win 7 64 bit
 
 
Speakers crackle and pop

Hello,

I have a kind of a weird problem..
My speakers make crackling, cracking and poping sounds in 2 cases:

1. Electric switch near my room is being turned on or off (I mean room light switch..)
2. PC is being turned on.

At my bathroom I have a florecent light.. So before it turnes on, it "blinks" typically and then stables..
While it "blinks" my speakers make this crackle sound that matches the light "blinking".

At the rooms near my room, when light is turned on, it just pops once or twice and thats it..

When my PC is turned on:
When I press the power button it will make a pop sound of the speakers once and then as windows loades up it will make a poping sound a few more times.


My speakers work fine. It just makes these noises and its weird..
I cant remember when it started.. But long ago..

I own 2.1 Microlab speakers and I connect them to the PC via a generic external USB sound card (the cheapest Ebay ones..)

I have a new MOBO and I want to connect my speakers to it and I am afraid that it may damage the MOBO or the 3.5mm port..

Thank you.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 Nov 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult. x64 Windows 8.1 x64
 
 

Thats a consequence of the electrical wiring in the house, and electromagnetic interference from the fluorescent lighting. There isn't really much that can be done about it, apart from lightening the load on the electrical circuitry (try unplugging a few items and see if that helps).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Nov 2013   #3
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

New switches and light tubes may help some too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


24 Nov 2013   #4

W7 X-64 W8.1 X-64 Opensuse 13.1 W2003 Server
 
 

Hi there
Often this type of activity is caused by Mobile phones near the equipment - you don't actually have to be making or receiving a call - but remember your phone is still sending and receiving even while not actually making calls.

Try and turn your mobile off or at least move it some distance away from your computer.

(Horror - youngsters will say -- Switching OFF a phone -- I'll bet a lot don't even know that phones actually HAVE a power off switch !!).


Ensure also your equipment is earthed properly also ensure the Live and Neutral leads are connected the correct way.

I'm not sure how the mains sockets look like in Israel (assuming by the flag that's where you are from) - been a while since I was lying on the Beach just outside Tel_Aviv - (Great food there BTW) but one of those cheap neon mains testers which show the LIVE side should help you there.

(These days having the mains the WRONG way round won't cause you any DANGEROUS problems since the power supply transformer in the computer isolates the chassis from the mains - but older equipment could cause the outer CASE to be LIVE when connected the wrong way round -- I've learned that the HARD way in the past !!!. It will cause unwanted interference and / or annoying 50 / 60 HZ mains hum too in cases).

Check also no loose parts (Fans etc) in the computer and any expansion cards are seated properly.

Also give the whole thing a clean - I'd imagine it's quite dusty in that climate.

Get rid too of any old fluorescent tubes for lighting -- environmentally HORRIBLE, can cause absolutely hideous interference especially when the tubes are "going soft" or reaching the end of their useful life. Simply swap for the newer LED's - better lighting all round and more economical too. Don't bother with those new mercury filled "Environmentally friendly " !!!!!--Thanks EU Commission ---power saving lights -- also TERRIBLE and have horrible cold light too.

Those "Energy saving bulbs" should IMO be BANNED - they are full of MERCURY (Symbol Hg) -- not a very friendly substance.


Cheers
jimbo
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2013   #5

Win 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Golden View Post
Thats a consequence of the electrical wiring in the house, and electromagnetic interference from the fluorescent lighting. There isn't really much that can be done about it, apart from lightening the load on the electrical circuitry (try unplugging a few items and see if that helps).
Might be a cause of electrical wiring in the house.. I can't say its great and I assume that it really isn't good at all.. But thats a problem I can't really deal with.
The problem is that I didn't have this issue since I got the speakers.. They worked fine for a long time before it started to happen..

Circuit load is possible. I have 2 sockets in my room. PC, speaker, modem and screen are connected to one.
The other socket is splitted a lots of times.. from 1 its splits to 3 which has a split to another 4, which has a split to another 3 and finally another 4.
This covers my whole room lol..
Most of them are not in use ofc..
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
New switches and light tubes may help some too.
I think in some cases it might be a problem but I dont believe its connected to my case to be honest.
I will consider it though.. Thanks.
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
Hi there
Often this type of activity is caused by Mobile phones near the equipment - you don't actually have to be making or receiving a call - but remember your phone is still sending and receiving even while not actually making calls.

Try and turn your mobile off or at least move it some distance away from your computer.

(Horror - youngsters will say -- Switching OFF a phone -- I'll bet a lot don't even know that phones actually HAVE a power off switch !!).


Ensure also your equipment is earthed properly also ensure the Live and Neutral leads are connected the correct way.

I'm not sure how the mains sockets look like in Israel (assuming by the flag that's where you are from) - been a while since I was lying on the Beach just outside Tel_Aviv - (Great food there BTW) but one of those cheap neon mains testers which show the LIVE side should help you there.

(These days having the mains the WRONG way round won't cause you any DANGEROUS problems since the power supply transformer in the computer isolates the chassis from the mains - but older equipment could cause the outer CASE to be LIVE when connected the wrong way round -- I've learned that the HARD way in the past !!!. It will cause unwanted interference and / or annoying 50 / 60 HZ mains hum too in cases).

Check also no loose parts (Fans etc) in the computer and any expansion cards are seated properly.

Also give the whole thing a clean - I'd imagine it's quite dusty in that climate.

Get rid too of any old fluorescent tubes for lighting -- environmentally HORRIBLE, can cause absolutely hideous interference especially when the tubes are "going soft" or reaching the end of their useful life. Simply swap for the newer LED's - better lighting all round and more economical too. Don't bother with those new mercury filled "Environmentally friendly " !!!!!--Thanks EU Commission ---power saving lights -- also TERRIBLE and have horrible cold light too.

Those "Energy saving bulbs" should IMO be BANNED - they are full of MERCURY (Symbol Hg) -- not a very friendly substance.


Cheers
jimbo
Hey Jimbo,

I can't really switch the fluorescent to an another type of lighting.. Aside from the problems it may cause to health.. Does it really make a problem with speakers or hardware?

My speakers have 2 leads, with no ground (aren't all speakers like this?).
I just tested the sockets in my room and house and the right "hole" in the main socket makes the tester light. Is that called the Live one? And how should I know where the Live one is on the speakers plug?

The cellphone is probably not the issue here..

I didn't understand why this part can make any problem:
"Check also no loose parts (Fans etc) in the computer"

And don't worry it's not dusty

Also, the speakers 3.5mm jack makes static noises out of the speakers when I touch metalic objects. Not really static sound, but you can here something going on there.. Like you can hear the current through the speakers..

Thank you Jimbo for you comment.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Nov 2013   #6
scr

Windows 7 Home Premium sp1 - 64bit
 
 

I would suggest you unplug everything on that circuit except your computer, monitor and sound and do the following:
(From my count you have about 15 items plugged into a duplex outlet)

With nothing playing through the speakers and the volume up quite a bit do you get a constant low hum or buzz noise in your speakers? Does it get louder when you touch the computer case?

If not flip the light switch and see if you still get the pop.

If you do try pulling the speaker plug out of the computer and plugging it back in. Turn down the volume first. Turn the volume back up and see if twisting the plug in place (in the back of the computer) produces any noise or touching the system makes the noise louder.

A speaker not properly grounded will produce the effects you describe.

Try the light switch again.

If no pop turn the volume up about one third and start plugging in all that other stuff until you find the problem.

If one of the numerous "splits" you described is not plugged in properly or one of the items plugged in is not proper, it could be something plugged in either upstream or downstream from the outlet in your room. It will all have the same effect.. noise.

I didn't understand why this part can make any problem:
"Check also no loose parts (Fans etc) in the computer"

I would imagine jimbo wanted you to check for loose connections including the rear of the speaker jack and where it connects to your sound card or motherboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Nov 2013   #7
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

Actually old tube may well be a cause, as Jimbo said at the end of life they will flicker more and draw tons more current to light. This causes a radio emission in excess of normal which will be picked up by speakers. Older switches can make more of a spark when used too due to erosion and corrosion of contacts also throwing more radio noise.

Also as he said make sure all your equipment is well grounded (earthed), touching the speaker plug to the case should not create any sound, it must have some leakage from a bad PSU or a poor ground.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #8

Win 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by scr View Post
I would suggest you unplug everything on that circuit except your computer, monitor and sound and do the following:
(From my count you have about 15 items plugged into a duplex outlet)

With nothing playing through the speakers and the volume up quite a bit do you get a constant low hum or buzz noise in your speakers? Does it get louder when you touch the computer case?

If not flip the light switch and see if you still get the pop.

If you do try pulling the speaker plug out of the computer and plugging it back in. Turn down the volume first. Turn the volume back up and see if twisting the plug in place (in the back of the computer) produces any noise or touching the system makes the noise louder.

A speaker not properly grounded will produce the effects you describe.

Try the light switch again.

If no pop turn the volume up about one third and start plugging in all that other stuff until you find the problem.

If one of the numerous "splits" you described is not plugged in properly or one of the items plugged in is not proper, it could be something plugged in either upstream or downstream from the outlet in your room. It will all have the same effect.. noise.

I didn't understand why this part can make any problem:
"Check also no loose parts (Fans etc) in the computer"

I would imagine jimbo wanted you to check for loose connections including the rear of the speaker jack and where it connects to your sound card or motherboard.
Hey Scr,

I dont have 15 devices.. It is splitted a lot but nothing is connected to most.. I have only my TV, phone and cable TV connected to all those splitters.

Anyway, I tried unplugging all of the splitters from that one output and also tried turning the speakers power plug direction. Nothing helped..

When speakers at max volume I dont get much humming or buzz. Even if I touch me PC case (metallic) or speaker case. At max volume I can hear like low constand sound.. But nothing much. Seems normal to me.

And about the loose parts.. My speakers are not connected to the MOBO but through an external USB sound card, so I dont think its a factor. Anyway I dont have loose parts.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
Actually old tube may well be a cause, as Jimbo said at the end of life they will flicker more and draw tons more current to light. This causes a radio emission in excess of normal which will be picked up by speakers. Older switches can make more of a spark when used too due to erosion and corrosion of contacts also throwing more radio noise.

Also as he said make sure all your equipment is well grounded (earthed), touching the speaker plug to the case should not create any sound, it must have some leakage from a bad PSU or a poor ground.
Might be.. But I dont think it's normal for my speakers to pop when I turn on (after being turned off) my PSU via it's switch. They make a little pop sound..
Also the 3.5 mm plug of the speakers can sense metalic or conductive objects when thouching them.
Like if I take the plug and touch my PC case with it, it will make this static noise.. Not very load..
Even I touch a screw which is not connected to anything.. Just a screw laying on the table..

Any other thoughts what it might be?

Do you think connecting the speakers to my new MOBO will be risky? May it damage it?

Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Nov 2013   #9
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate X64 SP1
 
 

My 12" woofer makes a dull thud! when I turn on my PSU. You are getting RF interference somewhere though. If you change nothing it will remain. I don't think the speakers are at fault, hook 'em up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Dec 2013   #10

Win 7 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Britton30 View Post
My 12" woofer makes a dull thud! when I turn on my PSU. You are getting RF interference somewhere though. If you change nothing it will remain. I don't think the speakers are at fault, hook 'em up.
What about the static sound the speakers make when I touch metallic or conductive things with the 3.5mm audio connector?

So is it the PSU's fault?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Speakers crackle and pop




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