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Popping or cracking noises coming from your speakers is usually a sign that a connection is faulty. If your connection has an interrupted current (generally caused by a loose or dirty connection), then you need to locate the problem area and rescue the electrical current.
In this article, we will explain the science behind why this makes your speakers pop and how to fix the problem.
What Causes The Popping Sound In Your Speaker?
If you can hear popping or crackling in your speakers, that is because the electrical current has been interrupted.
Speakers create sounds by converting electrical energy (also known as audio signals) into mechanical wave energy (also known as sound waves). This means that audio signals are electrical, and the sounds we hear are electrical. If the wires or connection aren’t entirely connected with a TV, you will have a distorted image; when it comes to audio, the distortion sounds like a pop or crackle.
Why Does A Loose Connection Cause A Popping Sound?
The first thing you need to know is that speakers are designed to move smoothly, following the trajectory of the audio signals.
The AC (Alternating Currents) of the audio signals then pass through the driver.
The drivers are round elements in the speaker, which most people mistake to be the speaker itself. They often look like cones or horns. The material moves back and forth, creating a change in air pressure (and therefore the sound waves) that eventually hit your eardrum.
On a smooth connection, the drivers will be able to gracefully reach the peak of an audio sound and a trough (or deepest part) of the audio sound in the cycle of the sound wave.
See this image of a sine wave graph for a visual representation:
A sine wave is a single frequency audio signal.
If the current was interrupted, then the graceful and smooth wave will change to a bumpy frequency. Like this:
Or if the interruption is great enough, it can cause a dramatic change like this:
When the drivers drop so quickly or unexpectedly, the popping or cracking sound is created. The pops are the speakers trying to reach the new position after pausing.
How To Stop My Speakers From Popping?
There are 3 ways to stop your speakers from popping, and they are cleaning your vinyl, your CDs, and your wires, replacing your wires, or tightening your speaker’s internal connections.
Cleaning your Vinyl, CDs, and Wires
Your items can have animal hair attached to them or fingerprint marks, or even just dust laying on the surface.
When it comes to vinyl, you can remove the dust and static with a record brush and a liquid solution. There are many choices online, like the Boundless Audio Record Cleaner, the Vinyl Buddy Record Cleaner, which comes with its own solution, and just a simple record cloth like the Record Happy Cleaning Cloth.
If you want to make your own cleaning solution, simply mix 1/4 of isopropyl alcohol with ¾ distilled water and one or two drops of rinse agent. Put it in a spray bottle and give it a good shake before you use it.
Cleaning a CD is easy. All you need is a cloth and to wipe the surface in a circular motion.
If you come across some grease stains or other hard-to-remove gunk on your CD, water with a drop or two or washing up liquid can help remove the problem.
However, CDs are very sensitive compared to Vinyl, and so the chemicals in the washing-up liquid could produce more popping.
See if a simple cloth-clean sorts out the problem first.
Cleaning wires can be dangerous. If you think the connecting cables need to be cleaned, then choose a solution created for the delicate task of cleaning electrical equipment. We suggest using WD-40 Contact Cleaner.
Along with the specialist cleaning solution, you should also have a sensitive cloth.
Of course, you need to turn off the speakers and unplug them from their sockets before applying any liquids.
Replacing Your Wires
If you’ve cleaned everything, but the popping sound still continues, then the interruption might be coming from the wires themselves.
Look at wires between the speakers and the audio input. Can you see a cable that seems loose or ill-fitting?
If you find a loose wire hanging onto its job for dear life, then it’s probably time to replace that wire with a new one.
If you cannot find an obviously loose connection but have spare wires that you know work, swap them around and play the music. By a process of elimination, you should be able to find the faulty wire.
Tightening Your Speaker’s Internal Connections
If you still cannot find the source of this miss-connection, then there is a possibility that the problem is inside the speaker itself. Either a wire has come loose, or a solder has broken down through overheating.
Take the cover and hard shells off the speaker and see if you can point out an obvious problem. Is the wire loose? Has a metal component warped into a strange shape?
If you have noticed that a motherboard or a metal competent has warped, then you may need a skilled professional to evaluate the problem. They should be able to replace the broken item.