Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEngineering · 6 months ago

How do I get rid of crackling static in an audio circuit?

The 1/8" audio jack on my Alienware 15R4 laptop is sending out static through my external speakers. It's a crackling sound, not a hum. It was fine for a couple months, but not anymore.

I tested the speakers with my MP3 player and my cell phone (using the same media files that are on the computer, even an MP3 file that just plays silence) and there was no static then, so I figured it was an issue with the computer, but there was no static when I tried headphones on the computer, so I've concluded that it's an issue with the computer in conjunction with the external speakers. These are the speakers I'm using...

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/insignia-powered-comp...

The static appears when I shut down the computer, when the computer goes into hibernation, and whenever I play any media files. Pausing or stopping the media file makes the static disappear. I tested many media files and two different media players (VLC and WMP) and they all produced the static.

Turning up the computer and turning down the speakers helps turn down the static. I tried bumping/flicking the audio jack, cables, and speakers, but that produced no effect. I also tried moving the cables around to see if they were somehow picking up static, but that's definitely not the issue. I've yet to buy another set of speakers to see if they have the same problem.

Update:

It's not a bad or dirty contact. If that was the case, the issue would persist with the MP3 player and cell phone. It's just simply the computer in conjunction with the speakers.

Update 2:

Also, if it was a dirty contact, the issue would persist when I try the headphones in the same jack.

Update 3:

The speakers work just fine with other devices. The computer works just fine with other devices. It's just when the speakers are used with the computer that the problem arises, so no, it's not a loose connection or dirty contacts.

8 Answers

Relevance
  • 6 months ago

    Have you looked at the solder joint at the connector and back where it comes off the motherboard or a peripneral? Might be a cold solder joint causing all of your problems. My experience is the #1 cause of electrical problems is bad connection issues: opens, shorts, and intermittents.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • paul h
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    It could be that you have a loose, dusty/dirty or corroded connections for the speaker ports inside the laptop computer where the ports connect to the motherboard...or an issue with the speaker plugs where they connect at the port..weak contact springs. Crackling/static noise is most often due to loose, corroded or dirty/carboned contacts. Electrons flow on the surface of wiring or contacts so anything that impedes or alters the smooth flow of them will often result in static discharge /noise. Try cleaning/spraying the speaker connection/port with contact cleaner/Deoxit....or clean / dust off any internal connections if possible. Check for loose or frayed wiring if present.

    Alenware 15R3 has an update for the bios/driver with issues with distorted audio so you could try that update...might also apply to yours or try updating your bios/drivers.

    https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/04/sln3...

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Steven
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    I once hired a tech to replace me while I took a vacation. When I got back, he had been struggling with a (simple) problem for most of that time. To make a long story short, his problem was that he had decided that the problem could not be the obvious because "he had checked that", and he refused to look at it again. Odds are that there is a bit of corrosion on the plug and jack and all you need to is spray them both with electrical cleaner and work them to rub through the oxide / contamination. But as long as you have decided that is not the problem because of some dubious logic then there is nothing we can do to help you.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 6 months ago

    I have re-read your description.

    It sounds like it is in the speakers.It sounds like it is a loose connection (mechanical)

    Connect the speakers with some music or noise.

    turn the volume knob of the speakers up and down rapidly.

    If there is static, unplug the speakers, rotate the volume control many times, like 10, rapidly over the whole range. if it is a large range do it bottom middle and top 1/3. plug it in and try it again. If you still have static, bump each piece of the speaker set firmly so see which speaker has the loose connection in it. I assume it is in the one with the amplifier. If you find it, return them for warranty to Best Buy.

    You could try the speaker set on another device like the MP3 player or stereo or a friends player, tape recorder.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • qrk
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    You probably have dirty contacts on the connector. Contact cleaner will usually cure this issue. CRC "QD Contact Cleaner" works fairly well and is available at Home Despot. It's safe on plastics. Spray a small amount on the connector and engage/disengage a few times (5, or so times). I normally back up the cleaning session with a very small amount of CRC "2-26" lubricant. Apply the lubricant with a cloth to the male prong and engage/disengage a couple times. These products resurrected my old stereo system that had really noisy switches.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/CRC-QD-11-oz-Contact-C...

    There are better products like DeoxIT. You can find this on Amazon or any audio phool store.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 6 months ago

    This is not causing by static charge. It is the bad contact between phone jack and socket. The phone socket becomes bad by air moisture or plug in and out too often or the phone plug surface turns into oxide or the contacts loose the tension.

    Change both socket and plug is the only best way to solve this noise. Polish both phone plug and inside the socket contacts also work for a while.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • k w
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    go WI-FI.........it's just the connection, time to upgrade, or just accept the noise, maybe amazon has something leftover for die-hard stereo enthusiasts to wipe on the plug to help with the noise.....

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Thanks for the 2 points

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.