Common Causes of Crackling Headphones

Last Edited: May 6, 2018 | Published: May 6, 2018 by

Common Causes of Crackling Headphones

We’ve all been there at one time or another. We start to listen to our favorite tunes and we hear an annoying crackling sound. Crackling headphones are one of the most common problems headphone owners face. Today, we will look at some of the most common causes of crackling headphones and what you need to do to fix them.

Faulty Ports

The headphone jack on the device you are using could be the cause for the crackling sounds you hear. The easiest way to test this is to plug your headphones into other AUX ports on other devices to see if you hear a crackling sound. If you don’t, then there is a good bet that the headphone jack is faulty on your device. How you go about fixing this one will depend on the device, and in some cases you may need to send your device in for repair if you ever hope to have that port fixed.

Loose Wiring

This is probably the most common cause for crackling headphones. The wiring of your headphones are only protected by a thin layer of insulation, and the constant push and pull you put these cables through can cause the delicate wiring inside to stretch and even tear. While you can strip the cover off and repair the wires yourself, it’s often easier to just buy a new pair of headphones to solve the problem. But, if you like to do it yourself and fix things, it is a relatively easy fix to perform on your own.

Poor Source Quality

Not all source files you play through your headphones are created equally. Sometimes, poor EQ and/or bit rates can be to blame. Often this is found in older files or rips from very old music sources. When this occurs, you will have to return to the source to fix the overall problem, but make sure you test your headphones with other audio sources before you do. Depending on availability of the source material, there may not be anything you can do.

Bad EQ Settings

In some cases, the EQ settings you have setup on your audio source could be to too blame for the crackling sounds you hear. With the wrong EQ settings, your headphones may not perform as they should and the result could be a popping or crackling noise. Try adjusting your EQ settings to see if the crackling goes away. If it does, it’s time to adjust those EQ settings for better sound without that annoying crackling noise.

Blown Speakers

In some cases, your headphone speakers may just be worn out or even broken. Blown speakers can happen with lots of use, usually in older headphones. Often a blown speaker in your headphones means you were listening to them too loudly and the source sound overpowered the capabilities of the headphone speakers. When this happens, all you can do is replace your headphones.


Crackling headphones are annoying, but in some cases the problem can be easily solved. However, in others, you may just need to replace your headphones. If you are in the market for new headphones, I recommend you check out one of our handy buying guides to find a pair that are right for you.

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