(SOLVED) Speaker Popping Noise When Turned On

Norvan Martin
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As audiophiles, every little aspect of sound quality matters, and every strange sound is noticed. In this guide, we will discuss what you can do if your speakers are making an audible “pop” or producing a brief burst of sound when turned on. 

There are many reasons why your speakers may be facing this issue, such as external problems involving electricity, a loose or dirty connection, problems with the receiver, equalizers, cables, or sound card driver. However,  these issues can be resolved, and we will discuss the steps in detail.

There are several reasons for this to happen. Let’s see what they are and how they have an impact:

1. Cable Management And Amplifier/Reciever Issues

Issue:

  • Amplifier/Receiver settings: You need to ensure that all your amp or receiver settings are correct or not too far out of bounds since incorrect settings can cause popping sounds from your speakers. Ensure that you have set proper and correct gain levels, tone controls, and surround sound processing.
  • Cable interference: Poor cable management often results in cables being tangled, pinched, or crossed. This type of entanglement can cause interference which often results in popping sounds. Ensure that audio cables are properly separated from power cables to reduce the likelihood of interference.
  • Faulty, dirty, damaged, or loose cables: Damaged cables can also affect the quality of the audio signal and cause popping sounds. Check the condition of the cables and replace them if necessary. Loose cables can cause the same issue, so check that all your cables are connected securely. Finally, you can clean the cables using Isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth.
  • Impedance mismatch: Your speakers and amplifier or receiver must be properly matched in terms of impedance. If the impedance of the speakers is too low, then too much power will be pulled from the amplifier or receiver which can cause a popping sound to be produced from the speakers. 

Fix: As we have previously discussed, any cable-related problem, like loose connections, can cause various problems in your system. You must carefully check to see if the cables are intertwined, and you might even see some cables that have been pulled off depending on how securely or loosely they are linked. So, ensure that all connections are secure and that there are no frayed or damaged wires.

Change the cables in case of such problems. Fix the connections and tighten them up, not too much that may escalate the damage. 

Cable management for AV receiver

You might need to change the receiver’s settings after ensuring all the wires are correctly connected. If you’re using a 5:1, you must first determine whether the speakers are based on your speakers’ set and then use the 5:1 settings—the same applies to the rest of the settings.

You might need to reset your amp or receiver to default mode if it doesn’t work. Receivers frequently have unfixable internal problems that cause sound issues beyond merely popping. If that occurs, you might need to purchase a new receiver.

2. Cable Mismatch

Issue: The proximity of numerous unconnected wires to the speaker cables interferes with plugging. If connected to devices or networks, the wires must be separated from the speaker’s cord. Electronic interference that results in popping is unavoidable because of this.

Fix: Also, in the case of distorted sounds, there is a chance of a mismatch in the connections, meaning unrelated cables might be connected. To resolve this, review your connections and get wire straps to get everything secured correctly and properly. 

3. Problem With The Equalizer

Issue: Your equalizer might be causing this issue. Sometimes, we add an equalizer to enhance the performance. In some cases, the equalizer may malfunction, causing the pop sound.

Fix: In the case of equalizers, set it to the default mode. This should eradicate any popping sounds coming out of the system.

Equalizer

If the issue is because of the driver, check the DPC latency. This can be tested with a”DPC latency check” or update the driver. 

4. Soundcard driver 

Issue: Soundcard drivers control the actual physical soundcard that drives the speakers. As such, issues with the sound card driver can often cause or contribute to popping sounds when speakers are turned on. Common issues with soundcard drivers are outdated drivers, incompatible drivers, driver conflicts, and driver corruption which often causes errors.

Your driver may be the cause of the popping sounds if the default settings are altered or if some other issue has occurred. If you are using a new speaker, this can often be the issue.

Fix:  Addressing issues with drivers often starts with updating or reinstalling the drivers. You can easily update your drivers by going to the driver setting and clicking “Update”. If that does not work, try reinstalling the drivers.

You should always install drivers from the official website of the device manufacturer, in this case, the sound driver manufacturer of the website of the computer manufacturer.

If updating or reinstalling doesn’t work, you need to check for conflicts. You can do this by disabling or uninstalling unnecessary devices or software to rule out conflicts between drivers.

5. Power Surges

Issue: If the speaker gets more power than it can handle, it may cause some popping sounds to come off. When a power surge occurs, the extra voltage can overload the speaker’s electrical components, causing a brief but noticeable disturbance in the sound. This can happen even if the speaker is not playing anything.

Fix: For this, use a surge protector. If you’re not using one, try plugging your speakers into one to see if that helps. Surge protectors constantly monitor the electrical current, and when the current reaches a certain level, the surge protector is activated. It can also divert excess voltage from the electronic devices and maintain a constant flow. 

Other Ways To Evade The Pop Sound

There are other simple ways to eradicate this problem:

  • Sometimes, electrical interference from other devices can lead to popping sounds. Move any electronic devices away from the speakers to see if that helps.
  • If you hear the pop at a certain volume, try changing the volume. 
  • Replace any equipment that may be the cause behind the pop. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can popping sound damage, my speakers?

In some cases, your speakers and their internal parts can get damaged. Popping sounds can occur due to electrical surges. So,  one must take utmost care of their speakers.

2. Can popping sounds harm your ears?

Popping sounds are generally not harmful to your ears, as they are not usually loud enough or sustained enough to cause damage. However, if a sudden increase in volume causes the popping sounds, they could cause temporary hearing loss or discomfort.

3. When should you replace speakers that are making popping sounds?

If your speakers consistently make popping sounds, it may be a sign that they are damaged or deteriorating. If this is the case, it’s usually best to replace the speakers to avoid any potential long-term damage or reduced sound quality. If you’re unsure whether your speakers need to be replaced, having them inspected by a professional technician is a good idea.

4. Are Popping Sounds Harmful To The Speakers?

Popping sounds can harm your speakers if caused by any power surges, which can damage the speaker components. For example, sudden voltage spikes can cause the speaker and its internal parts to overheat or fail, potentially causing permanent damage.

Sometimes, popping sounds can also signify that the speaker cone or other physical components are deteriorating. This can lead to distortion, reduced sound quality, or even complete failure of the speaker.

However, not all popping sounds are harmful. Sometimes, popping or crackling sounds can occur due to minor fluctuations in the audio signal or a temporary disruption in the electrical connection between the speaker and the audio source. In these cases, the popping sounds are generally not harmful and will not cause any lasting damage to the speaker.

Conclusion

So, there are many reasons why your speaker is making a pop sound when it is turned on, such as issues with cable connections, loose wiring, voltage surges, problems with the equalizer and soundcard driver, and more. We have brought you different solutions to solve every issue caused. The solutions we discussed are- replacing cables, checking DPC latency, getting a surge protector, controlling the volume, removing electrical interferences, etc.

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Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics. My email: [email protected]  Connect on Pinterest and Linkedin