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How To Fix Windows 11 Crackling Audio? [21 FIXES]

Update the audio drivers, turn off sound enhancements, and disable Headphone Telephony to solve Windows 11 crackling audio problem.

Windows 11 crackling audio can adversely affect your multimedia experience. The problem may arise for various reasons, but updating the audio drivers and ensuring the correct audio configurations can quickly resolve it and get you back to a flawless audio output.

Key Takeaways

  • Some reasons for this problem are outdated drivers/OS, incorrect audio configurations, and damaged hardware.
  • Updating/reinstalling the audio drivers, disabling audio enhancements, and switching the audio format are some fixes for this error.
  • Resetting the PC is the last attempt at solving this persisting problem. 

What Causes Windows 11 Crackling Audio?

Multiple causes can lead to lousy audio on your computer:

  • Outdated or corrupt audio drivers.
  • Faulty hardware.
  • Incorrect audio-related settings on your computer.
  • Audio enhancement malfunctioning.
  • Pending Windows updates.
  • Presence of malware or virus.
  • Incorrect audio output format.
  • Signal interferences.
  • Conflicting software.

Also Read: Windows 11 Stuck On Restarting Screen

How To Fix Windows 11 Crackling Audio?

Our team tried many fixes for the audio trouble. However, the foremost thing we did was to power cycle our PC to rule out temporary glitches or other problems. 

Here is a quick list of fixes that can solve the audio crackling problem:

  1. Update Drivers.
  2. Use Audio Troubleshooter.
  3. Inspect Hardware Connections.
  4. Reinstall Audio Driver.
  5. Roll Back Audio Driver.
  6. Update Windows.
  7. Turn Off Audio Enhancements.
  8. Increase Audio Quality.
  9. Check Device Audio Levels.
  10. Disable Spatial Sound.
  11. Turn Off Handsfree Telephony.
  12. Restart Windows Audio Service.
  13. Use SFC And DISM Scans.
  14. Run A Clean Boot.
  15. Undo The Latest Windows Updates.
  16. Scan Your Computer.
  17. Close All Apps And Background Processes.
  18. Change Process Power Management.
  19. Replace The Audio Device.
  20. Perform A System Restore.
  21. Reset PC.

Important: Make sure you have chosen the correct device as the main audio output for your PC.

Update Drivers

First, you should update the audio drivers on your computer because outdated drivers may interfere with the sound performance. Besides, you can update them in two ways: using the “Device Manager” menu or through the manufacturer’s website.

Update Audio Driver
Update Audio Driver (Image By Tech4Gamers)
 Important: Always keep your drivers up-to-date to avoid any hurdles.  

Use Audio Troubleshooter

Windows 11 has built-in troubleshooters for many services and features, such as audio, internet, and hardware. Running this can help you diagnose and fix any issues with the audio on your computer. 

Here is how you can use an audio troubleshooter:

  1. Launch the “Settings” page on your computer.
  2. Select “System.”
  3. On the left pane, highlight “Troubleshoot.”
    Troubleshoot (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  4. Move to “Other Troubleshooters.”
    Other Troubleshooters
    Other Troubleshooters (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. Look for the “Playing Audio” troubleshooter and click on it.
  6. Press the “Run” button.
    Run Troubleshooter
    Run Troubleshooter (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  7. Wait for the “Detecting Problems” window.
    Detecting Problems
    Detecting Problems (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  8. Select the device you want to troubleshoot and click “Next.” 
    Select Device
    Select Device (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Inspect Hardware Connections

Consider checking the connection if you have connected external speakers or headsets to your PC and the audio output is crackling. Ensure the cables are properly connected and blow off any accumulated dust in the USB or audio ports.

Moreover, if you use wireless headsets or speakers via Bluetooth connection, remove nearby signal hindrances and unpair other devices from your computer.

Also Read: FIXED: Windows 11 Time Zone Greyed Out [2023]

Reinstall Audio Drivers

You can also try reinstalling the audio drivers on your computer to fix any temporary glitches or bugs hindering the functioning.

Use these steps to reinstall the audio drivers:

  1. Access the “Device Manager” by clicking on the “Windows” symbol on the “Taskbar.”
    Device Manager
    Device Manager (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. Double-click on “Sound, Video, And Game Controllers.”
    Sound, Video, And Game Controllers
    Sound, Video, And Game Controllers (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. Find the connected audio output device in this section and right-click on it.
  4. Choose “Uninstall Device.”
    Uninstall Device
    Uninstall Device (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. In the dialog box, tick the box beside “Attempt To Remove The Driver For This Device” and hit the “Uninstall” option.
    Confirm Uninstall
    Confirm Uninstall (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  6. Restart your computer to install the audio drivers automatically.

Roll Back Audio Driver

This fix is applicable if you recently updated the audio driver on your computer, after which you have been facing sound disruptions. You can restore the previous driver version to see if it improves the audio performance.

This is the easiest method to roll back drivers:

  1. Follow “Step 1 to Step 3” from the fix above.
  2. Right-click on the relevant audio driver and choose “Properties.”
  3. Move to the “Driver” tab.
  4. If the “Roll Back Driver” option is clickable, carry on with this fix.
    Roll Back Driver
    Roll Back Driver (Image By Tech4Gamers)
 Important: If the option is unavailable, it indicates that you did not install any recent updates that the system can undo. 

Update Windows

We went to the “Settings” and checked if newer updates were available for Windows 11. Then, we installed them to update the Windows in line with the latest versions. After restarting the computer, the audio was working fine. 

Turn Off Audio Enhancements

Although Audio Enhancements make the sound experience more appealing, they may sometimes cause the Windows 11 crackling audio trouble on your device. Additionally, check out our fixes for Windows error 0X80072F8F-0X20000.

Disable the audio enhancement feature with the instructions below:

  1. In the PC “Settings,” select “System.”
  2. Pick the second option, “Sound.”
    Sound (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. Scroll to the “Advanced” section and select “All Sound Devices.”
    All Sound Devices
    All Sound Devices
  4. Select the currently used audio output device.
    Speakers (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. Disable the “Enhance Audio” feature via the toggle bar.
    Disable Enhance Audio
    Disable Enhance Audio (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Increase Audio Quality

Lower audio quality settings are also why the audio may be distorted or unclear on your device. Thus, increase the audio quality by setting the suitable configurations.

Follow the steps below to adjust the sound output:

  1. Again, head to the “Sound” section of “Settings.”
  2. Scroll down and pick “More Sound Settings.”
  3. Right-click on the connected audio device and pick “Properties.”
    Select Device
    Select Device (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  4. Open the “Advanced” tab.
  5. In the “Default Format” box, set “24 bit, 44100 Hz(Sound Quality).” 
  6. Press the “Test” button to inspect the audio for crackling and distortions.
    Important: If this format does not solve the audio crackling, you may choose another format from the drop-down. Repeat until the problem goes away.
  7. Hit “Apply” followed by “OK.”
    Change Settings
    Change Settings (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Also Read: This App Can’t Run On Your PC

Check Device Audio Levels

Other than the above solutions, we also verified that the audio levels of our connected device were set to the maximum so that we could experience better-quality sound.

Here is how you can maximize the audio levels:

  1. Once again, go to “More Sound Settings” using “Step 1 and Step 2” from the above method.
  2. Right-click on the connected device and choose “Properties.”
  3. Open the “Level” tab.
  4. Drag the switch to the extreme right to increase the audio levels. Also, ensure the device is not muted.
  5. Save the changes.
    Audio Levels
    Audio Levels (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Disable Spatial Sound

In the same “Properties” window as the above fix, head to the “Spatial Sound” section. Set it to “Off” using the drop-down menu.

Disable Spatial Sound
Disable Spatial Sound (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Turn Off Handsfree Telephony

The Handsfree Telephony feature lets you make or receive calls without picking up your device, allowing you to give commands to the computer (if supported). Consequently, use this solution if you are using a headset or handsfree to receive the audio output from the computer.

Disable this option to prevent any interruption in the audio output:

  1. Go to “Control Panel” and select “Hardware And Sound.”
  2. Choose “Devices And Printers.”
  3. Find your device and right-click on it.
  4. Proceed with “Properties” from the sub-menu.
    Properties (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. Open the “Services” section in this dialog box.
  6. Remove the tick from “Handsfree Telephony.”
  7. Lastly, press “Apply” to save the changes.
    Disable Handsfree Telephony
    Disable Handsfree Telephony (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Also Read: How To Fix Download Error 0x80248007

Restart Windows Audio Service

Furthermore, restarting the Windows Audio Service is another method that got us out of the audio trouble with our computer. It looks after the audio playback on the connected devices or the speakers; thus, restarting it can eliminate corrupt or faulty data.

Perform the fix quickly using these steps:

  1. Access the “Run” box with the “Windows+R” keys.
  2. Type and search “services.msc.”
  3. Find “Windows Audio Service” and click on it.
  4. Verify that the “Startup Type” is set to “Automatic.”
    Automatic Startup
    Automatic Startup (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. Return to the “Services” screen and highlight the audio service.
  6. Press “Restart” at the top left edge of this screen.
    Windows Audio
    Windows Audio Service (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Use SFC And DISM Scans

System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing And Management (DISM) effectively identify corrupt files and Windows-related data on your system and aid in fixing them.

Execute the following codes in Command Prompt one after another:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Important: Restart your PC after running these scans, and then verify if the audio crackling is gone.

Also Read How To Lock Computer With Keyboard?

Run A Clean Boot

This is an effective way to check if any third-party or other software conflicts with your computer’s audio output. It loads the system with the crucial drivers and apps required for Windows’ functioning while restricting everything else.

Correctly follow these instructions to load the computer in Clean Boot mode:

  1. Launch the “System Configuration” window by executing “msconfig” in the “Run” menu.
  2. In the “Services” tab, mark “Hide All Microsoft Services” and then hit the “Disable All” option.
    Disable Services
    Disable Services (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. Click “Apply.”
  4. “Restart” the computer when prompted.
    Restart Now
    Restart Now (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Undo The Latest Windows Updates

If the Windows 11 crackling audio problem occurred after you installed the recent updates to your OS, there are chances that those updates may be corrupt or faulty.

Hence, you can reverse the updates with the following method:

  1. Navigate to the “Windows Update” section in the “Settings.”
  2. Under “More Options,” find “Update History.”
    Update History
    Update History (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. Choose “Uninstall Updates” in the “Related Settings.”
    Uninstall Updates
    Uninstall Updates (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  4. Right-click the latest Windows update in this window, usually the top-most one.
  5. Proceed to “Uninstall” this problematic version.
    Uninstall Windows Update (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  6. Confirm your choice by clicking “Yes.”
    Yes (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  7. Let the process complete.
  8. The system will prompt you to restart your computer. Click on the “Restart” option to apply the new settings.
    Restart Now
    Restart Now (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Scan Your Computer

Malware and viruses can negatively impact your computer’s performance and hinder its features, including the audio output. Therefore, we scanned the computer for these threats using Microsoft Defender Offline. Besides, you can also use trusted applications, like McAfee and Avast.

Close All Apps And Background Processes

We also noted that conflicting software, either in the foreground or background, can lead to audio errors on a system. Hence, we cleared all the background apps, along with the currently open windows, and then inspected for the persisting problem.

Change Process Power Management

The computer may be put into the power-saving mode, creating a crackling audio. Get the computer out of power-saving mode and then perform the method below. 

Use the following instructions to configure Power Management:

  1. Launch the “Control Panel.”
  2. Click on the drop-down beside “View By:” and pick “Large Icons.”
  3. Navigate to “Power Options.”
    Power Options
    Power Options (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  4. Click the blue button, “Change Plan Settings,” in front of “Balanced (Recommended).”|
    Change Plan Settings
    Change Plan Settings (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  5. Select “Change Advanced Power Settings.”
    Change Advanced Power Settings
    Change Advanced Power Settings (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  6.  If you see the option “Process Power Management,” expand it by clicking on the “+” sign before it.
    Process Power Management
    Process Power Management (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  7. Choose the “Minimum Processor State” to “100” for the “On Battery” and “Plugged In” states.
  8. Hit “Apply” and “OK.”

Replace The Audio Device

If the audio crackling issue only happens when you connect external audio devices, the problem may persist within the hardware. Try connecting another set of speakers or a headset to the computer and check if the audio output is fine. If yes, the previous audio hardware may be faulty, and you might have to replace it.

Also Read: How To Get Into BIOS [Windows 11]

Perform A System Restore

Another solution we tested was restoring our system to a specific restore point. The system creates Restore points consisting of Windows settings and data at a particular time. Thus, we restored to the time before the problem came up on our computer. 

Here is the complete method for a System Restore:

  1. Search for the “Control Panel” and launch it.
    Control Panel Search
    Control Panel Search (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  2. Choose “System And Security.”
    System And Security
    System And Security (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  3. Find and select “Recovery.”
  4. Click the “Open System Restore” option to access the relevant dialog box.
  5. Press “Next.”
    Next (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  6. A restore point will be available if you have allowed the system to create them occasionally.
  7. Highlight it and hit “Next.”
    Select Restore Point
    Select Restore Point (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  8. Choose “Finish.”
    Finish (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Reset PC

Unfortunately, you may need to reset your PC if none of the abovementioned methods fix the audio, and the connected output device is not at fault either. Importantly, create a backup of your files and data before the reset.

Further, there are two ways to reset your Windows 11 PC: a soft reset will retain your files and data, while a hard reset will erase everything on the computer. Do a soft reset first, and if it does not work, resort to the latter. 

Lastly, you should contact Microsoft Support if resetting fails to fix the Windows 11 crackling audio. Other than that, you can take your computer to a technician and let them inspect the cause. 

WARNING: Resetting the PC will remove all of the data, so make sure you create a backup of everything important before starting the process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Crackling Audio In Windows 11?

Incorrect audio configurations, lower sound quality, and faulty audio output devices are some reasons why the audio may crackle.

How Can I Fix The Crackling Audio?

You can update the audio drivers, fix audio-related settings, and update your Windows to resolve the problem.

How Can I Prevent Audio Crackling Issues In The Future?

Keep the audio drivers and Windows up-to-date, regularly scan your PC, and use good-quality audio hardware.

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Shehryar Khan
Shehryar Khan
Shehryar Khan, a seasoned PC hardware expert, brings over three years of extensive experience and a deep passion for the world of technology. With a love for building PCs and a genuine enthusiasm for exploring the latest advancements in components, his expertise shines through his work and dedication towards this field. Currently, Shehryar is rocking a custom loop setup for his built.


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