Posting again because I have no idea if my last post made it through and according to my profile my 3 hour old account has supposedly existed since 2009.
My speakers/headphones randomly make clicking and popping noises like an old dirty record whenever I play audio. I have tried everything: uninstalling/reinstalling/updating drivers, running diagnostics, unplugging power supply, you name it. Nothing works. It's starting to get incredibly distracting. I've had this laptop since November, is it really dying on me already?
Hello.What is the full model name and the operating system?
Try testing by switching from the Realtek (or whatever integrated audio is on your model) driver to the Windows native audio driver.
1. Open the Device Manager 2. Expand the "Sound, Video & Game Controllers" section. 3. Right click on "Realtek High Definition Audio" (or whatever integrated audio is on your model) and select to uninstall. 4. Put a check mark in the option to delete the driver software, and then ok. 5. Restart the laptop.
When the laptop boots up it will look for the Realtek (or whatever integrated audio is on your model) files that were removed in step 4. If none found then it will install the native driver. If an earlier version of a Realtek driver had been downloaded then its files could still be in the laptop and Windows would install that version of the Realtek, not the native driver. So after step 5, go back to the Device Manager and check again for a Realtek driver. Keep uninstalling & restarting until "Realtek High Definition Audio" no longer appears under Sound...Controllers. If you see "High Definition Audio Device" that is the native driver, although in Win10 it can have a different name.
If the crackling is gone when the native driver is installed then the problem is with the Realtek (or whatever integrated audio) driver and probably won't be resolved unless Realtek fixes it with an updated driver.
If you have the noise even with the native driver, investigate further by running the DPC Latency Checker tool and seeing if it finds that excessive DPC latency is a factor on your laptop. Excessive DPC latency manifests as various audio glitching, including crackling.
Jim Coates -- 16 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04