I'm sure this concern has been raised previously on this board, but the problem seems to be on other laptop models and not my specific one. I have a Dell XPS 15Z, Windows 7, bought in September of this year and I am having audio issues where the sound will stutter/crackle while listening to music, watching tv shows, movies, anything really. I've read some people suggest to restore the laptop to its original factory settings. Has this worked for anybody? Are there other options that have solved this problem for others?
Thank you for any and all suggestions
Hello. This is the main "XPS 15z Audio Issues" thread
You need to read through the whole thread to see all of the solutions, but here is a summary of them:
"...Just now I tried playing some music and there was no problem! Suddenly I realized what changed. I disabled my wireless adapter to use my wired for some file transfers." -- posted by josephmc6
"I had the same problem nearly a week ago and corrected it on my XPS 15Z by going to control panel, hardware and sound, device manager, expand sound devices, highlighting Realteck high definition audio, press delete, click okay. Afterwards, I rebooted my machine and let it reinstall the device. Since that time, the audio has worked fine." -- posted by CharlesLD
"The only way I could fix this issue was to rebuild my laptop from scratch using a Windows 7 disk, not the recovery partition. I just installed the drivers from the Dell website but none of the other unnecessary software that comes preinstalled on the machine when you buy it." -- posted by swhite78
"Disabling the Atheros Ethernet driver fixed all audio crackling for me. You can do it in 'Device Manager'." -- posted by cmespinoza (several posters said that this worked for them)
"I notice under the Advanced tab of the Realtek HD Audio Manager that there is a power management setting which turns off system audio devices when there are no sound events ... it seems my problem is gone and I now have great sound again" -- posted by aras1
(Right click on the speaker icon in the lower right corner and choose Volume Control Options. Then click on the arrowhead in the bottom right hand corner to show hidden icons and double click on the Realtek HD Audio Manager icon. Under the Advanced tab of the Realtek HD Audio Manager that there is a power management setting. Turn off or disable that feature.)
"Well, if I run the laptop on batteries I don't have the problem!!" -- posted by aqal
The thing that seems to work for most of the people is to disable the Ethernet driver. See the thread for more details.
I've read some people suggest to restore the laptop to its original factory settings.
I make that suggestion to people whose laptop did not originally have any audio problems. In cases where it is probable that audio problems were cause by an update, then restoring back to the factory configuration will cure the problem, and carefully keeping track of all updates and checking the audio after each one will allow one to discover which one causes the problem if it recurs.
I did what CharlesLD suggested (except I disabled instead of deleting), restarted the computer and enabled it again. As of right now, after listening for about 30 minutes there has been no crackling or any other disturbances. Hopefully it remains problem free. Thank you for the link and for your help.
The only solution I've found that works is disconnecting the wireless connection. Thankfully, I have a wired connection available at work which is where I listen to more music than anywhere else.
It's extremely frustrating that loading the new driver did nothing and neither did any of the other solutions until I disabled my wireless connection. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!!!!
This is not an inexpensive laptop and should have been tested better prior to releasing it for purchase.
I had the crackling sound issue and just installed the latest bios(10), Intel wireless driver and USB driver from Dell. One of these did the trick for me. I still do have some very minor crackling though, but much better.