Tx155
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Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

Hi,

Further to my previous post about the issue with Dell Command Update tool (it keep suggesting to download and install the same drivers over and over, although I have installed them more than 5 times), I also have an issue with the speakers built-in the machine.

From time to time, while I'm listening to music I hear a crackling sound from the speakers. According to the Dell Command Update tool, I have the most updated audio driver. I even reinstalled the audio driver by removing it from the device manger and restarting the machine, but to no avail.

OS: Windows 10 pro

Audio drivers:

Speakers/Headphones (Realtek audio): 10.0.14393.0 (driver date: 15-Jul-16)

Realtek audio: 6.0.1.7982 (driver date: 8-Nov-16)

Any idea?

Thanks.

p/s. Latitude 7480 has too many hardware/software issues. I got the laptop only two weeks ago, and this is the third issue I have. I'm considering returning it back to Dell :-\ 

  

9 Replies
Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

I'm considering returning it back to Dell :-\ 

If you want to return it, don't wait too long. After the brief return period, which starts from the invoice date, you won't be allowed to return it.

Try the Windows native audio driver -- as a test.

1. Open the Device Manager.

2. Expand the "Sound, Video & Game Controllers" section.
3. Right click on "Realtek High Definition Audio" and select to uninstall.
4. Put a check mark in the option to delete the driver software, and then ok.
5. Restart the laptop and go back to the Device Manager and check again for a Realtek driver. Keep uninstalling & restarting until Realtek no longer appears under Sound...Controllers and "High Definition Audio Device" appears in its place. "High Definition Audio Device" is the name of the native driver.

[The reason you might have to go through the process more than once is because the driver files for more than one Realtek driver could be on the hard drive. When a Realtek driver is removed, the next one gets installed if Windows can locate the files. Windows installs its generic driver only after all Realtek files have been removed.]

To re-install the Realtek driver, it's better to download it from your Dell support page rather than letting Windows Update find one.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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Tx155
1 Nickel

RE: Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

Thank you Jim.

I uninstalled the audio driver (by Realtek) as you suggested, but no Windows driver was installed instead, even after two reboots (the device appeared as unknown in the device manager under Sound, video & Game controllers). However, afterwards I installed the Realtek audio driver which I downloaded from Dell's website - but it didn't solve the issue.

Any suggestions ? How can I install manually the Windows generic driver?

Thank you again!

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

Any suggestions ? How can I install manually the Windows generic driver?

I don't know how, if Windows won't do it.

The crackling is in the speakers, but the audio through headphones or external speakers is clear?

We get a lot of posts about crackling. The most popular solution is to use the native driver. You could try checking "Disable all enhancements" in the Enhancements tab of the Speak properties.

If you want to test badly enough, you could run Linux Live from a cd or dvd. That would be a test of Windows because it would rule out Windows and the Realtek driver.  I can supply exact instructions and a link if you want, but the catch is that you would need an external optical drive to make the disk and to run it, if your laptop does not have an internal one. Alternately, there is a way to run a small Linux OS from within Windows, but I am not familiar with the details of doing that.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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Tx155
1 Nickel

RE: Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

Thank you Jim.

I tried listening to music with headphones and no audio issues were detected.

I ran Linux (Ubuntu) as a test and I also didn't notice any audio issues while music was playing.

I wanted to turn off the enhancements, as you suggested, but I didn't find such tab.

Eventually, I managed to install a native Windows driver ("High Definition Audio Device") - what, apparently, solved the issue :-)

p/s. Now I have the enhancements tab (and the enhancements are unchecked). 

Currently the "MaxxAudioPro" is unavailable, but I guess I prefer staying without the enhancements as long the sound is clear.

I just hope that Dell will release a new audio driver soon.

Thanks a lot for your help!

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

Thank you for the detailed feedback! If you get a chance, could you explain how you installed the native driver, so that I can pass it along?

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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Highlighted
Tx155
1 Nickel

RE: Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

Hi Jim,

As to the way to switch the driver back to the Windows native driver:

I just clicked on the "Realtek Audio" device in the device manager and selected "Update Driver Software" and then selected "Browse my computer for driver software". Afterwards I selected the "Let me pick from a list of devices..." and there I could select the "High Definition Audio Device".

However, unfortunately the problem was not solved eventually. It seems that I just was lucky to have an hour of a clear sound.

I think that there are some work sessions (between the shutdowns and reboots) when the issue is not noticeable, while there are other work sessions when the issue is VERY noticeable (the static\crackling sound can continue for 2-3 seconds and then reappear after 10-20 seconds).

In the meanwhile, Windows automatically updated the audio driver back to Realtek, but to a newer version: 6.0.1.8059 (February 2017), what hasn't solved the issue.

p/s. The static\crackling sound can be heard from the speakers even when the headphones are connected (the sound from the headphones is clear, but although no music is played from the speakers, the static\crackling sound still can be heard from the speakers).

Any last ideas before I'm activating my warranty?

Thanks. 

  

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Jim Coates
6 Gallium

RE: Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

Thanks. The reason I asked is that some owners of recent models had reported difficulty getting a native driver to install. They were reporting that the way you used didn't work, so I staarted recommending the "delete " method. It's confusing.

The static\crackling sound can be heard from the speakers even when the headphones are connected (the sound from the headphones is clear, but although no music is played from the speakers, the static\crackling sound still can be heard from the speakers).

My guess from that is that it's hardware.

Jim Coates -- 15 years on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04 

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Tx155
1 Nickel

RE: Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

I found out that there is a connection between the crackling\static sound and CPU usage.

Each time I open a new tab in the browser (which results in higher CPU consumption), I hear the crackling\static sound (Microsoft Edge is much better in this respect, because Chrome consumes more CPU).

I really don't know what to think anymore. I'm just very disappointed with the quality of Dell's laptops (a year ago I had to return to Dell the XPS 9550 because Dell failed to repair the hardware issues it had).

 

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MT_Frank
1 Copper

RE: Dell Latitude 7480 - crackling sound from the speakers

Our company just purchased 35 of the 7480 models, and the first 3 I worked on had an annoying 'crackling' sound when the volume was over 50%. This fourth 7480 I'm working on actually vibrates something inside the case when its over 50%... to me it sounds like a physical issue ... either some piece of plastic vibrating, or something on the speakers themselves.  Very disappointed with this. Will be calling Dell about it tomorrow.

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