I have had my Dell Vostro 3450 since July or August of 2011 now and the speakers seemed to work fine until around January 2012 when I started to notice a crackle and pop sound coming out from the internal speakers and also through my headphones when I plugged them into the audio jack.
As a college student and rely heavily on my laptop everyday, sending my laptop to Dell would obviously be a last resort measure. I really hope that there is a fix for this problem that I could do on my own that doesn't violate my warranty.
It is very annoying and would greatly appreciate any comments and/or solutions to this problem. I believe that the problem my be a registry problem and not a hardware problem as the crackling sound comes from both the internal speakers and my headphones when plugged into the laptop.
Since a couple of weeks I have the same problem with my Vostro 3700. It is really annoying. But it's just one of many problems which I have with my Vostro: It shuts often down because of overheating. I'm sure I will never buy a dell notebook again. Though it would be nice if someone had a solution to the sound problem.
I seemed to have maybe fixed or at least greatly improved the problem by deleting and uninstalling the Realtek High Definition Audio software and driver on my laptop and allowing my computer to install its generic Microsoft High Definition Audio instead, and I also read on a forum that if you put your power savings option to high performance, the sound card uses more power obviously and thus improves sound quality. With a power svaing option, the sound card would not operate at its full capacity and thus cause problems in the speaker output. This has greatly improved if not totally fixed my problem and the sound is of no less quality than it was with the Realtek software. Hope this helps a little.
I have had Dell Vostro 3450 since 2011 . This laptop has the same problem.
I did support request from DELL . They replaced the Vostro Main Board .
This operation did not help for sound crackling.
I tried to reinstall Win7 64bit 2 weeks ago - crackling problem was not solved.
Following to the S. P. recommendation I did Uninstalling the soundcard driver and installing the Microstoft HD driver.
The sound from speakers is much better than with Realtek drivers .