Last reply by 07-23-2021 Unsolved
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XPS 15 9500, speakers, distorted/crackling audio

Hi All, 

My brand new XPS 15 9500 has static noise, crackling & distorted audio coming from inbuilt speakers, issue shown and explained on the link below.


So far Dell did nothing to resolve it in the 6 months the XPS 9500 was on sale so far. So many people have reported this issue yet DELL could not care less about their customers which bought high end premium devices and got speakers which sound worse than a 200$ laptop. There have been so many disappointed XPS9500 users reporting this issue on the dell.com site alone, links to the post below:

- https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/XPS-15-9500-speakers-crackle/td-p/7679277/highlight/false
- https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/XPS-15-9500-speakers-crackle-2/td-p/7715495/highlight/false
- https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/XPS-15-9500-static-noise-when-playing-any-audio-on-mute/m-p/77472...
- https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/XPS9500-August-Still-Touchpad-and-Audio-Issues/td-p/7679929/highl...
- https://www.dell.com/community/XPS/XPS-15-9500-speaker-crackle-issue/m-p/7740259
- https://www.dell.com/community/Customer-Care/Worst-purchase-experience-that-I-have-ever-had-not-reso...

XPS 9500 users reporting the same issue on reddit as well:




From our collective experience, none of the below will help to resolve the issue:

- driver/BIOS update/uninstall/reinstall
- speaker replacement
- windows reinstall
- laptop replacement
- buying a brand new XPS 9500 from dell.com will still come out of the box with this issue!!

We know this is a driver issue because applying non-XPS 15 Realtek audio drivers will resolve the audio distortion/crackling, however the sound from speakers will become flat with zero bass and the overall volume will be 5 times lower. This by any means is not a solution, especially when we know that these speakers are capable of much, much more.  To do this experiment to go Device Manager->Sound, Video and Game Controllers->right click Realtek(R) Audio-> Update Driver->Browse my computer for drivers->Let me pick->unselect "Show compatible hardware"->Microsoft ->then High Definition Audio.

I tried hard to get @DELL-Cares  to acknowledge this being a Realtek driver issue. They finally accepted that and escalated this audio issue to their Product Team. Today, on 10/12/2020 a new Realtek driver was released for XPS 9500 however I was disappointed to see that it did nothing to fix our audio issue.

This audio issue can be reproduced on any new XPS 15 9500. It is a mystery how managed to sell brand new laptops with such an issue, how it was missed to be picked up during the Quality Control checks(If they have that at all!). It is also a mystery how missed to pick up this issue reported by so many XPS15 users for 6 months!

Still no fix as of today. I will keep on updating this post with all the updates I receive from @DELL-Cares .

I am taking this issue as a personal challenge and will not give up until it is sorted. I will wait another week or two, <Non-public info removed> If this is what Dell wants, I will do my best not do disappoint them.

Replies (211)

FYI @DELL-Cares my private messages are disabled so I am unable to reply.


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@rvalenta1991  - try different browsers and you will be able to reply, sometimes I cannot reply in Chrome for some reason. 



Prajwal here from Dell community. We have received an update from our internal team regarding the system capture.

As per our records, not all of the XPS 15's are observed with the audio issue. In order to test the system, we can offer you a replacement.


I request you to get back to us with your decision so that we can proceed further.





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If still under warranty, click the "Get help now" icon on the right to start a live chat session. Currently only available in the USA.

Please provide steps to request this replacement.  I have been on the phone with service multiple times over months and all they know to do is re-install the save BIOS drivers over and over.  I can't recreate the distortion for them, so they mark the case as closed.  It's totally unacceptable.  My laptop is well within warranty, and I have requested in-person technical review and repair multiple times.  Please send instructions for requesting a replacement or refund preferably.  

Hi Dell,

Can you provide a video to demonstrate that there are XPS 15 9500's that do NOT have this issue?


I agree it sounds like a rattling or vibration that is worst with low sounds (not necessarily related to volume).  I cannot listen to men's voices on conference calls or video lectures or the distortion will drive me crazy.  The problem doesn't seem to occur when using headphones, but I still have a loud POP noise on both headphones and speaker before a sound starts. For reference, I have XPS 13 Inspiron 7490 bought from Dell website in May 2020.  It has had this issue the entire time I've had it.

I have the same Issue, many hours on the line with Dell support, two times technician came to replace speakers. It didn't help at all! Reinstalled windows and all updates.

Please provide a video of the crackling noise and send it to smac_support@dell.com.  Put the title as Case #7095541
We will review the video and reply to you.

Find your Service Tag

If still under warranty, click the "Get help now" icon on the right to start a live chat session. Currently only available in the USA.

Hi Jesse, did you read the 1st post in the thread?

There is a video there that shows the issue many of us our experiencing. I think DELL should provide a video to prove there are units that work properly without this defect.




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