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Today is: March 26th, 2017

Computer Audio Cracking, Popping, Static Noise

There are several possible reasons for static-like cracking and popping noises coming from your computer's audio output (speakers and headphones). I solved the noise problem by replacing the sound card.

My computer is an older Dell Dimension (formerly) with a Sound Blaster Audigy sound card. Typically the static noise would be minimal at start-up and get progressively worse throughout the day. Watching online videos or listening to online music often made the problem instantly worse.

Although the sound card seemed to be the most logical and likely source of the noise problem I decided to do some online research before spending money on a new one. I learned the following:

  1. Many people had (or have) audio noise problems with their computers
  2. Successful solutions are hard to find

Replacing the sound card still appeared to be the most logical and least expensive solution. Prior to shopping for a new one I did make one (unsuccessful) attempt to save my old sound card by blowing the dust from the inputs/outputs and installing the latest drivers.

I didn't want to spend a lot of money on a replacement sound card but also didn't want to end up with a cheap and problematic one either. Based on features, reviews, and price I chose a Diamond XtremeSound 7.1/24 bit Sound Card.

If you think you need a new sound card for your computer I recommend that you visit Amazon. With free shipping their prices are hard to beat.

Key Features:

  • Dolby EX and DTS formats for 6.1/7.1 channel DVD playback at 24bit/96khz; 48k/16bit recording
  • 7.1 virtual speaker shifter providing surround sound for CDs and MP3s
  • PCI 2.2 interface with bus mastering and burst modes
  • System requirements include 850mhz CPU, available PCI slot, 128MB of RAM, a CD-ROM drive, amplified speakers, and Windows 2000 or later.
  • Mic Input, Stereo Line Input, Coaxial SPDIF In/Out
  • Front, Surround, and Rear Channels Left/Right
  • Center and Subwoofer Channels Output
  • Internal CD audio and Aux audion connectors

Prior to installing the new sound card I uninstalled the drivers and software for my old sound card. The installation of the Diamond sound card, drivers and software was quick and trouble free.

I'm happy to report that the new sound card fixed the noise problem. It's been about 4 months and I haven't heard a single pop, crack, or static noise coming from my computer's speakers or headphones!

Did you find this article helpful?


There are more than one possible reason for audio noise on your computer. However, the sound card is one of the most likely sources for the problem and is not overly difficult to replace. Click here to price and review sound cards.

Diamond Xtreme 7.1 Sound Card

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