Sound Problems on PC
First of all, it is very important to clarify the type of sound problem on your PC in order to diagnose the cause of the problem.
Sound issues can include:
- intermittent crackling/ interrupted audio
- constant crackling or ‘noise’ on the audio
- no audio or sound output
In this article we will deal with each of these sound/ audio problems and look at the likely reasons and fixes for the issues.
1. Intermittent crackling/ interrupted audio
If you are getting intermittent (not constant) crackling or noise on your audio output, then your problem is very likely related to hardware, specifically, wiring.
If you have ever used a pair of headphones with loose wires you will be familiar with this problem. The sound comes in and out as the wires connect and disconnect. Wear and tear may have caused the wires to come loose and not hold the connection. As with headphones, this same problem can happen either on external or internal speakers
2. Constant crackling or ‘noise’ on the audio
If you are hearing constant crackling or noise on your audio/ sound output the likely cause is a ground loop problem. Ground Loop problems can be quite complex and are too detailed to deal with in this article, click here to view a thread on this. To rule out a Ground Loop issue you should unplug all audio cables from your computer and plug in some headphones. If the sound is clear then you probably have a Ground Loop issue and should click on the link above for more information.
3. No audio or sound output
If you have no audio or sound output then your problem is probably either with the hardware or the Audio Software Drivers.
It is easiest to rule out the hardware problem first. To do this you should look at the most obvious first
– if using external speakers, are they plugged in/ turned on/ turned up?
– is the volume setting on your system set to the appropriate level (usually an icon in the system tray)?
– is the ‘mute’ box checked?
– have you tried using external speakers/ headphones to test if there is any sound?
Once you have checked all the above, and no obvious causes can be found, it is time to move on to look at the Sound Card. Our ‘No Sound in Windows‘ article shows you how to check if the issue is with your Sound Card.
Sometimes the problem is that the PCI Sound Card is not recognised due to dust or dirt on the contact heads of the PCI slot, removal and cleaning will usually solve this issue.
Update Sound Drivers
If the above actions do not deal with or solve your audio output problems, then we would recommend you run a driver update tool to check your sound drivers or manually search for driver updates.