Solved: Crackling and popping sound in Windows 8.1

Ok, after a whole afternoon spent with an obscure Benq laptop on which I installed Windows 8.1 that had a sound crackling problem I’ve finally came up with a solution. I know that it wasn’t hardware related( well IT IS, because it uses some outdated sound card maybe), because I tried a live Linux installation and the sound problem wasn’t there.

audio qualityI’ve tried everything that was suggested on different sites. First I downloaded Driver Booster and updated my drivers. I’ve updated the windows installation. I tried using DPC latency checker, which indicated that I have a latency issue. I proceeded to disable almost all of the devices from Device Manager, with no result. The next step was to reinstall the driver… I disabled audio enhancements on playback devices. Nothing worked. I was reluctant to perform a BIOS update as the laptop wasn’t mine and wouldn’t want to accidentally brick it.

It seems that some of the above solution worked for others.

What worked for me? Eventually, I was inspired by this guy who disabled his audio enhancements. I instead went to the “Advanced” tab, and figured that the audio driver couldn’t handle the extra quality. So I lowered the sound quality to “CD quality”. This did the trick!


14 thoughts on “Solved: Crackling and popping sound in Windows 8.1

  1. My problem is because I was running two displays, and it will not use the dedicated graphics for the windows 8 display, only for specific applications. Ultimately the load on the integrated graphics was causing the high latency every time I changed application, or windows inside an application. Removing one display has fixed the audio issue, but this is a terrible solution given that the dedicated graphics should be able to handle the display.

    My recommendation to anyone purchasing a windows 8 machine, make sure it has a proper dedicated graphics card not one of these hybrid integrated/dedicated graphics cards.

  2. You should try the following. The Power plan set to high perfomance, as this will reduce DPC latency. DPC latency may be the cause of why it occurs crackling sound.

    1. hi – thanks – that worked for me ! a marked improvement with power plan set to high, thanks.

  3. I have a dell with windows 8.1, changing to the ‘dell’ power plan in the control panel solved this problem.

  4. This is great article, Turns out my audio was on studio quality and it was causing this cracking, Thanks alot:)

  5. I disabled my speakers then enabled them and the crackling sound is gone! 😀

  6. I NEED studio quality because we have a VO recording studio. So to solve the problem once and for all. I am getting rid of three PCs and buying Macs. I’m done with Microsoft forever. They have screwed up my world too many times.

    1. I feel your pain, but I think such problems are inherent to a system that claims to offer universality across a myriad of platforms. Macs are only “better” because they use a few standard platforms on which the OS works out of the box.
      I myself am frustrated with a driver bug of a newer laptop that causes the sound to crash in Windows 8.1 each time I start a skype conversation, having to restart the service in services.msc. There are pros and cons everywhere :)).

  7. Thank you! I tried disabling enhancements with no luck, lowering the quality ended the popping and crackling sound along with regaining audio on youtube videos.

  8. any solution did not work for me, I m having dell vostro laptop and windows 8.1 running on it, even i have reinstalled OS but i didn’t work…Its irritating…

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