Question Loud audio popping/crackling on headset and earbuds

Aug 11, 2021
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I've gone through probably five headsets in two years trying to diagnose what the issue is with my audio. I thought maybe it was just a few bad Logitech headsets, but I've tried three different brands. I even caved and bought a set of Raycons just trying to avoid the issue, but even those are suffering the same problem.
Any time I have my audio over 50 percent, my speakers (both on my SteelSeries headset and my raycon earbuds, along with four other headsets I've tried that were various Logitech and Razer products) will produce a loud crackling or popping sound. I have high sensitivity to sudden, high-pitched sounds so every time it happens it causes me to physically want to vomit.
Even if I turn my volume down to 30 percent, it will randomly begin popping again. After which I have a few things that sometimes work.
I'm using Windows 10 and I'll usually I'll start by disabling and re-enabling the device under Sound. 50/50 chance that'll work, and it's never for longer than a couple of hours. Next I try powering on-and-off the device. Then I try unplugging and re-plugging in the device. Then swapping the device (raycons to steelseries or vice versa). Then restarting my PC. Then giving up and just not having audio for a few hours until the problem magically goes away. Sometimes (both with my raycons and the steelseries) it'll make a loud pop through the speakers, then power itself on again. The Steelseries will automatically reconnect to its wireless USB. The Raycons will force me to re-pair the device to bluetooth.
I am so unbelievably tired of this issue. I've gone through a few hundred dollars trying to deal with this and I still have no idea what is wrong. I've tried updating my sound drivers, at this point I don't know if it's an audio card issue or how I would even go about replacing it.
 
Aug 11, 2021
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Probably a sound card going bad or could be the CPU pegged at 100%.

Specs of your PC?
I keep Rainmeter up to keep an eye on my RAM and CPU usage, but the RAM never goes over 60% and the CPU never goes above 70%.
If it's a matter of my sound card, is there anything I can do to fix it? Or will I need to replace it, and what would that entail?

Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Eight-Core Processor 3.40 GHz
RAM: 16.0 GB (15.9 GB usable)
 

LazerTechX

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May 3, 2014
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I keep Rainmeter up to keep an eye on my RAM and CPU usage, but the RAM never goes over 60% and the CPU never goes above 70%.
If it's a matter of my sound card, is there anything I can do to fix it? Or will I need to replace it, and what would that entail?

Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 1700X Eight-Core Processor 3.40 GHz
RAM: 16.0 GB (15.9 GB usable)
Your sound card is already built in to you motherboard so you cant replace it. However you can buy PCIe soundcards and try that out if it helps, or first try those cheap USB sound cards and see if they work

like this: https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-External-Adapter-Windows-AU-MMSA/dp/B00IRVQ0F8/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?dchild=1&keywords=usb+sound+card&qid=1628726317&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUExN1UyRFFXVDdPNE83JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwOTEwOTU2OFM2TTVYVFAyNzAmZW5jcnlwdGVkQWRJZD1BMDI1ODc3NDMxS1VUUEJJT1JZSjgmd2lkZ2V0TmFtZT1zcF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl
 
Aug 11, 2021
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I'm using wireless Raycons and a wireless Steelseries headset, is there one that will work with USB?
The Steelseries connects via USB, but the Raycons connect directly to my PC's built-in bluetooth. I have a separate bluetooth USB dongle, but I can't figure out how to force the raycons to connect to that instead of my PC's direct bluetooth. Is there some way I can force-connect it to the dongle instead of my PC's bluetooth?
 

LazerTechX

Distinguished
May 3, 2014
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I'm using wireless Raycons and a wireless Steelseries headset, is there one that will work with USB?
The Steelseries connects via USB, but the Raycons connect directly to my PC's built-in bluetooth. I have a separate bluetooth USB dongle, but I can't figure out how to force the raycons to connect to that instead of my PC's direct bluetooth. Is there some way I can force-connect it to the dongle instead of my PC's bluetooth?
You can try and disable the bluetooth on your PC by going to device manager and selecting the bluetooth onboard and disabling it.

But if that doesn't fix it, if you have a spare USB stick or hard drive, try installing Linux on those and boot from it. If it still has problems, there is likely a problem with the motherboard, if it doesn't, there is likely a problem in Windows, either a buggy software or driver is causing it, then you can try finding out what that software is or you can reinstall Windows.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
I'm using wireless Raycons and a wireless Steelseries headset, is there one that will work with USB?
The Steelseries connects via USB, but the Raycons connect directly to my PC's built-in bluetooth. I have a separate bluetooth USB dongle, but I can't figure out how to force the raycons to connect to that instead of my PC's direct bluetooth. Is there some way I can force-connect it to the dongle instead of my PC's bluetooth?
Does this happen with wired headphones? It's pretty much guaranteed to be interference somewhere, bluetooth shares frequencies with a lot of devices. To connect the headphones to another bluetooth transmitter just go through the same procedure you did when you first paired them, they should all have a pairing procedure.

You said the headset is also wireless, so it's not bluetooth but uses it's own radio signal?
 
Aug 11, 2021
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Does this happen with wired headphones? It's pretty much guaranteed to be interference somewhere, bluetooth shares frequencies with a lot of devices. To connect the headphones to another bluetooth transmitter just go through the same procedure you did when you first paired them, they should all have a pairing procedure.

You said the headset is also wireless, so it's not bluetooth but uses it's own radio signal?
The wireless headset connects to a wireless USB transmitter, instead of bluetooth.
 

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