Speakers making popping/static sounds (audio corruption)

The popping/static audio comes out of all the speakers, but only when I play certain things. AVI files with audio for most part cause it. Some of my games (Battlefield 2). Mp3’s don’t. It gets worst if I change the settings.

I’ve got the Creative Inspire P7800

Anyone heard of this?

A really stupid and obvious point. Sometimes games will re-work your audio control and crank up wav but not mp3. So check the levels and make sure they’re all at ~90%. Make sure the mic is muted.

Otherwise try re-installing your audio drivers in case you have a corruption. If you can hooks headphones up and don’t have the same issue, you could have ruled out a faulty sound card (I’m assuming your using a Creative card?)
If you have an NForce4 board and a Creative card, there’s the infamous crackling problem. Once in a great while crackling can be heat related.
What are your system specs?

Ok, I figured out it is definitely the sound card. I hooked up different speakers and problem remained.

The creative card is a Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer. I bought it in March and it worked fine. This problem popped up out of nowhere.

System Specs:
Mobo: ASUS P5B Deluxe
Processor: Core 2 Duo E6600
Memory: 2 GB DDR2 SDRAM 800
Video: GeForce 8800GTS 640MB

avi files? I’ve recently been playing with the AC3 filter settings, raising the gain up to 20db for one particular show. If I forget to turn the gain down, I get cracks when it boosted normal show’s volume too high. Maybe this is your problem?

I didn’t change anything. This issue came out of the blue. My card is probably screwed up.

Sorry Rogue. There are a huge host of things that can cause the crackling/popping issues with SB cards. Here’s a rundown:

  • With the X-Fi it can be heat related. See if it happens with the side off and extra air on it.

  • When you reinstalled did you put the card in a different slot? Might only have one PCI slot, so I bet the answer is no.

  • Were any BIOS settings changed? That could affect the latency settings between the PCI devices and the cpu/mem.

  • Card could have just “gone”.

  • Once again, it could be driver corruption or the drivers themsevles. If you reinstalled XP and used Creative autoupdate (not saying there’s anything wrong with their update process) but you could be using a different driver version than before. The last set of Creative Drivers caused a cascase of issues for people.

  • The latest Win updates (from ~ 3 weeks ago) from MS caused problems with codecs and media players. I don’t know exactly what is was beyond DRM updates, but several software engineers I chat with are insistent their new media crashing problems were because of MS. Personally I couldn’t find a “new” DRM update at the time to verify the issue.

Here’s a thread that might help as well. http://forums.creative.com/creativelabs/board/message?board.id=soundblaster&message.id=61926

Thanks for all comprehensive posts. But I didn’t do anything. No driver update, no BIOS changes, no different PCI slot. I was playing Battlefield 2 and the crackling just started happening. And it got worse, and worse, and then became chronic across all sound. Now even MP3s.

I’m thinking its a heat issue. My computer was cooking over the past few days because I was sweating my balls off just sitting in my room perfectly still. I have since raised the power of the fans and opened by window directly behind my computer so that it blows out into the cool outside air. I removed the sound card and probably plan to get a replacement because its still under warranty.

also, my onboard sound has worse problems.

I’ve been there with the crackling/popping issues so I feel your pain. Hope the new card helps. By the way, you can get a spot cooler that’s perfect for this kind of thing: http://www.antec.com/us/productDetails.php?ProdID=75018

I got one at Best Buy for cheap.

I get the pop-pop-pop-deedle-dee-pop-pop problem on an iMac 20" with JBL Creature II speakers and my PC used to do it way back when I had a SB Live on my Klipsch Pro-Medias (I have since upgraded to a SB Audigy 2 ZS and haven’t heard it since). I’m not sure why the hell it happens.

Spot coolers sound like a good idea since placement is flexible. My computer is very cramped with that enormous video card. There’s like a millimeter of space between it and one of the hard drives.

Doesn’t that just blow your hot air around a bit more? You either need to A) get it out of your case if the ambient temperature in the room is lower than the case temp, or B) turn on your air conditioning so the room temp drops to something less akin to the inside of your oven.