Why Are Car Speakers Crackling and How to Fix This?


Imagine you are driving a car in beautiful weather and listening to your favorite music, and then you start hearing this annoying crackling noise coming out of your speakers.

It happens so often, and many people are wondering why car speakers are crackling and how to prevent it.

Car speakers are crackling mainly due to the bad connection between the speaker and the amplifier. Another reason for the speakers to crackle is damaged voice coils that can get in contact with the magnet. Also, speakers can crackle when the too powerful amplifier powers them, and in effect, voice coils try to move the cone beyond its limit.

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Tip: Crackling car speakers are not something you would like to experience in your car. Because a bad connection is a common reason for this issue, you may need to start the repair by replacing wires and connectors. These key elements of any car audio you can find on Amazon.com by clicking the links.

In the article below we will go through these causes in more detail, and also will explain how to deal with crackling speakers, and how to prevent car speakers from crackling.

Why are my car speakers crackling?

The cracking speaker often means that something is wrong with the wire connection of the speakers. There are two main causes for speakers’ connection to be bad:

  • Torn speaker wires. This happens especially with old car audio installation where over the years cables are damaged in the tight spots of doors, that being opened and closed thousands of times in a year. For the best audio experience, it is worth replacing factory speakers with high-quality OFC wires that are available on Amazon.
  • Damaged connectors. Harnesses on the radio side are usually in good condition unless they are packed tight in the dashboard. Connectors that being damaged are most often at the speakers because they become loose when speaker wires move. For example, at high risk are speakers mounted in the rear decks and if you have this issue, try to replace damaged connectors with strong FIXITOK spade connectors.

If both wires and connectors have been checked and are in good condition, another reason for the speaker to crackle is the damaged voice coil.

crackling car speakers

Voice coil is placed inside the magnet. There is a small gap between a voice coil and a magnet, and when the voice coil is set off-center, it can touch the magnet a create crackling noise.

This contact creates a shortcut. Although shortcuts last for no longer than a fraction of the second, this is enough for the speaker to crackle.

There are a few reasons why the voice coil can be out of the position:

  • When the speaker’s cone or suspension was repaired and assembled back with voice coil placed out of position against the magnet.
  • Speaker can be faulty from the manufacturer.
  • When the voice coil was replaced, and the new one and was placed incorrectly.

It also happens that speakers crackle because it is connected to the faulty amplifier or damaged pre-outs. Usually, when the amp is damaged, speakers do not play at all, but this is not always the case.

Amplifiers can produce signals at a low volume without any problems, but when car speakers crackle at high volume, it can be a sign of a damaged amplifier.

If you have an issue with pre-outs, an amplifier will have to be repaired, or in the worst case, replaced depending on the damage level.

Can crackling damage car speakers?

When the speaker crackle, it can be already broken. And if not, the most dangerous for the speaker is the interrupted current that overstresses the voice coil and, in effect, can damage either electrical or mechanical part of the speaker.

  • Mechanical damages are related to broken or cracked cones that are overstretched because of unstable voice coil movements.
  • The electrical damages of the speaker mean that the voice coil has been damaged or blown.

If you hear popping or crackling sounds from the speaker, try to allocate this speaker and do not use it until you fix the problem. Otherwise, you put at risk not only the speaker itself but also other parts of your car’s audio system.

How to fix crackling car speakers?

Any damaged car speaker can be repaired, and it is a matter of time and the cost. Repairing typical car speakers is not always worth the effort because such repair will be expensive when performed by professionals.

Usually, we repair speakers that are either expensive or unique the original replacement is difficult to find.

Repairing the voice coil is the most complicated repair of the speaker. If you do not have any experience with electricity and audio systems, I recommend leaving it to professionals.

When you repair the voice coil at home, there is still a risk that assembled speakers will not sound exactly as the new one or sounds can be distorted.

However, when your speaker has damaged cone or surroundings, repairing or replacing them is relatively easy and can be done at home. If you would like to find out how to fix a cracked speaker cone, check out this article about repairing the damaged speaker’s cone.

How to fix car speakers crackling?

Listening to the excellent quality of the music while driving is the best form of relaxation while driving a car. However, we cannot altogether remove the risk of speakers starting crackling.

There are so many causes that can create this issue, but there are several simple steps that can significantly reduce the probability of crackling car speakers at low or high volumes.

Check the Speaker Cables running from the amplifier or radio to the speaker.

Look for mechanical damage in the shielding, corrosion, or general wear. It happens that over time, speaker wires get loose, so make sure all connections are stable. Cables connections are especially crucial for subwoofers, where strong vibrations can cause connections to become loose.

Use High Pass filters for all car speakers.

Correctly set filters will eliminate too much bass coming to the door speakers that could cause distortion. Most car speakers are not designed for strong and deep bass, and forcing low frequencies to these speakers can cause them to overstress and finally damage. If you want to have bass, the simplest way is to install the subwoofer and isolate only frequencies over 80Hz to the door speakers.

Reduce the Bass at High Volume and Increase at Low Volume.

When you listen to loud music and hear the sound distortion, it can be caused by too much bass for the speakers’ capability. Make adjustments to the bass and treble on the head unit accordingly, and you should reduce the risk of crackling sound.

Avoid Bass Boosted Music.

Too much bass has never been good for the music quality, and unless you are attending the competition, it should be avoided. Too much bass overstresses speakers and any volume level, and it does not matter how good speakers are. When played for a long time, music that is overload with bass leads to permanent speakers’ damage.

Summary

Having nice music in your car is one of the greatest achievements that can make your ride comfortable. Many people make some simple mistakes that result in distortion of speakers when at high, or sometimes at the low volume.

Others may install complex sound systems that cost them a lot but still fail to achieve a clear output.

This may be a result of many issues in the car system configuration, or even in the car itself, but these few ways should allow you to reduce the probability of speakers starts to crackle.

Martin

Welcome to ImproveCarAudio! I am Martin, and I love to write about everything related to car sound systems. I strive to provide the most accurate and helpful information about car audio through extensive research, as well as my experience with car audio installations.

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