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Why Are Car Speakers Crackling? (DIY Removing Crackling Sound)

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 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, I will go through these causes in more detail and also will explain how to deal with a crackling speaker 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 car stereo 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 a second, this is enough for the speaker to crackle.

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

  • When the speaker’s cone or suspension was repaired and assembled back with the voice coil placed out of position against the magnet.
  • Speakers can be faulty by the manufacturer.
  • When the voice coil was replaced, and the new one 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 crackling 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 Speakers in My Car?

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 the 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 damage to the speaker means 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 Car Speakers Crackling?

Any damaged car speaker can be repaired, and it is a matter of time and 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 excellent quality 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.

#1. 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 cables get loose, so make sure all connections are stable. Cable connections are especially crucial for subwoofers, where strong vibrations can cause connections to become loose.

#2. 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.

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

When you listen to loud music and hear 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 a crackling sound.

#4. 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 the speakers are.

When you play bass boosted music for a long time, you can cause not only speaker crackling, but also damage to your sound system.

Can a Damaged Voice Coil Cause Crackling Noise?

A damaged voice coil can cause a crackling noise in car speakers. This can occur for various reasons, including overheating, overloading the speaker, and exposure to moisture.

When the coil is damaged, it can no longer generate a consistent magnetic field, which can cause the speaker cone to move unevenly.

One symptom of a damaged voice coil is a crackling noise that occurs when the speaker is playing music.

You must diagnose the problem and replace or repair the speaker as soon as you notice the crackling noise.

To diagnose and fix a crackling noise caused by a damaged voice coil, you must remove the speaker from the vehicle and inspect it not only visually, but I also recommend checking the resistance between the positive and the negative terminal.

If the coil is visibly damaged or has shorted out, it will likely need to be replaced.

Can Crackling Speakers Damage a Car’s Audio System?

Crackling speakers can damage a car’s audio system if you leave this unaddressed.

The crackling sound is usually an indication of a problem with the speaker or the wiring, and if not fixed, it can lead to further damage and potentially costly repairs.

Here are a few points to consider when it comes to crackling speakers and car audio systems:

#1. Loose or Damaged Wiring

One of the most common causes of crackling speakers is loose or damaged wiring. This can be caused by several factors, such as wear and tear from vibrations, exposure to heat and moisture, or even physical damage.

If the wiring is loose or damaged, it can cause a poor connection between the speakers and the audio system, leading to crackling or distorted sound.

#2. Blown Speakers

Another common cause of crackling speakers is a blown speaker. This can happen when the speaker’s cone becomes damaged, usually due to excessive volume or distortion.

When a speaker is blown, it can produce crackling or popping sounds, and I would recommend it to be replaced rather than repaired.

#3. Audio System Malfunction

In some cases, the crackling sound may not be caused by the speakers but rather by a damaged amplifier or the stereo.

I also saw these problems several times when speakers were making weird noises only because worn RCA wires were lying down next to the amp power cables.

To avoid damaging your car audio system, you have to investigate any crackling or distorted sound as soon as you notice it.

For example, if you notice that one of your car speakers is crackling, you should check the wiring to see if there are any loose connections or damage.

If the wiring seems fine, try adjusting the volume or bass levels on the audio system to see if that makes a difference.

If the crackling persists, the speaker will likely be damaged, and you may need to replace it.

Conclusion

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 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 starting to crackle.

FAQ

Why Do My Car Speakers Crackle?

Car speakers can crackle for many reasons, which usually signifies something is amiss.

It could be caused by a simple connectivity issue, a damaged pre-amp or faulty amp, or even a speaker problem.

How Can I Fix Car Speakers Crackling?

The first step in fixing car speakers crackling is to identify the cause of the issue.

Once you have identified the problem, it may be something as simple as adjusting the audio settings or adjusting the amplifier overload or over-excursion.

Can Bass Boosted Music Cause My Car Speakers to Crackle?

Playing bass boosted music can cause your car speakers to crackle.

The bass frequencies can put a lot of stress on your speaker system, and if the speakers are not designed to handle it, they can start to crackle.

To avoid this, you should avoid playing bass boosted music at high volumes and make sure your speaker system is designed to handle heavy bass.

Can a Damaged Pre-amp or Faulty Amp Cause My Car Speakers to Crackle?

A damaged pre-amp or faulty amp often causes many problems with the speakers, including crackling.

The pre-amp is responsible for amplifying the audio signal before it is sent to the speakers, and a damaged or faulty pre-amp can cause distortion or crackling in the sound.

Similarly, if your amplifier is faulty, it can cause the speakers to produce crackling or other types of noise.

How Can I Fix My Car Speakers Without Replacing Them?

You can fix your car speakers without replacing them by checking the wiring, connections, and audio settings.

Make sure all the wires are securely connected and the audio settings are adjusted correctly.

You can also check the amplifier and make sure it’s not the cause of the problem.

If the problem persists, replacing the speaker cones or voice coils may be necessary, but this is a last step and not always cost effective. If the speakers are badly damaged, you will do better by replacing them with new ones.