You have installed an aftermarket car speaker in your vehicle. During the first testing, there’s a crackling sound coming out of it.
Not only does it sound unpleasant and ruin your in-vehicle music experience, but you also don’t get any proper idea regarding which of the sound components is causing this.
“Is it the speakers, or head unit, or amp?” you wonder.
Sometimes, the car speakers would only crackle during a particular section of the soundtrack (for example, when the bass is high) and perform well other times.
But why does it happen?
Why are My Car Speakers Crackling
Here we’ll discuss different reasons for car speakers crackling.
1. Damaged Speaker Wires
One of the first things you should check is the wires that connect your speakers to the head unit. These wires go through the tight corners of the vehicle and are highly susceptible to damage over time.
If you have only recently started to hear crackling sounds, then torn speaker wires could be the main reason behind it.
2. Loose Connectors
Connectors such as stereo harness and speaker wire can get loose due to constant vehicle movement on bumpy roads, or if the wires are passing through tight areas.
The loose connectors make it difficult for a wire to properly transmit the audio signals and you get crackling instead.
If your speakers are located on the rear deck, then these connectors can be the culprit.
3. Displaced/Damaged Voice Coil
Voice coil and a permanent magnet are placed inside a speaker to form the speaker motor. These voice coils move the speaker cone back and forth which produces sound waves.
Although there is some distance between these two components by default, the voice coil can get displaced over time due to different factors (factory fault, improper installation during speaker repair, etc.) and may touch the magnet (even if for a fraction of a second) to produce a crackling sound.
If you have recently repaired the voice coils of your speaker(s) and experiencing crackling after it, then there are high chances that the voice coils are displaced.
Other than this, the voice coil can also get damaged after continuous usage and cause sound crackling.
4. Damaged/Faulty Amp
In many cases, a damaged amp doesn’t allow the speakers to make any sound at all. But in some rare scenarios, you get some sound at a small volume as amps can send small signals even if partially damaged.
If you’re getting crackling sound only at higher volume levels, then it might be your amp’s fault.
Is Crackling Bad for Car Speakers?
Yes, crackling is bad because it can permanently damage your car speakers if left unaccounted for. Since crackling is the result of a distorted electric signal, it can stress your speaker and cause physical damage to its internal parts (cone, voice coil).
In worst cases, it can cause them to blow.
How to Fix Car Speakers Crackling
Below are several solutions you can follow to prevent crackling in speakers. While there’s no need to implement each one of them, you will have a higher chance of success if you go through all.
1. Check Speaker Cables
First of all, you need to inspect the wires running from the amp and head unit to the speakers. Make sure that there’s no bent, damage, or natural tear on any part of those wires. If the damage is minor, you can cover it with tape. But you’ll need to replace those wires if the damage has spread to a large portion.
If you have installed subwoofers, make sure to check their cables as well, because the vibration (due to bass) may have caused them to get loose over time.
2. Use High Pass filters
Most regular speakers aren’t designed to handle low-frequency sounds aka. bass and can get damaged if fed with such frequencies regularly.
The solution here is to use a high-pass filter and a subwoofer in your car audio setup. The high-pass filter will ensure that your regular speaker will only get midrange or high-level frequencies. After this, you can install that subwoofer to play the specific bass frequencies.
3. Reduce Volume Level/Bass
Another solution is to lower bass from the EQ setting. This is to make sure that you won’t burden your speakers with more bass than they can easily handle. You can also do the same with the volume levels to see if there’s any improvement.
4. Avoid Bass Boosted Music
In case you don’t want to make your audio setup complicated with a subwoofer or high-pass filter, then I would suggest you avoid bass-heavy music, especially if you aren’t using high-quality speakers. Too much bass is never good as it puts extra stress on your speakers and damages them in the longer run.
5. Change Your Amp
If you have any other compatible amp, replace it with the already-installed amp to see if the situation improves. If it does so, then the previous amp is definitely faulty and you will need to repair it from a certified professional.
6. Check the Alternator and Car Battery
If you’ve tried all of the above steps and crackling hasn’t stopped, maybe it’s time to inspect your vehicle’s electric system, mainly your battery and alternator. They can be the cause if you hear crackling sounds only during ignition/speed acceleration.
Since these components are a little more complex, you should get a mechanic to see if both of them are working fine.
So these were some of the main steps you can follow to fix your speakers. In case the issue persists, you should try to replace the speaker(s) and then note if the noise goes away.
In essence, it’s all about testing, and you’ll have to test all of your car audio components to trace this problem.