How to fix audio popping, crackling, skipping in Windows

How to fix audio popping, crackling, skipping in Windows – It has probably been months that I had these audio popping, crackling, skipping issues on my Windows machine. Listening to music or watching movies is constantly being interrupted by these unpleasant, distorted sounds every few seconds.

I’ve been ignoring it because I either blamed it on my old sound card (or its driver) or accepting the “fact” that probably there was just much static interference near my machine. Man, I was wrong.

Apparently, having an outdated audio driver is not always the issue. In fact, most likely there is one or two other unrelated drivers in your Windows machine that are causing these problems.

I’ve tried every possible solutions recommended in forums and around the net, such as:

  • Updating to my latest Realtek audio driver
  • Changing the Power Options to High Performance (some said the issue is caused by the minimum processor state being set too low)
  • Changing to different speakers

Yet, none of them seemed to fix my problem.

So how to fix it then? What you can do first, is to download a free latency monitor software like the DPC Latency Checker to test if your machine does have this problem. Once downloaded, run the program to analyse the DPC latency of your machine.

If it says “This machine should be able to handle real-time streaming of audio and/or video data without drop-outs”, then you are good.

Latency Checker Fine

Mine failed with “glowing” red bars:

how to fix windows audio problem issues

Once you’ve confirmed that your machine has the audio skipping issue (or lagging while playing an HD movie), we can get to the next step, i.e finding the culprit that’s causing these issues.

As suggested by the latency monitor software, you have to find the device or driver that’s causing these problems.

What I did to fix mine was to go to the Device Manager (just search it from the Start menu) -> Universal Serial Bus controller and did a right click->Update Driver Software on every single one of them.
Device Manager

Windows did find a newer driver for my “ASMedia USB Root Hub”, installed it, and voila, that fixed the problem magically (I ran the software again and the red bars were gone).

That part is the tricky bit though, as you may have to try disabling or updating the drivers one by one and then run the latency monitor software to check if that fixes it.

UPDATE: Weeks later, my audio was acting up again. This time, I found that it was caused by the HD Audio installed in my machine when I updated my NVIDIA graphics card driver. Try updating your NVIDIA driver again, doing a clean install, but this time, UNTICK that HD audio driver.

Hope this fixes your Windows audio issues!

Post Author: Tech Review