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Crackling/Clipping Noise on Macbook

Crackling/Clipping Noise on Macbook

Crackling/popping/clipping/stuttering issue that I've seen in different forums. Can't find a fix for the mac. Just started noticing it today. 

 

Please help!

 

Macbook running macOS Catalina v10.15.6

 

Retina, 12 inch, 2017.

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Top Answer
Yordan
Moderator

Hi folks,

 

Thank you for your inputs so far.

This seems to be a hardware related issue that was also reported on Apple's forums. Here's a relevant thread that proposes some possible solutions which you may find useful, so feel free to check it out if you haven't already. Some of the fixes include:

  • Typing the following into the terminal: xcrun simctl shutdown all then sudo killall coreaudiod.
  • Changing the sampling rate to 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz.
  • Deleting the com.apple.audio.DeviceSettings.plist and com.apple.audio.SystemSettings.plist files, then restarting the device.

More details can be found in the aforementioned thread.

Hope this gets sorted out soon, take care!

Top Answer
mactabby
Newbie

I also have this issue, on a brand new M1 MBP, but it occurs in Apple Music as well for me.  Reports on Apple's developer forums agree it is across different apps including YouTube, and point at memory pressure being the issue, so software not hardware.  Coreaudio gets overloaded and Spotify skips a 'cycle'.  There are error reports in the console log every time it happens.

All of the fixes mentioned above are temporary and the problem apparently comes back, and gets progressively worse. The best you can do is not have any memory-intensive applications running while you're using Spotify.  As I use it while I'm working, that's a bit of an issue for me.

89 Replies

Yeah, I've got this issue too - every so often there's a "crack" sound like an old LP might make. I'm running a 16" MBP M1 2021 on Monterey. Memory pressure is around 50%.

Screenshot 2022-06-30 at 16.39.38.png

it’s not ever so slightly but absolutely annoying as soon as you use an aggregate device.
apple knows about it and it has something to do with rosetta/intel apps running in monterey.
5 maintainance updates could not solve the issue.

I installed Spotify via Homebrew and I have the same issues.

Same set up. Agree with unbearable listening experience. Steals joy from music. New M1 Mac bought Jan 2022. Happens on Spotify web player, as well as Spotify Mac app. So many times going round in circles with well-intentioned but powerless "Geniuses" trying to persuade them to give me a new Mac...

Same. I can guarantee the crackles happen every time I play a particular song (whether on Spotify Web Player or Mac App). Would be awesome to know if you play this Lawrence tune: https://open.spotify.com/track/234LPJYbncBdKLyP3iCrs8?si=d33d7ed1032e4c34 whether you also get a crackle at 2m38s (or anywhere else for that matter).

Caveat, I also get crackles when playing youtube music playlists. So it seems it is anything that uses my MacBook speakers...

What should we do? Has anyone found a solution? Has anyone changed the computer and solved it with that? Any adivce… now happening on youtube as well, was not in there before

I haven't found a solution yet, but I did notice the sound yesterday when there was no music playing, but I was trying to pair a Bluetooth keyboard. Has everyone got Bluetooth turned on? What happens if you turn it off? Do you still get the sound? I'll see if I can try it sometime in the next couple of days.

 

this works... what is the issue then? 

I have the same issu with the M1Pro MacBookPro 2021

This is an issue with macOS please report it on apple forums, to increase chances of someone at apple fixing it https://developer.apple.com/forums/thread/132423?answerId=719939022#719939022

I have been experiencing this same issue for a couple months now and it's driving me crazy. This is most prevalent using Spotify Mac app but also shows up in the web app. 


I've uninstalled Spotify, factory reboot my Macbook, went into Apple & they reinstalled my entire operating system and when that didn't work, they replaced my speakers (and keyboard). Still happening. It seems connected to my RAM usages, as it happens more frequently when I have many Google Chrome tabs open (yes, I'm that person and it's not going to change). I have no idea how to fix it, but after reading this, I checked my MIDI settings. They were already 48k so bumped to 96k. 

The cracking only occurs to me when the Spotify app made for the Apple Silicon is used on the speakers.

If I use Spotify Web from Google Chrome, I can confirm that the cracking is gone when I play music to the speakers.

My average CPU usage is around 15%.

This seems to have stopped happening with the latest update of either Mac OS or Spotify - at least I haven't heard the crackle for a couple of weeks now.

BTW interesting to see on one of the Apple threads you can reproduce the crackle by running the following command in Terminal:

sudo fs_usage -t 2 bash

 

(You'll need your admin password to do that and can replace "bash" with another CLI command like "ls")

Stuck with this issue for 3 months now but can't hack it any longer.

 

Listening on an external device stops this crackle and leaves a blank noise (like the connection drops) which is way more palatable, but not a solution, esp as the M1 speakers are so good!

I have just switched from using Spotify App (on apple silicon) and switched to the web browser. No crackling! I know this as I realised after having youtube streaming for a few days while working, watching music vids and other vids I realised I had not heard a single crackle until I relaunched my Spotify App.

 

This is definitely an app issue.

 

Please fix this Spotify, I've been a customer of over 10 years, but I'm not sure how much longer I can stand this, the crackles are so loud when they occur. I would consider Spotify as the app I would chose if I was told I could only have one app! I have never considered other services in my entire 10 yrs, but its something that has recently started to be a consideration.

I do not get this crackle at 2m38

Same M1 Macbook, using the web browser Spotify and exactly same issue

I don't have the issue on any other website Youtube, etc..

I had the same issues. Audio output was set to Aggregate Device in System Settings Sound tab (I have multiple USB/Thunderbolt Audio interfaces connected to my Apple Studio Computer). When I switch the audio output in System Settings Sound tab to my main audio interface, UAD Apollo, it fixed itself! I can only conclude that Spotify app on OSX does not like outputting to an Aggregate Device. Hope this helps. GK

Device: Apple M1 Pro

OS: Sonoma 14.0 Beta (23A5276g)

Spotify: Spotify for macOS (Apple Silicon) 1.2.14.1149.ga3ae422d

 

I just upgraded to Sonoma and I believe it's the reason I'm getting constant audio cracklings (music and podcasts).

 

I believe there is something wrong with the app/os because it works well in these other situations:

  • Desktop + default macbook output
  • Browser + default macbook output
  • Browser + Wifi Airplay output 

I'm aware Sonoma is in beta version still, but maybe that's something you could look into before it's officially released.

 

I have tried to reinstall the app, and to troubleshoot with different settings / eg. switching audio quality but it's still the same.

 

It would great if someone can confirm it also happens for them?

 

Thanks!

Apparently some good news after a few years in the making: some people are reporting this is finally fixed in macOS Sonoma.
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/audio-stutters-with-usb-dacs-on-macbook-m...

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