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Audio Is Distorted or Scratchy


Last Reviewed: 29-Jan-2016
Article ID: 000007054

Distorted or scratchy audio can be caused by several problems. Improving the audio can be as simple as rearranging your hardware components.

See if any of these situations apply, and take the recommended action to improve audio:

  • Are there any other devices around the speakers or wires for the speakers? Electromagnetic interference can cause poor audio. Try moving your speakers and wires around and away from other devices.

  • Have you recently added any cards to your computer? Cards in the computer can cause electromagnetic interference. Try moving the card to another location in the computer, if possible.

  • Are your speakers too close to your monitor? The speakers can pick up electrical noise from your monitor, so move them farther away. Never place subwoofers near the monitor, because their powerful magnets can interfere with the picture. Place subwoofers on the floor to maximize low-frequency transmission.

  • Check to see if you are having a hardware issue. Try another pair of computer speakers to see if that resolves the problem.

  • Poor audio quality or low volumes can occur if you are using passive (nonamplified) speakers. Use amplified speakers.

  • If you notice stuttering voices and static on some games or programs but not others, check with the software vendor for a software patch.

This article applies to:

Discontinued Products