Crackling with all Input devices

Hello, I’m using Audacity 2.4.2 and and running OS 11.0.1 Big Sur on a 2015 Powerbook 13" with 3.1 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i7.

When I record audio, regardless of input device, I get a slight pop/crackle noice on playback. I’ve tried system mic, Jaybird Bluetooth headphones, and Samson Q2U… I get the same crackle with all three. It almost sounds like someone is popping corn in the next room. it’s not loud, but it’s persistent. However, during periods of silence in the recording, there is no crackling. It only crackles when I am speaking.

Your guidance is much appreciated.

See if this FAQ helps:

If you find a way to help, or even make it worse, do post back. We build a list of what works and what doesn’t based on user experiences.

Nobody is shocked that it does this. Audio (and video) are constant streams and don’t take a breath, ever. That makes them outliers and the machine has no place to time-share with all the other stuff it has to do. If it gets the dance wrong, you can have “holes” in the show.

There’s Apple marketing, too. It’s not the worst idea to wait a bit before buying the very latest kit and system. FOMO is a powerful force. Did your old machine work OK?


The FAQ posted above by Steve did not help. Adjusting the sample rate and buffer rate made no difference. Power save mode stuff seems to not exist in this new version of OS 11.

I tested the SamsonQ2U with Garageband and it records perfectly there. However, I much prefer editing in Audacity. Not sure what to attempt next.

Thanks in advance for any ideas

If all else fails, you could record in Garage Band, export as WAV, then edit the WAV file in Audacity.

How tall is the recorded waveform compared to the height of the track? Does it get near the top / bottom of the track?

Could you post a short sample recording (just a few seconds) in WAV format so that we can see what the crackles look like. (See here for how to post a WAV file:

After more testing, I’ve come to realize the problem is with Playback through my bluetooth headphones. The recording is fine. and it plays fine through the bluetooth headphones after exporting as an Mp3.

This topic neatly sums up my current problem, though it seems this user’s challenge was never resolved. I may just need to use wired headphones.