Random crackling only through bluetooth headsets

Audacity is great through the macbook speakers or wired headphones, but random crackling gets introduced when playing through bluetooth, even when setting the buffer WAY up to 2000ms.

My main use case for opening audacity is examining and listening for glitches, and having glitchy playback is unacceptable.

Bluetooth audio has come a long way in the last few years, and I think Audacity should support it better. Bluetooth is plenty capable of listening to high fidelity stereo audio, the only catch is the buffer is huge compared to a wire.

Logic is now what I use (although it takes a little longer to load and is overkill). I hope Audacity will support this. The way things are going, audio jacks aren’t going to be around for much longer…

Has anyone figured out settings or tricks for making wireless headphones work? It feels like a regression as well, either in macOS, Audacity, or both – I don’t remember this being a problem. It’s unbearable in latest Audacity 2.3.2 with macOS 10.14 Mojave

Try temporarily turning off the wifi on the computer. Does that make any difference? (better or worse?)

Did some more testing today with my wife’s Rokono Bluetooth speaker and my hi-spec SSD W10 laptop

  1. Record a 5 minute stereo sine tone at 0.1 amplitude

  2. Play this

  3. observe crackling throughout the 5 minute playback

  4. Export as WAV

  5. Play WAV (using Open With…) with WMP, Groove, iTunes, Cyberlink Power Media Player, Nero (and indeed Audacity)

  6. observe all these players crackle throughout the playback

  7. Disconnect Rokono and set output to onboard soundcard and powered speakers via headphone jack

  8. Play WAV (using Open With…) with WMP, Groove, iTunes, Cyberlink Power Media Player, Nero (and indeed Audacity)

  9. observe all these players play without crackle throughout the playback

Conclusion: this is not an Audacity problem, but is a Bluetooth (or Bluetooth device) issue.

It may be a buffering issue - but one shouldn’t have to fuss with that. It is a reasonable expectation for A Bluetooth device to “work out of the box” and manage its own settings.

10) I also have a Bluetooth speaker in Zurich (it’s actually an iPod dock that also does Bluetooth) - and last month I thought I’d try hooking up my PC (and older slower lowish spec PC) to it and run a track in Audacity that I know well.
11) Observe: Great success. No crackles. no pops, no freezing, good sound & maintains connection. Also plays crackle free from my Samsung S9 phone via Bluetooth

The speaker is at least two metres away from the PC

So these set of tests point the finger at the device (or maybe the device driver) rather than player apps.


I’m having the same issue using my MacBook Pro, Audacity 2.4.2 and Turbosound IP300 bluetooth speakers. It crackles when playing from Audacity, but doesn’t when I save out an mp3, still playing through bluetooth. So that doesn’t seem to be an issue inherent to the bluetooth device.

I know this isn’t popular, but wired headphones are recommended for reliable listening. This can be particularly important if you’re in audio production and using the headphones for quality control.

The instant you throw wireless into the mix, you also involve radio connection problems plus everything else that’s also trying to use bluetooth.


So that doesn’t seem to be an issue inherent to the bluetooth device.

That one’s slightly different. That’s the same reason Audacity hates cloud drives. They seem to be a perfect connection, but they’re not. They have connection errors, retries, redirections, and delays. That’s not good news when Audacity is trying to maintain perfect sound production.

Sound players just shove your sound out the door and have a happy day. They just don’t care if the sound got there or not.


I’m a high school band director and I use it for playback of the groups during rehearsals. I believe it worked fine for me last school year. I guess I’m trying to pinpoint where the noise is being introduced. It only happens on playback from Audacity. Any other source on my Mac, including recordings exported from Audacity, play flawless. Could there be something with the recording format and the way the Mac OS handles audio output from Audacity? I’m using 32 floating bit, 24,000.

I’m using 32 floating bit, 24,000.

Does it still do it if you use Stereo, 44100, 16-bit, CD quality?

Bluetooth is not open-ended. It’s intended for personal casual listening, not studio audio production.


Tried that plus other rates and still the same. Also,I imported one of the mp3’s we recorded this morning. Once it’s back in Audacity, I get pops and clicks. From Quicktime it plays clean.

What happens if you turn off the bluetooth in your phone? Any change?

What is the recording device in Audacity? What does the playback device say in the little window?


Is this what you’re asking? Right now it’s not hooked up, but I’m using a mic preamp input and then the output shows the IP 300 speakers when hooked up.
Screen Shot 2020-11-20 at 12.35.52 PM.png

Missed one. Does the recording input stay where you put it when you do connect the Bluetooth system? Like connect the two devices you mentioned and see what happens. You may need to restart Audacity or Transport > Rescan.


Under Edit > Preferences > Devices, have you tried reducing your buffer length to 20ms ?

See also: https://forum.audacityteam.org/t/new-os-new-audacity-glitching-help/47975/7