Static on playback through computer speakers only

I have been using audacity for years and, although I’ve never really mastered it, it’s been fine for me.
Recently I have noticed with updates to my macbook air that, when I play back a recording through the macbook’s speakers there are persistent crackles and static.
These are not present when I am on headphones.
Anyone know how I can get rid of them?
They were present when I use either low end podcasting mics (Snowball, Samsun) or high end systems (Sennheiser 416/Apollo Twin).
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

If the crackling is present on headphones but not on speakers then the problem is the speakers. Turn down the volume a bit and see if that helps.
– Bill

You may be experiencing one of the reasons “Low Rolloff” is part of the Audiobook Mastering Suite.

Home microphones and microphone systems can record very low pitch tones by accident. In general the tones don’t contribute anything to the show and they can drive small speaker systems nuts. If you do that enough and loud enough, the speaker (which is a moving but of paper, plastic or metal) will run out of range. Then it does that, a graceful speaker motion turns into smacking the computer with a stick and it sounds about that harsh.

You can also get that effect with Disco, Dance or Workout music. Same problem. Powerful thumping bass notes don’t fit in tiny speakers.

(That’s not accurate speaker motion, but you get the idea).

Turn it down.


One more note. Laptop speakers are adorable miniature versions of “real” speakers.

Headphones are real and some of them come with medical warnings not to play too loud.


Thanks Guys.
I don’t think it’s that.
I am using a Sennheiser 416 mic to record. That is going through an Apollo Twin MKII Preamp/Interface and that is pumped into my macbook through the Thunderbolt.
I am recording IN to Audacity. Pumping it out as an MP3 and playing it back.
When I play it back on headphones, there is no static.
When I send it to others and they play it back on their systems, there is no static.
When I dump it onto my phone and play it back, there is no static.
When I play it back on my macbook Air, there is crackles and static.
I just wondered if anyone knew if there was a setting on Audacity that might be causing that since NO OTHER audio played back on the Macbook creates static, ONLY Audacity.
I should also say that this started happening BEFORE the new microphone, when I was just using a Samson C01U with usb connection.

When I play it back on my macbook Air, there is crackles and static.

You know you’re making an almost airtight case for having a broken Air?

Post a short segment of the sound that causes the problem on the forum. Export 20 seconds Mono (one blue wave) or 10 seconds Stereo (two blue waves) as WAV (Microsoft) 16-bit. Scroll down from a forum text window > Attachments.


Another thing you can do is use one of the sound recorder apps on your phone and record the Air making noises on the same clip you post.