How to Fix Cracking and Popping Sound ?

Hello, is it anyone here ( or on this planet ) that can help with this issue on Catalina Mac OS 10.15.5 Beta 3 (19F72f).

I am using MacBook Pro 16 inches. 😟

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  • Same issue but with a new iMac 10-core i9....running Big Sur 11.6.1. I don't seem to have CoreAudio in my Activity Monitor to close and restart as others have recommended.

  • I have the same issue after upgrading to Monterey 12.0.1. The sound continuously cracking both for output and input streams. I'm on Macbook Pro 13` 2015 (i5 2.9).

  • Running Big Sur (v 11.6.2) on an MacBook Pro (13" | 2019) -- making sure that the ONLY application running is the one that you need/want to get audio from (in my case using Chrome)... so I had to quit FireFox, and Zoom applications and BOOM!!!! All of the choppy-ness is GONE and audio sounds WAAAAY better.... so, thanks to those who mentioned quitting other applications to fix this annoying problem!!!!


I would like to know as well. I noticed the cracking sound when watching a concert on Youtube yesterday. I thought it was a recording problem. I then chose another concert, it was the same. Very annoying!

  • I have a MacMini 2018, and am running 10.14.6. I encountered the crackling problem. you can tell it is a firmware problem in the Apple audio unit, because if you play music very softly you will hear the crackles. the crackles are fixed in volume and don't go up as you increase the volume. So this means that the noise is after the audio amplifier in the chain. The crackling stops when the audio stream stops, after a few second delay, when the audio unit goes to sleep (to save power).

    Killing the coreaudio process, which auto respawns almost immediately clears the problem. So it is a bug in the firmware for the custom apple audio chip which is in every MacMini and Laptop (they use the same custom Apple chips).

    It staggers my mind that Apple has had this bug since 2018 probably, and they just don't care enough to fix it. So obnoxious of an error for those of us who can still hear. Noise hurts your ear, and i didn't buy fancy Gelelec Studio Monitors to hear crackling!

    All the superstition about setting the time automatically doesn't sound plausible to me. It's a software error in the code that runs the low level chip. The engineer who worked on the chip is probably gone by now, and Apple doesn't fix problems unless thousands make a stink. Then they get off their ***** and fix things, because one thing apple cannot stand is public humiliation.

  • I have a 2015 so it has been a problem, at least, since then.

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Catalina has a big issue with CoreAudio this time or I don't know exactly what it is. But if you are not producing music like me switch it to 48 kHz. I think it can help but is not fix the problem. Over 6 months Catalina is still stuck with this sound issue, especially people like me with brand new MCP16 inches.

P.S. I have seen this problem with cracking and popping sound from EL CAPITAN. Every new MAC OS has this problem I don't know what is wrong, hardware, or OS but absolutely every time when the new OS is come out this problem is like some that are created to be like that, always. 😟 But this time it looks very long time to be fixed and there is no solution at the moment.

  • My MacBook Pro 14 with 12.3.1 have those sound crackling too. For a 2.500 euros laptop it's incredible.

  • I have the same issue, where you able to fix it? Is it a Monterrey OS issue?

  • I've just had this crackling on my MBP14 and remembered there was a problem with sound and it helped to switch to 44.1 kHz. Now it was (in Audio MIDI back on 48 kHz so when changed to 44.1 it played the same clip just fine. Hope it's a software issue!

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BTW Catalina Mac OS 10.15.5. BETA 4 still can not fix this issue ... is so important for me... I am music producer and this killed my work....

I am sorry to hear that 10.15.5 19F83c did not fix your issue. It did for me.

I *really* want to see the flow of audio in macOS, and the changes in gain/amplitude along the way.

If I use the test osc plugin in Logic Pro X, running thru a specific CoreAudio driver, I can succesfully manage keeping a consistent gain structure all the way thru my mixer, using Apple supplied Class-Compliant driver. 0db sine wave is exactly that all the way thru. Easy enough. If I go over that, I hear distortion.
Now... safe to say that's calibrated, but... if I use the Music app, or audio coming from Safari, signal is about 4.5db hotter. That simply *cannot* be right. Send that to internal speakers and of course they're cracking and popping.

I am with the beta version of the new os BIG SURE and this new MAC OS still CAN NOT fix this problem with the sound. I already spoke with Apple because I want back my money because this is ridiculous. Super expensive computer with this problem. I've made one Video for youtube 33 min and share all problems with 16-inch pro and Catalina and 265 people around the world contacted me with the same issue. Apple DONT CARE ABOUT THE SOUND and we never gonna see perfectly work machine with this I am 110% sure. Sad but true.
Obviously the problem isn't fixed yet by Apple...

I have bought a Mac Pro (Early 2009) now running macOS 10.14.6 (18G5033) and added RAM and Graphic card to suit my needs.

Then I realized that using Safari (100% of the time), or Spotify (85% of the time) the audio will crackle and pop every seconds creating a distortion. I am super disappointed that this problem is seen by hundreds of people and still isn't heard / listened too.

At least I can use Chrome and the sound is perfect.. Can you explain wt* does this means? Apple?....

I guess not. Deep problems in the Core Audio Kernel of Mojave and Catalina in my opinion...
Just because you know, Apple...

They want you to buy the LATEST all the time and upgrade to the latest software all the time.
I hope we will see an engineer create a revolution and releasing publicly the fix XD (Maybe even a movie hahah)
  • Lol I have the exact same problem with my MacBook Pro 2021. It's barely 6 months old. And chrome sucks too

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I also have the same issue and I have updated to 10.15.5. There is a new version 10.15.6 availble today so I will install it to see if this fixes the issue
Same Problem here, i have an expensive audio interface connected and always my imac is crackling around when im playing some music from daw or even itunes!

macbooks and ios is working propertly,

@apple please FIX THIS: CATALINA: 10.15.6 (19G73)
iMac (27-inch, Late 2012), 3,2 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
Anyone heard anything? I'm seeing several having the same problem.

I just got a brand new iMac, Catalina 10.15. Intermittent Audio crackles and glitches. All internal - haven't even hooked up my audio interface yet.

Is this worth trying to exchange it?
(all 13 inch models)
i used macbook pro 2013, no audio issue
upgraded to 2015, used it for years, no audio issues
waited for escape key to get back, and got 2020 (4 ports)
running OS 10.15.6 (19G2021). had it on 10.15.4 too

so basically i upgraded (not to mention $$$) to a bug?
for once, can apple get everything right?

Rest in peace Steve, Rest in peace Apple ?

only if I was not for the track pad and i was not an iOS developer :-(
really starting to get ****** since 2016

i know no one is going to even bother to take a look at the issue by my post here, its my attempt to get it out of my system.
thats what the forums are for now a days.
I'm wondering when will apple release an update to fix this problem

The problem happened after i updated to MacOS Catalina 10.15.6 and i've installed 10.15.7 update as well and the problem is still there.
Spent thousands of dollars on a fully upgraded MacBook bro (2019) and the best audio interface you can get. Unfortunately my MAC was set on automatic updates now I literally can’t work it’s embarrassing. Not only can I not use any of my paid plugins, but I also can’t seem to record without logic or Fl studio crashing even without any plug ins! What am I supposed to tell my clients? Apple needs to fix this ASAP
Hello I am still having this issue, i am so surprised why haven't apple fixed this ?

I am facing Crackling from speaker but only when i open simulator, My macbook is new i bought this 75 days ago and yet facing so many problems like this i am disappointed in Apple.

I am using updated OS:
MacBook Pro (16-inch, 2019)
MACOS 10.15.7

I have been searching alot couldn't find any solution to this.

I am developing an App that is based on Videos, such as a video editing App but i am unable to test the application because of the crackling sound whenever i play audio when simulator is opened it makes crackling noise .

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  • Hello, I am also an app developer. I am facing the same issue for the last one month but no response or solution Yet. I running multiple simulators, Xcode, Android Studio, Visual Studio Code. I have replaced my MacBook Pro 16 with a new one but facing the same issue in a new one as well. I am using MACOS 11.4.

  • Me too, running Xcode in MacBook Pro M1, BigSur 11.4

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It just happened to me on Catalina 10.15.7, MB Pro 16.
I thought my speakers were about to **** up... it was scary to say the least.
  • Is there a solution? Maybe I missed it.

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