It can be frustrating trying to listen to music or your favorite podcast on a crackling Google Home device.
Not only does the noise ruin the experience, but it also interferes with the smart assistant’s ability to hear and execute your requests correctly.
Your Google Home is crackling because of electromagnetic interference from devices, such as a WiFi router or smart appliance. It may also have connectivity issues with the audio source or a hardware malfunction.
This article will delve deeper into the possible reasons why your Google Home is crackling, how to identify the source of the problem and 7 easy ways to fix it.
Reasons Why Your Google Home Crackling
The crackling may happen on a recently purchased Google Home device or develop on one that you have had for several weeks.
It can also sound like static or popping noise.
The length of time you have had the device may also help identify the problem because an electromagnetic interference issue will immediately reveal itself when you bring the speaker home.
In contrast, a hardware or connectivity issue may occur after a few days or weeks.
Of course, that is not always the case.
So let’s take a look at the 3 possible things that might be responsible for the crackling:
The first and most common cause of crackling is interference from everyday electronic devices around your home.
These electronic devices can include a WiFi router, baby monitor, microwave oven, LCD monitor, or smart appliances like fridges, TVs, or meters.
Even some types of newer fluorescent lights can cause interference.
The reason for the interference is because these devices use the same 2.4GHz spectrum band as Bluetooth.
When these devices are working simultaneously and are near your Google Home, the signals from the electromagnetic devices may cause your Google Home to crackle.
To identify whether this may be the cause, try turning off other electronic items nearby.
You can also move your Google Home as far as you can from these items.
If the crackling stops or decreases, you have found the problem, and you can implement one of the easy fixes below.
Learn more: Can Google Home connect to 5GHz Wifi?
Connectivity Issues With the Audio Source
The device you are using to stream your music or podcast may be responsible for producing or causing the crackling noise on your Google Home.
Reasons include the distance between the Google Home and the audio source, metal barriers, or the app that you’re using to play the audio.
Distance from Audio Source
Bluetooth connectivity has a range of about 30 feet (9.144 meters).
If you are streaming content to your Google Home via Bluetooth and you exceed this distance, the signal becomes weak and your Google Home may start to crackle as a result.
To determine if the distance is the cause, move your audio source as close to your Google Home as possible and see if the crackling stops.
Alternatively, you can also connect your audio source to your Google Home via a cable, bypassing the Bluetooth connection.
If it stops crackling, then the Bluetooth connection is the problem, and you can implement the easy fix below.
Metal barriers are kryptonite to Bluetooth signals.
The reason is that Bluetooth operates on the same electromagnetic spectrum as microwaves, which means that its signal similarly bounces off metal.
If you have a metal barrier, such as a filing cabinet or metal column, between your Google Home and audio source, the Bluetooth signal may struggle to penetrate and result in the smart assistant device producing a crackling sound.
Streaming App Issues
There is a chance that the app you’re using to play your music or podcast may be the source of the problem.
The app may have developed internal errors or compatibility issues due to corrupted data, it may need an update, or perhaps you have updated it and the new version is buggy.
Problems With Google Home’s Hardware or Software
Hardware and software issues may be the cause of the problem, and there are a whole host of things ranging from the very simple to some that may require expert assistance that can go wrong in this area.
One of the more straightforward reasons may be that the Google Home or audio source’s battery is low.
A battery that is close to depletion or reaching the end of its lifespan can produce various system glitches, including crackling noises.
Outdated Software or Firmware
Your Google Home’s software or firmware may be outdated, resulting in compatibility issues.
Outdated software and firmware can slow down your device’s performance and lead to crackling.
These compatibility issues can also cause your device to load slower or not at all.
More serious problems can include one or more wires in the Google Home’s internal speakers becoming loose or disconnecting at some point.
Other issues can occur with water damage, or with the internal resistors, speaker cone, or Bluetooth module.
7 Easy Fixes
There are several easy fixes that you can implement to try and resolve some of the issues before going to see an expert.
1. Switch Off Unnecessary Electromagnetic Appliances
To reduce interference from the multitude of electromagnetic devices that are around, turn them off.
If there are some items that you cannot switch off, such as the smart fridge or baby monitor, move the Google Home away from them.
2. Reboot Your WiFi Router
If it is your WiFi that is causing the interference, you may not have the option of turning it off because your audio source and Google Home are most likely connected to it.
Instead, try rebooting your router so that when it restarts, it searches for a different channel from the one used by your Google Home from which to transmit.
However, if you can afford it, the best solution may be to buy a new WiFi router as the more recent models use a 5GHz spectrum band instead of 2.4GHz, which may help reduce interference.
3. Reduce Distance and Barriers
Move your Google Home closer to the device from which you are playing your audio to strengthen the signal.
Also position the Google Home and audio source so that there are no physical barriers, specifically metal ones, between them.
4. Charge the Batteries
Check the battery life of both your Google Home and audio source. If they are low, disconnect and recharge them before trying to reconnect again.
It’s best to wait until the batteries are fully charged before reconnecting again. This will ensure your devices perform better.
5. Clear App Cache or Update Your App, Software, or Firmware
Clearing your streaming app’s cache will reset its data and remove any corrupted locally stored information.
Additionally, check if there are any updates or patches for your Google Home or audio app and install them.
Not only do software and firmware updates help to resolve compatibility issues and errors, but they can also fix security flaws.
6. Disable the UltraSound Sensing Feature
A possible culprit of the crackling is Google Home’s UltraSound Sensing feature.
It detects when a person is approaching the Google Home device and emits inaudible ultrasonic pulses in response.
However, this feature may also cause your Google Home to make crackling or popping noises. Turning off this feature may resolve this problem.
You can do this by going to the Google Home app and selecting Nest Audio.
Click Settings, scroll to Recognition & Sharing, select Ultrasound Sensing, and then press Turn Off.
7. Seek Expert Advice
If the crackling doesn’t stop after implementing all of these fixes, you may have a serious hardware problem or a faulty device, and the best option is to seek expert assistance.
You can either contact Google Home manufacturers or take it to the store where you purchased it.
There are several reasons why your Google Home is emitting a crackling sound.
The problem may not necessarily be with the speaker itself, but perhaps with the Bluetooth or wireless connection or the audio source.
Most of the fixes for the crackling are quick and easy.
But if the crackling continues despite trying the suggestions in this article, it may be best to take it to an expert for further investigation.
Read next: SmartThings vs Google Home: Which Is Better?