Crackle or hiss during certain parts of certain tracks across multiple devices?

What model are you having issues with?:
Windows 10>Asus x570 Pro>Topping d30pro> Drop + THX AAA 789>Balanced XLR cable>Focal Celestee

Other devices tested on:
FiiO e10k, Monoprice m1060c

How long ago was it purchased?:
e10k+m1060: many years ago.
x570: early last year
Everything else: Within the last 3 months

Describe your issue with the most detail you can:

I’m no musician or audio engineer but one assumption is I’m hearing flaws in these recordings for the first time? It’d be equally impressive and frustrating. :laughing: I’ve noticed for a while a very faint crackling/hiss on certain sounds in some songs. I can best describe it as similar to a crinkle of a small plastic candy wrapper. Kinda faint crackle/hiss.

I have replicated this on my mobo’s DAC from an Asus x570 prime and my e10k. I recently got a THX 789+Topping d30pro and can hear it through that also. It happens on both my Focal Celestee and my old m1060’s.

It happens at low volume as well as high. I’ve turned my Windows sample rate to the max and the lowest and hear it on both. I use PEACE/APO and can hear it with it enabled and disabled. I’ve tried another computer using the motherboard out. I also can push the sound out to the Topping with Tidal’s exclusive mode, I think this would bypass both Windows and peace.

One thing is I cannot hear it if I pull the song up on youtube but I’m not sure if that could just be because of a lower bitrate on youtube? Especially with the older songs. I downgraded the quality to low on Spotify but can hear it still. I try it on Tidal and can hear it there but cannot hear it on low, but hear it just the same on hifi quality.
How does it sound on your equipment?

You can find an example in this song at around 1:26 with a lot of drum hits.

Another would be 2:22ish here.

Vince Staples - Street Punks w/ every drum hit again

It actually happens on the bass hit in Busta Rhymes - Touch It around 0:18ish.

The last example is System Of A Down - Kill Rock 'n Roll all throughout the song. Sounds more of a digital low-bitrate sound. Even when it’s a “master” on Tidal.

Some recordings really aren’t done well… now you can hear it.


Yep, precisely. I’m still shocked at how many “crackling” songs I come across, even on newly released albums. I used to think it was because I was listening via a streaming service, but the same happened when listening to the CD.

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I’m having this same issue but only noticed it after I changed the ear pads on my Beyerdynamic Custom Studio Headphones. It was an electronic song and I had bass boost on.

I believe I may have punctured the paper “mesh” that behind the foam ear pads

Would this have caused this noise to appear or is this simply too much bass foe the headphones to handle?

(I’m sorry I cant seem to figure out how to create a new topic on this forum and this topic seems most relevant)

Are you sure it is not clipping at software level? A few months ago I watched a video on YT where there was this guy complaining about the HD660S driver distorting. He’s shown his VLC settings and volume was at 120%. :grimacing:

You should be able to hook your D30PRO to your phone and play the same tracks. Does it also clip in there? Or even the FiiO E10K?

Listened to your tracks and haven’t detected any anomaly on my end. Even created a Spotify account myself. Didn’t have one. :grin:

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I’m 99% sure it’s not. I hear it at low volumes on all devices just the same. Also if I put the same headphones on a 2nd computer, not dac or amp, windows volume 50% I can hear it still. :expressionless:

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That’s puzzling.

Well, apologies for the lobbying, but, should you like to walk this OCDish rabbit hole, you’re more than welcome to post or checkout yourself the findings in this thread:

The hiss thing, a lot of times is intentional at mastering, in order to maintain the track loudness. Yes, junk is deliberately inserted for that purpose. Here’s an example:

Cheers. :beers:

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These are great. Thanks for the link!

On all the songs you mention, there is no issue

On the rock tracks, there is huge compression, this often brings out the sound of distressed paper cones in guitar amplifiers turned up to 11 in the recording studio.

On the rap tracks, artificial distortion has been added to the drum sounds because that is an artistic decision. I can think of countless examples of vinyl crackle that appears in sampled drum loops too.