Why is JBL Speaker Crackling and How to Fix It?

Your JBL speaker can make a crackling sound for several reasons, including your source device being too far away from the speaker, Bluetooth interference issues, a bad aux cord, a blown speaker, firmware issues, or a glitch.

My name is Donovan, and I’m a musician, audio engineer, and producer. I love to make music as often as possible and have experience with many different kinds of speakers. I know through first-hand experience how to troubleshoot crackling issues. 

This post will highlight some reasons why your JBL speaker is crackling. I’ll give you several potential causes for this problem and provide a quick fix for each. I want to help you get your speaker running properly as quickly as possible. 

Let’s get to it. 

Key Takeaways

  • Bluetooth interference is one of the leading causes of a crackling sound with a JBL speaker. Ensure only one device is within range and connected to the speaker. 
  • Crackling sounds on a Bluetooth JBL speaker can also be caused when you move your audio source (such as your phone) out of range from the speaker. Move closer to the speaker to fix this. 
  • If you are using a wired JBL speaker, a crackling sound can indicate a bad speaker cord, aux cord, or even a blown speaker. You need to replace the cord or the speaker. 
  • Playing your speaker at max volume can also cause crackling and distortion because the speaker can’t always handle this much power and volume. 

Why is My JBL Speaker Crackling? 

There are several reasons why your JBL speaker might be crackling. Typically, this issue can be resolved quickly, but you may need to purchase a new cord or speaker if something is broken or defective. 

Start with the smaller troubleshooting tips on this list before assuming your speaker is defective. Crackling may seem like a big deal, but it could be something as minor as a bug that can be resolved by resetting your speaker. 

I’ll provide you with a quick fix for each potential reason on this list. You don’t need any special skills or knowledge for most of these, so go through each section to help get your speaker running correctly as quickly as possible. 

Reason #1: Audio Source Too Far from Speaker

One of the main reasons your JBL speaker might be crackling is that your audio source is too far away from your speaker. Most people use a cell phone to control a wireless speaker, and the audio can crackle when the phone gets out of range from the speaker. 

Not only can you be too far away from your speaker, but you might also have walls, furniture, or other large items between your source device and the speaker. This can cause the same problem because the wall will interfere with the Bluetooth signal. 

Your JBL speaker might claim to have a working range that is further than what actually works. You should typically be within 20-30 feet of your speaker for everything to work properly, even though the specs might say it has a range closer to 100 feet. 

How to Fix It: 

There is a very simple fix to this issue – move your phone closer to the speaker. As you get within range, the crackling should disappear. You might want to keep your phone on the same surface as the speaker rather than walking around with it to avoid this issue. 

And if you are in another room than the speaker, you’ll want to get the phone closer even if the distance isn’t that far. As I mentioned above, walls and even furniture can cause the same problems as being too far away. 

Reason #2: Weak Cellular or WiFi Service

Weak cellular or WiFi service is another potential cause of crackling with your JBL speaker. If your phone doesn’t have enough signal to play streaming music from an app or your browser properly, you can experience a range of issues, including crackling. 

You can check your phone easily to see if you have bars of service. If you don’t see any or only have a single bar, this is likely the cause of the issue. And if you are in a basement or home with thick walls, this also might limit your service. 

How to Fix It: 

You’ll need better service for the crackling to go away if the weak signal is the cause. You might need to move your speaker to another area of the room or house to keep it within range of your phone once you get service. 

Resetting your wireless router and/or cell phone can help you get a better signal if your phone says you have service but things aren’t working properly. Just unplug the router, wait a few seconds, and plug it back in to attempt a reset fix. 

Reason #3: Bluetooth Interference

Crackling sounds coming from your JBL speaker can also be caused by Bluetooth interference. This is common when your JBL portable speaker recognizes multiple source devices within range, and it will attempt to connect to both of them. 

But rather than being able to connect to multiple devices, the speaker will jump back and forth between them. This will cause the audio signal to go in and out, which can sound like crackling, skipping, or no music at all. 

This can be caused by two phones in the same room as the speaker but also by other devices the speaker recognizes, such as laptops and tablets. This reason is good to remember because it’s not always obvious and can be frustrating to deal with. 

How to Fix It: 

The best way to deal with a Bluetooth interference issue is to turn off Bluetooth features on any device you don’t want connecting to your speaker. That will keep the speaker from bouncing between multiple devices. 

Even if you select the speaker from your phone’s Bluetooth settings, it might still skip to another if you leave its Bluetooth on. By only having a single Bluetooth-capable device in the room with your speaker, you’ll prevent this issue from happening. 

Reason #4: Volume is Too High

This one might sound weird if you don’t have much experience with audio, but the crackling is often caused by the volume on your speaker being too high. You’ll often get distortion, crackling, and other problems when you push a speaker to its limits. 

Just because speakers have a max volume doesn’t mean you should crank them up as loud as they can. You’ll rarely have a good audio experience when you max things out, and you might even damage your speaker.

How to Fix It: 

Turning down the volume is the surefire fix here. Even turning things down a notch or two should improve your listening experience, and the crackling should go away. Remember that you have volume controls on the speaker and your source device, so turn down both. 

It’s always a good idea to check the volume levels before you push play. That way, you can keep things lower and increase the volume from there rather than get blasted by having max volume without knowing it.  

Reason #5: Bad Cable or Cord

Bad cables and cords are also a common cause of speaker crackling. Keep in mind that this only applies to speakers that are wired or if you are using an aux cord to connect your source device to the speaker. 

If you use a portable speaker without any cables, you don’t have any cords to go bad. But if you have JBL bookshelf speakers with speaker cords or have an aux cord connected to your portable speaker, that could be the cause. 

If you suspect you have a bad cable, you can grab it while audio is playing from the speaker to test it out. If the crackling worsens when you touch or move the cable, you have found your problem. Do this test at the connecting points as well. 

How to Fix It: 

A bad cable can’t really be repaired, so you’ll need to get a new one. It’s pretty common for cables to go bad after you’ve used them heavily, and they don’t always show signs of damage. But if you see any visible damage on the cable, that’s a clear sign it’s bad. 

Reason #6: Bug or Glitch with Speaker

A bug or glitch with your speaker can cause a number of problems that don’t seem to have an explanation. These bugs can happen out of nowhere, and there isn’t always a direct cause. In other words, a bug or glitch in your speaker is not a user error. 

How to Fix It: 

A quick reset of your speaker should fix any bugs or glitches. On most JBL portable speakers, you can reset by simultaneously holding the play and volume-up buttons until the speaker powers off. Then start it back up, and the bug should be fixed. 

The glitch might also be in your source device, so you should also reset your phone to rule out that as a possibility. The process for doing this can vary based on which phone you have, but it’s always easy. 

Reason #7: Broken or Defective Speaker 

The worst-case scenario for a speaker to crackle is because it is broken or defective. Crackling can indicate that something is loose or broken with the speaker’s electronics, and it will get worse over time. 

There might not be any clear indications from the outside of the speaker that it’s broken. But it could be broken if you see visible damage and it’s not performing correctly. You can also shake the speaker gently; if you hear rattling, something might be broken. 

How to Fix It: 

Unless you have small electronics repair experience, you’ll likely need to purchase a new speaker to fix the issue. If it happens during the first year you own the JBL speaker, it usually falls under the manufacturer’s warranty. 

If the damage has occurred because you dropped the speaker or broke it some other way, you probably need to spend the money on a replacement. You might be able to take it to a repair shop, but it’s likely just as affordable to buy a new one outright. 


Here are a few short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to why a JBL speaker is crackling. 

How do I fix my JBL crackling sound? 

Start with the small troubleshooting fixes, such as moving within range of the speaker or resetting the speaker to fix a crackling JBL. If that doesn’t work, ensure the speaker isn’t at full volume and replace any bad cords if necessary. 

How do I know if my JBL speaker is blown? 

A blown speaker is pretty apparent and will sound bad and very different than it typically does. You might hear crackling, flapping, or generally muffled audio coming from the speaker. You can also see tears in the speaker housing material if you can access that part. 

How do I fix a distorted JBL speaker? 

Turning down the volume is one quick and easy fix to solve a distorted JBL speaker problem. You can also reset the speaker and/or your audio source device. A bad cable might also need to be replaced if you are using a wired speaker.

Do JBL speakers have a lifetime warranty? 

JBL speakers do not have a lifetime warranty. Most JBL speaker models have a one-year warranty covering manufacturers’ defects. If you have an issue with your speaker during the first year after purchase, you can return it for repairs or a replacement for free. 

How many years do JBL speakers last? 

JBL speakers should last for at least five years, but there is no way to tell exactly how long every particular speaker will last. JBL has a good reputation for making quality products that last, but it is always possible to get a defective speaker that doesn’t last as long. 

Final Thoughts

If you experience a crackling sound with your JBL speaker, don’t panic. Run through all of the troubleshooting tips in this post, and you should be able to get it working properly again pretty quickly. Crackling can be an easy problem to address and fix. 

There is always a possibility that you have a broken or defective speaker. It’s worth contacting JBL customer service to see if they can help you address the problem or if it falls under the warranty before you purchase a new one.  

Have you ever dealt with crackling from your JBL speaker? How did you fix it? Let me know in the comments below. 

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