Crackling coming from my new headphones


Jan 13, 2007
I just got a pair of Sennheiser HD 280's, but when I turn them up past a certain volume level, the bass get really crackly and ugly. Is this a sign of bad headphones or is this part of breaking them in? Or another possibility is that they aren't meant to go that loud. I mean I have them loud enough so that I can hear them clearly when they next to me on my desk. Any Ideas appreciated.


Mar 17, 2006

It meant for wearing and not desktop. There are speakers for that application.

However in scale of 1 - 10 what is your volume levels are? What kind of sound procesor do you have? Computer Onbaord, Expansion Card or External Ampifier?

Distortion is number one enemy of sound radiation. You should understand the frequency response of each equipment and the source of the audio you are using.

HD280Pro Item No. 004974 - Headphones Specs:

Transducer Principle Dynamic
Frequency Response 8 Hz - 25 kHz
Nominal Impedance 64 Ohms
Weight Wo Cable 285 grams
Characteristic Spl 102 dB, (at 1 kHz/1Vrms)
Ear Coupling Circumaural, Closed
Distortion <0.1%

You will need an Headphone Aplifier to get the best of this headphone. But that could get expensive. expansion card is good enough for this headphone.

Sennheiser HD 280 is a very good headphone so when you here it Belch or crackle that means that is distorted. It could be that your volume level is too high for the amp. so check your tone settings your bass & trebel maybe too high. Amplifying is different than tuning, by changing the characteristic of the sound you are now distorting the original sound. Therefore that distortion is multiply by the amount of amplification applied.


Nov 5, 2006
I've also noticed crackling noises at some times. I previously had an eDimensional Audio FX 3.5mm/ USB Connector Circumaural Force Feedback Gaming Headset, and it sometimes produced crackling when highs are played, but you'd have to be listening for it to notice it. Now I have a Creative FATAL1TY 3.5mm gold-plated Connector Circumaural Gaming Headset, and the crackling is even less noticeable, but there are some very small points in a song where I can hear it for a split second. I presumed that it has to do with my sound card, which is a stupid integrated Realtek HD Audio, so that may be my problem. But it may also be the headset; my Creative Fatal1ty headset uses 40mm Neodymium drivers; I don't know if that's really good or really bad, lol.

Either way, it sounds like the problem resides within your headset more so than your sound card. I can crank my headset to it's max volume, and the bass sounds fine, but the mids and highs kinda overpower the bass. It doesn't really matter to me though because it sounds perfect at 1/3 of the max volume.

I plan on getting a Creative Soundblaster X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1 sound card, so maybe that will help with the sound quality. It may help you out if you get one too.


Jan 17, 2006
It sounds like you've either got a bad connection somewhere, or you have them simply too loud. As a general rule, the volume should never be put past 60-70% unless you've got a really good amp and some nicely matched speakers. Even then, the point is not to have to "go to 11."
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