Tech Tips

Surface Pro Popping Speaker And Sound

Although I’m very happy with my new Surface Pro 4, it hasn’t been without a few niggling issues.  The battery drain issues have been largely solved as I wrote in this troubleshooting post, however there is another issue that has been bugging me regarding the speakers.  Ever since I had the device there has been an occasional “pop” from the speakers.  It would happen when I would change tabs or start YouTube videos, but it wasn’t always consistent.

Recently I noticed that listening to songs in Spotify the audio was crackling or clipping.  It seemed to happen at peaks or certain beats in the music.  Wow, annoying.  I’m a bit of an audiophile so this was not a nice discovery.  I just noticed the problem today because today is the first time I really listened to music on my Surface.

I did a little bit of digging and found that it’s also an issue for some people with the Surface Pro 3, and that a good solution so far is to disable hardware acceleration of sound in the audio settings.

To do this, right click the little speaker icon in the bottom right and click “Playback devices.”  Double click the device that you’re using (usually with the green checkmark next to it) and click on the “Properties” tab.  Uncheck “Allow hardware acceleration of audio with this device” and click “Apply”.  Then hit OK.


I did this for both my headphones and my speakers (you have to do it for each device).

So far that has fixed the crackling sound during audio playback.  I still hear the popping sound when audio is activated, and we will continue to update this page when solutions are found.

Bill Gordon

Bill Gordon has been writing on tech and malware subjects for 6 years and has been working in the internet and tech industry for over 15 years. He currently lives in Southern California.

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One Comment

  1. It looks like setting the Idle times to 00 00 00 00 on the Realtek High Definition Audio device eliminates the problem. Edit the windows registry at your own risk!

    Check out this article from Microsoft:

    Based on the article, I drilled down to: \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class

    I searched for “Realtek”, which brought me to:
    \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4d36e96c-e325-11ce-bfc1-08002be10318} (***Your key will probably be different from this. For example purposes only!***)

    Then I searched for “ConservationIdleTime”, which found:

    I changed all three Binary entries:
    ConservationIdleTime = 00 00 00 00
    PerformanceIdleTime = 00 00 00 00
    IdlePowerState = 00 00 00 00

    That seems to have fixed it.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to post this – I haven’t had the problem in a while (I forget which update fixed it) but if people are still having problems they may find this helpful.

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