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Why is My Google Nest Audio Crackling?

Last Updated Jan 26, 2022
google nest standing up

Before Apple CarPlay and USB connections in vehicles, nothing was more frustrating than a crackling radio hindering you from enjoying your music. The same goes for when trying to enjoy your favorite tunes on a Google Nest Audio in your home and not being able to escape a crackling annoyance. 

Typically a Google Nest Audio will begin crackling due to electromagnetic interference, hardware malfunction, software issues, or connectivity issues that need a bit of troubleshooting. 

Read on to find a fix to allow you to start enjoying your tunes again from the comfort of your home. If you are ready to discover more in-depth about the causes and solutions of a crackling Google Nest Audio, continue reading.

What is the Crackling Sound?

Crackling to some may sound like popping or a static noise to others. Most people describe the noise similarly to dial-up internet connecting or old school radio trying to find stronger signals

Think of it as trying to find cell service. You hold your hand up, reposition a few times, try to find bars, check for updates, restart your device, and sometimes need to reset your phone to fix the lacking connection problems. The same concept applies to a Google Nest Audio with ear-screeching sounds.

What Causes a Crackling Sound? 

A Google Nest Audio is often caused by one of three issues. One, hardware or software problems, connectivity disconnect, or electromagnetic interferences. All of these items can cause unwanted noises to occur and require a bit of minor troubleshooting to fix. 

Google Nest Audio Connectivity Issue

Often the distance between your Google Nest Audio and the source of your music can be a cause for a crackling noise. Bluetooth signals have a range of an average of 30 feet. Try moving your Google Nest closer to the source of your music. 

If you usually connect your Nest via Bluetooth to your phone, you may have moved your phone too far away. If the distance is no different for your environment, take a look at the items around the room. Did you place any new furniture? Is there something metal between your device and the Google Nest Home? Metal objects can cause signals to go array. 

Google Nest Audio Hardware Issue 

While we like to believe hardware is a force field, that is simply not true. From time to time, hardware problems can occur. Maybe your battery is weak or faulty, or if you have dropped the Nest device, a wire could have been shaken loose, causing the speaker to short out. Both of these hardware problems can cause a crackling noise in your speaker.

Google Nest Audio Software Issue

Before assuming your Google Nest Audio is done with no hope in sight. Check for system updates in your Google Home app. If your software is outdated or an update is available, it can cause your device to not perform at peak levels. A quick device update could get you back to playing harmonious melodies in no time. 

Electromagnetic Interference to the Google Nest Audio 

The most common cause of a crackling, popping, or static sound is interference from another electronic device nearby. Smart appliances, WiFi routers, baby monitors, computer monitors, fluorescent lighting, microwaves, walkie-talkies, and other devices that send off electromagnetic signals can be culprits for interfering. 

To determine if other electromagnetic signals cause the crackling annoyance, try moving your Google Nest Audio to another location or turning off other devices stationed nearby. 

How to Fix a Crackling Google Nest Audio

Now that you are aware of the crackling’s potential causes, here are a few troubleshooting steps that could help solve the problem. 

  • Check your Google Home app to ensure your device software is current – if it has an update available, update your software accordingly. 
  • Reboot your Wi-Fi router. If your Google Home is connected to the internet, rebooting the router could help. 
  • If you believe dying batteries are the culprit, charge the batteries in your device. 
  • If the above troubleshooting steps do not help, it is time to factory reset and resync Bluetooth connections. 
  • Relocate the Google Nest Audio closer to the source of the music you are trying to play. Bluetooth connections normally cannot exceed 30 feet. 
  • Remove potentially interfering electronic devices from the path of the Bluetooth signals. If you have metal objects or other electronic devices giving off electromagnetic waves, it could be interfering with the Bluetooth signals that are trying to travel.  

Conclusion

In most cases, fixing the crackling noise occurring in your Google Nest Audio is an easy fix. However, if you believe the cause is due to broken hardware, water damage, or a faulty device, it may be time to reach out to Google for replacement or expert help. 

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