Questions & Answers

Audiobox USB96 causing crackling/popping sounds in headphones and monitors when db is clipping/buffering. PLEASE HELP!!!

+1 vote
asked Nov 2, 2020 in AudioBox USB by davidmillar2 (130 points)
Just bought an Audiobox USB96. It is causing my monitors and headphones to crackle and pop when my db is clipping/buffering. When I play the sound out of my computer I do not experience the crackling. Also, when I use my friends focusrite audio interface I do not experience this crackling, so it must be the presonus USB96 causing the issue. It is very frustrating, PLEASE HELP!! I have tried a lot of things but nothing seems to be working. I am using Logic Pro X on a Macbook pro.

13 Answers

0 votes
answered Nov 4, 2020 by jbremer (280 points)
I am having the same issue! Let me know if you find out what it is or this Audiobox is going back to Guitar Center
+1 vote
answered Dec 30, 2020 by julian83 (250 points)
I am recieving same problem, as soon as any soundfile is played.
Without playing any sound, there is no crackling.
I have no problems with friend's zoom interface on my laptop.
And: my Audiobox works on other laptops. Then there is no crackling.

Can it be caused by connecting Audiobox 2.0 to USB 3.0 slots?
+1 vote
answered Mar 9, 2021 by joaquinmackenna (200 points)
I have the same problem, even when I play a video on youtube I have the problem. I tried with 2.0 and 3.0 usb inputs. Did you find a solution?
+1 vote
answered May 11, 2021 by stphaniegoyette (160 points)
I have the same problem! I thought maybe it was just too loud but, it doesn't change anything. I wonder why it does this and how we can fix it. It's annoying :(
0 votes
answered May 15, 2021 by justinboreland (230 points)
Hi Guys,

Unfortunately, I have come online to echo the sentiment. My Audiobox USB 96 is popping when I play audio - When I use my TAC -2 (Zoom) it odes not happen. I have uploaded the most recent drivers and checked to see that everything is on the same sample rate but still I hear pops.

If it is that the Presonus USB 96 is causing this, I doubt it can be anything else, then it is totally unacceptable for an audio interface to be sold that produces such noise. and I am troubled that PreSonus have not yet responded to our valid concerns.

I hope it gets sorted quickly as I can't record any vocals like this.
0 votes
answered Sep 2, 2021 by logankirk (140 points)
Hi All, I have suddenly started experiencing intermittent crackling and 'static' noises when playing back my recordings, and it's most offputting. However, it does not seem to transfer to the actual recordings when I mixdown to MP3. So it's a real headaches when trying to concentrate on playing and recording new tracks. I'm going to try a new USB D power/data lead to see if that's the issue. But if anyone does find a fix (or confirmation from PreSonus it's hardware/software) please let me know.
0 votes
answered Oct 10, 2021 by gnosticone (190 points)
I found that the Presonus USB 96 is just very sensitive to clipping. The sound you are hearing during playback of audio from various sources may be very harsh digital clipping. I am on an iMac with only USB 3.0 and what I did to resolve this was turn down my output volume for the Music app when listening to music, Youtube, or the Master Out in my DAW. Many higher quality audio cards (even the presonus 68c which I tried as well) can handle more output volume without clipping, they must have more headroom in the converters or something.

Just try turning down the output volume in whatever app you are playing audio through and see if that helps.
0 votes
answered Dec 17, 2021 by robertandreimusatescu (140 points)
So I have the same problem like all of you. But, I opened my DAW and turned down my Master volume just a little (@80% volume) and all the other noises dissapeared. Try this out, it might help you.

0 votes
answered Mar 3, 2022 by Chance_Egan (140 points)
edited Mar 3, 2022 by Chance_Egan

My Presonus Audiobox USB96 has the same problem on an HP EliteBook. I bought this so I could be mobile and record anywhere at anytime. So, I was definitely disappointed when I heard the cracking and popping coming out of the headphones and main speakers or anything that I connected the output to.

What I did to resolve the issue:   I first attempted to simply lower the send volume coming from the source from 100 to 90. This helped, but ultimately there was still a much less irritating popping and crackling sound.

What seems to have resolved the issue (On Windows 10) was to enable "Enhancements" to "Speaker Properties" - yes, it took enabling all 3 "Bass Boost", "Virtual Sound", and "Loudness Equalization", as shown in this picture:

Prepare for the solution: If you want to try out this solution, first find a clip of audio that always produces clicking and popping during playback.

Now follow these steps: To get to the settings change location in Windows 10 you will need to:

  • Step 1: Right-click on the volume icon on the taskbar and then click "Sounds" to open the Sound dialog.
  • Step 2: Click on the Playback tab and then under the Playback tab, right-click on your speaker and then click Properties. You should now see the Speakers Properties dialog. Like this:

  • Step 3: Under the Enhancements tab, you can see all enhancements that are available for this speaker. Uncheck "Disable all enhancements if checked" and enable "Bass Boost", "Virtual Sound", and "Loudness Equalization", so that it looks like the first picture I shared in this solution.
  • Step 4: Click on "Apply".
Now test the solutionGo back to the clip that kept causing popping and crackling and play it back. If the sound was good to begin with, you should no longer hear any popping and crackling of any kind. Good luck!
0 votes
answered May 11, 2022 by bradleymiller4 (140 points)

I recently bought the Audiobox USB 96 (after Presonus made my previously excellent Firestudio Project redundant on latest macOS) and I've experienced the same problem: crackling and popping occurs on playback of certain files or tracks with higher recording levels (directly off my computer or even on YouTube).

Presonus support said there was a fault with the unit that I had bought so I exchanged it for a replacement but the problem still persists. Presonus support also claims that this issue is "not a known issue with the AudioBox USB 96" -- seriously??

I fear that gnosticone may be right -- though I wish Presonus would address and confirm this directly. Regardless, it shouldn't be necessary to constantly adjust the output volumes of 3rd-party media players even when the Audiobox volume is set at less than 50%.

0 votes
answered Jan 22, 2023 by wbqltuuk (1,590 points)

A long time after creation of this post, but also I must concur. 

And yes, Presonus also told me 'they didn't know of this issue'. When it's just too hard to believe that. When you check here, and Google, there are tons of similar compaints.

I even have the issue, which is specifically noticeable on headphones that the Audiobox is contantly popping and crackling, even when sound is not playing, but when there are audioapplications switching. For example, when I see my desktop and open up Chrome, I immediatly get a pop or crackle.  

So far I found out:  (All issues caused by the Audiobox)

- Cracks and pops always when changing application. As if the Audiobox frees himself from slumber everytime a sounds might going to play. 
- Reconnecting the Audiobox with USB gives a hellish scream sound. 
- There is NO difference using all kinds of different sample rates or block sizes.
- It does NOT like Windows having the volume on 100. (Which is the standard output)
- It does equally NOT like USB 3.0, even though USB 3.0 should be backwards compatible. USB 2.0 doesn't solve any issues either.
- Trying out power issues, by using external powered (2.0) USB hubs, instead of using the PC bus powered USB is NOT helping.
- Another PC, or laptop same issues.

PreSonus could probably suggest to send it in for repair. But I've also read plenty of others where any repaired or replaced just have the same issues. 

And since I own the 25th Anniversary edition, it should basically mean all the technical issues and bugs should been removed. Especially the technical ones. I think they made this box TOO sensitive, and they miss out a few filters to protect signals. It's a design flaw.

So it's very simple for me. This one goes into the garbage bin and I am going to search for another interface. I love Presonus for Studio One, but I am not going to buy hardware from them again. Not with that quality, and not with that customer service. 

0 votes
answered Mar 3, 2023 by firesound (200 points)
It is the volume level of whichever sound source is going into the interface that causes this.. In my opinion Presonus needs to make a much better app allowing you to control the parameters of the device and also monitor the input and output levels on all physical inputs and outputs.

I purchased an app called Sound Control from Rogue Amoeba that allows you to control all sound sources on your Mac individually.  So, for example, I have an M1 Mac Mini, the line output is rubbish and noisy, so I use my Audiobox and I use sound control to adjust the levels of all my running apps individually so I get no pops and crackles...
0 votes
answered Apr 12, 2023 by phmkvuse (140 points)
This is the strangest thing ever. I've been using this for more than a year and about a month or so ago I started hearing all this crackling when I use ableton or just play a video from youtube.  Tried a few things recommended here and nothing worked. My laptop has two usb 3.0 ports and a single usb 2.0 port. I've been using the interface on the 3.0 port so out of curiosity I plugged it in the 2.0 port and voila. The crackling sounds stopped. I suspect this may be an issue with windows as I have updated my laptop multiple time over the year and they must have done something or changed something in their update. There was no isssue for the last year i've been using this in a 3.0 port so why now? Again maybe its microsoft and a windows update.