How to Control Pops on a Gaming Headset

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Updated June 27, 2022

If you’ve played games or listened to music through a wired or wireless pair of headphones, you may have wondered how to control pops on a gaming headset. Unfortunately, a popping, crackling, or static sound could signify something wrong with even the best gaming headset.


  • Check your EQ settings and auxiliary cable port to reduce pops and increase the quality of the game sounds in your gaming headset.
  • If you are using a Windows PC, you may need to update your headset’s audio driver to eliminate crackling and other quality problems.
  • Reduce your microphone sensitivity to avoid extra background sound from your environment and keep the microphone slightly away from your face.

You may have a loose or broken cable, problems with your audio port, an outdated driver, or an overly sensitive microphone. To reduce these issues, follow the troubleshooting steps below. Also, if you have a new gaming headset and an older console, learn how to connect a gaming headset to a PS3.

How to Fix Popping on Your Headset

If you have a wired headset, it plugs directly into the USB port on your device. The first troubleshooting step you should try is making sure your headphones’ cable is fully plugged into the audio jack on your controller, laptop, or computer to reduce sound from the cable moving.

Insider Tip

If you have a wired headset, make sure your cable is plugged into the audio jack entirely to eliminate crackling, popping, or static.

If that step doesn’t eliminate the problem or you don’t have a wired gaming headset, there are a couple of steps to try, including adjusting your equalizer (EQ) settings and updating your driver.

If your gaming teammates are commenting on a popping sound coming from your audio, you may need to reduce the sensitivity of your microphone or pull it away from your face some. The directions for this adjustment can be found in the second section below. And if it’s an echoing sound you’re hearing, check out how to disable the echo on a gaming headset.

Method 1: How to Update a Driver on a PC

  • Time to Complete: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Tools Needed:
    • Windows 10 PC
    • Gaming headset


Open the “Start” menu. This menu now features a Windows symbol instead of the word start, but it is the same menu. If you have your computer in tablet mode, clicking on this logo will pull up tiles instead of the traditional start menu.


Type “Device Manager.” Whichever setup you have on your PC, you can start typing without clicking into a box to type. You don’t even have to type the whole phrase if you don’t want to. Your computer should still show it as a match.


Double-click on “Audio Inputs and Outputs.” The feature will show all of your input and output devices, so you may have to find your headset within the list. If the following steps do not work, you may need to uninstall your device from this menu and reinstall it for wireless headsets or USB headsets.


Right-click on your headset’s option.


Open the “Update Drivers” window and choose “Browse my computer for drivers.” If your driver software is on your hard drive, it will find the most applicable one. You may download a headphone-specific driver if you cannot find one on your hard drive. To find this driver, check your manufacturer’s website.


Choose the driver highest on the list and click “Next.”


Close the window once the update is completed.


Go into your “Control Panel” and find the power settings. You may find this option easier in tile view. You could also check your equalizer settings for issues in the sound settings.


Switch to “Highest Performance” before restarting your computer, laptop, or tablet.

Method 2: How to Change the Xbox Settings For Crackling

  • Time to Complete: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Tools Needed:
    • Xbox One
    • Gaming headset


Open the Xbox menu by pressing the Xbox button on the Xbox One controller.


Choose “Settings” and “Network settings.”


Then, select “Advanced Settings” and “Alternate MAC Address.”

STEP 4Clear your settings and restart the software to ensure the process works.

Method 3: How to Control Pops on a Microphone for a Gaming Headset

  • Time to Complete: 5 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Tools Needed:
    • Preferred Gaming Device
    • Gaming headset
  • Steps: 4


Enter your sound settings from the settings menu or your headset’s software.


Find the bar representing the microphone sensitivity and slide it to the left.


Check your audio using the microphone test option and adjust accordingly to eliminate issues.

STEP 4Save your changes and enjoy.


The update for your drivers may not work, so you could uninstall and reinstall the driver from the “Device Manager” menu.


Is the Razer Kraken Ultimate powered by Razer Chroma?

Razer Kraken Ultimate headsets include Chroma RGB. Look in their product descriptions or on the Razer website to check other headphones for this feature.

Why does my headset make popping noises?

Headsets that make popping noises need troubleshooting. For example, the cable (if the headphones are wired), the sound drivers, the computer or console, or the EQ settings could be the issue.

What are good equalizer settings?

You should tailor your equalizer settings to your preferences. Play around with the levels to find your preferred EQ settings for your headset. If you’re still not sure what settings you should use, search online for a recommended setting and adjust from there.

STAT: If the headset fails on one device but works properly on another, the issue could be due to a defective computer or device audio port. (source)

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