How to Control Pops on a Gaming Headset

Updated: Feb 12, 2024 12:28 PM
how to control pops on gaming headset guide
Difficulty Simple
Steps 3
Time Required Varies by method
Tools Needed

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.

Key Takeaways_

  • 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You may have a loose or broken cable, problems with your audio port, an outdated driver, or an overly sensitive microphone.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 PS4. Additionally, read our guide on connecting a gaming headset to an audio interface for an alternate option.

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, ensure your cable is plugged into the audio jack 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.

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)

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. 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.


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

We also have other great guides you can read, like how to make a gaming headset if you like DIY projects. Additionally, regardless if you made it or not, we also have more articles to help you with issues that may pop up. If your wireless headsets cord is not working like it’s supposed to, check out our guide on how to fix the cord on a gaming headset. Additionally, we have a guide on what you can do if your gaming headset speaker and microphone don’t work at the same time.

Method 1: How to Update a Driver on a PC

STEP 1 Navigate to Device Manager

  • Open the “Start” menu. This menu now features a Windows symbol instead of the word start.
  • Type “Device Manager.”
  • Double-click on “Audio Inputs and Outputs.”

STEP 2 Update the drivers

  • 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 need to download a headphone-specific driver, which will be on the manufacturer’s website.
  • Choose the newest on the list, click “Next,” and follow the on-screen prompts.

STEP 3 Restart the computer

  • Go into your “Control Panel” and find the power settings.
    • You could also check your equalizer settings for issues in the sound settings.
  • Switch to “Highest Performance” before restarting.

Method 2: How to Change the Xbox Settings For Crackling

STEP 1 Adjust audio settings

  • Open the Xbox menu by pressing the Xbox button on the Xbox One controller.
  • Go to Settings, select General, then Volume & Audio Output, and finally, Advanced.
  • Select the Audio setup option.

STEP 2 Run the diagnostic test

  • Select the audio setup option you want to use and then press the A button.

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

STEP 1 Go to sound settings

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

STEP 2 Adjust microphone sensitivity

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

STEP 3 Test the microphone

  • Check your audio using the microphone test option and adjust accordingly to eliminate issues.
  • Save your changes
Alexis Labadie Avatar

Learn More About Gaming Headset