Question Faint Crackle/Hiss certain parts of songs?


Sep 12, 2021
I've noticed for a while a very faint crackling/hiss on certain sounds in some songs. I can best describe it as similar to a crinkle of a plastic candy wrapper. Kinda faint crackle/hiss. Seems to only happen at high-end sounds. I can replicate this on both my mobo's DAC from an Asus x570 prime and my e10k. I also hear it on another computer with an Asus x99 mobo. I just recently got a THX 789 and can hear it going through that when connected to both a DAC and the mobo. It happens on both my Focal Celestee's and my older m1060's.

It happens at low volume as well as high. I've turned my Windows sample rate to the max and the lowest and hear it on both. I use PEACE/APO and can hear it with it enabled and disabled. I've tried another computer using the motherboard out.

One thing is I cannot hear it if I pull the song up on youtube but I'm not sure if that could just be because of a lower bitrate on youtube? Especially with older songs. I downgraded the quality to low on Spotify but can hear it there fine. I try it on Tidal and can hear it there but cannot hear it on low, but hear it just the same on hifi quality.

Could this be Windows, Spotify, or maybe I'm just hearing the flaws/nuances in the recording?

A big example is all throughout this song but is prominent at 0:54+. You can hear a sizzle or a


You can find an example in this song at around 1:26 after every snare hit.


Another would be 2:22ish here.


It actually happens on the bass hit in this Busta Rhymes banger around 0:18ish.




Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
On-board Mobo DACs are not the best and you are just hearing their limitations.

You need a quality external USB DAC to bypass the on-board DAC if you want the best quality. (Make sure it is an asynchronous DAC which takes full control and conversion away from the computer)



Well-known member
Nov 11, 2020
So i've had a listen using my Topping D90 DAC, Topping A90 Amp and Focal Elegias.

Busta Rhymes was the only one i was detecting any bass distortion and crackle though this looks to be the recording when using Youtube as I've been listening to music which punches much lower completely clean.

It's also possible your reaching the limit of what the Fiio E10K DAC can give you. Looking on ASR, Amir recorded reoccuring Harmonic distortions at around -110db. Proper external DACS now easilly can deliver -130db to -140db and the best ones beyond (some heading to -160db) which provide a much better noise floor across the listening band and inaudible noise interference.


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