Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My audio is riddled with pops/crackles/glitches. Sometimes I swear the glitches sound exactly like the facebook messenger sound (best comparison I can give).

Using DPC Latency Checker, it reports the latency to be an abysmal 17,500µs (0.0175s). The first thing I did was disable my 802.11n wireless adapter. This immediately dropped the latency to a nice 250µs. When I re-enabled the adapter, it jumped right back up. I'm 99% certain that this is the cause of my audio glitches.

What can I do about it besides using wired Ethernet or buying a whole new adapter? My adapter is a Dell Wireless 1505 Draft 802.11n WLAN Mini-Card. To be honest, I've had nothing but trouble with the 802.11n standard and am contemplating just going back to g.

share|improve this question
I'd personally think it was electrical interference with the card before I'd blame the wireless standard itself. As far as I know, 802.11n uses the same 2.4mhz frequency as 802.11g – Will Eddins Dec 16 '09 at 4:31
I just meant I've had a lot more interference with the card (poor internet performance) than with a g card. And there's been a few mentions of it on the web that I found while trying to fix it myself (probably not reliable) – colithium Dec 17 '09 at 7:46
Time to break out the aluminum foil! :) – Earlz Apr 20 '10 at 19:57
Any updates on this? – James Watt Apr 28 '10 at 15:08
I just ran a 100ft cord because I was sick of it... Then I moved and the card seems to work great in my new apartment. I haven't heard anymore audio glitches either. Apparently the corner that previously housed my desktop was the corner of doom :-/ – colithium May 31 '10 at 2:32
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is not guaranteed to work, but is your best shot. I too have had lots of signal issues with 802.11n, some of which are due to older 802.11n draft hardware not properly communicating with new 802.11n hardware; other issues are due to interference with other devices (one customer of mine has a cordless phone system which makes their laptop drop off.)

First thing to try is going into your router and change the channel. You're probably set to either AUTO or Channel 6. Pick something at the far top or bottom of the spectrum. Try both if you find the first one doesn't work.

Another thing which I would suggest is updating the firmware on both the router AND on the wireless card in your laptop. If there is not a firmware update for the laptop, just make sure you have the latest drivers.

How close is your router to your speakers? You probably want your laptop to be in the same room I am sure, but you may need to move the router elsewhere. It may be too powerful to sit right next to your speakers.

Speakers have a tendency to pick up crazy interference. I know many people who's speakers make terrible noises when I simply walk too close and I have my blackberry in my pocket. You could try shielding the speakers or buying speakers that are properly shielded. MOST computer speakers are properly shielded so they don't interfere with CRT monitors, but I still see this problem sometimes.

And like you said, you can always switch back to 802.11g if you did not have those problems before. Unless you are transferring files between systems wirelessly, you will not notice a degradation in speed with 802.11g unless you have an internet connection faster than 54mbits/sec.

share|improve this answer

The problem here is that a lot of the 802.11N adapters are on the 2.4Ghz range. This means it interferes with phones, wireless mice, speakers, microwaves, and baby monitors.

The 2.4Ghz band is very congested with traffic, so the best bet is to get a dual band 2.4/5Ghz adapter and switch your router to 5Ghz only.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.