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Released September 2015, the JBL Xtreme is a portable, Bluetooth speaker that is also splash proof.

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Why is my speaker crackling

While playing speaker makes a cracking sound usually seems to be worse for bass. How do I know which speaker component is the problem?

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Hi Mariann,

Cracking typically is an “analog” issue, meaning it usually doesn’t have anything to do with the digital/wireless components in Bluetooth speakers. Unfortunately, it could be a lot of different spots that are causing it though. I’ll give you some general ideas that hopefully help. Personally, I haven’t disassembled a JBL Xtreme, so I can’t coach you there, but if it were mine, I’d take it apart (yes, I use iFixIt tools) and look for where there are the + and - (usually red and black, but not always) wires that feed the Right and Left speakers from the amplifier circuit (usually has some heavy transformers on it). I’d check the electrical connection by tracing them from the speakers to the amplifier output. Depending on what I found, I would re-solder them in place if they were loose. I would inspect the electronic circuitry on the amp. While it’s not impossible to repair an amplifier circuit, it’s pretty involved and would probably mean a new unit unless you are brave and very handy. My guess (again, I haven’t had this apart) is that the amplifier circuit probably mates with the wireless/Bluetooth circuit using a ribbon cable or maybe a similar connection. I’d remove the cable or find a way to separate the two, I’d visually inspect for corrosion, clean it up, and then clean with electronic contact cleaner and reassemble. Personally, I’ve successfully repaired dozens of pro and consumer audio devices (and motorcycles actually) by simply removing cables and connectors, gently cleaning, then reassembling.

If you do have corrosion in there, it may because one of the seals is shot or damaged, so inspect that as you pull it apart and consider resealing as you reassemble. I’m sorry if my idea is rather vague, but hopefully it gives you a bit of confidence to give it a shot. Good luck and Fix the World.

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