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I recently got a used 2010 Infiniti G37x with the Bose sound system and noticed that the tweeters have a slight crackling sound when playing most songs. I assumed they were blown so I replaced both tweeters with brand new OEM replacement parts from a dealer and they STILL sound like crap...

Just to clarify, I'm referring to the super tiny speakers up next to the windows:

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The crackling is subtle enough that they don't really sound blown, they just add sort of a static sound, similar to the sound of digital clipping. It makes the music sound degraded in quality. It's just annoying enough to drive you nuts when you show a friend and they say "It sounds fine to me"...

The crackling is coming from both tweeters, driver and passenger side. It's highly unlikely that both of the new tweeters I just bought are blown. I also ruled out the possibility that the Bose system might just have crappy tweeters in general because my dad has a 2013 G37x with the exact same sound system and his sounds crystal clear.

I'm not the most experienced with car audio so I'm not sure what to check next. What else could cause this problem? Are there any simple tests I can do to help pinpoint the exact cause?

  • What audio source are you using? Have you tried other audio sources and do they sound the same on all of them? – vini_i Oct 16 '19 at 19:33
  • @vini_i I'm using bluetooth from my phone, but my dad has the same car with the same soundsystem and it sounds crystal clear with the same phone connected in the same way. It is very unlikely that the audio source is the problem. – tjwrona1992 Oct 16 '19 at 20:21
  • It's easy to say that it is not the problem but have you confirmed? It is mind-boggling how many options cars have. You can't say "same car with the same soundsystem" without comparing every single option from a build sheet. – vini_i Oct 17 '19 at 11:46
  • @vini_i, they are both Infiniti G37s with the Bose sound system option. If you look up the sound system parts you get the same part numbers for both cars. – tjwrona1992 Oct 17 '19 at 14:13
  • So suppose there is something wrong with the Bluetooth of your car and your dad's is fine. Why can't you try other audio sources? Can't anecdotally diagnose things. Well, this other car doesn't do this so mine is the sam... – vini_i Oct 17 '19 at 14:16
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Sounds like you have a bad ground. If possible hook up another set of speakers and see if you have the same result.

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  • How would I check for a bad ground? The tweeters are simple plug and play, they have an easy connector that they just plug into so I didn't have to mess with any wiring. – tjwrona1992 Sep 23 '19 at 20:50
  • If there is a bad ground its doubtful that its within the tweeters themselves because the bad sound is coming from both sides, and I already replaced both tweeters and it didn't fix the problem. – tjwrona1992 Sep 23 '19 at 20:51
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Crackling can be caused by a few different types of interference depending on what you are doing and how.

If you are listening via an AUX cable plugged into your phone, and your phone is charging. You will be hearing the A/C Interference generated by your alternator. There are products you can by that isolate the Phone from the Car when charging so that it doesn't have the noise come through. This typically increases in frequency as you rev the engine.

If this is not the case, and you are listening via bluetooth, a USB plugged in, a CD, or radio (Radio can have its own crackling due to compression so I would not bother testing with Radio).

Some possibilities are, the ground going to your Head Unit is not very good and you are getting interference coming from there.

A connection on the internal wiring loom for the speakers is corroded, damaged, or shorting to ground intermittently.

Realistically it is very hard to diagnose something like this, your best bet would be to go to an Auto Electrician who specializes more in Car Audio, as they would be able to test things properly.

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  • Thanks for the advice! I am connected via bluetooth and streaming audio off of Google Play music so I know the quality is good. I have also tried my phone connected to my dad's car (He has the same car with the same exact sound system) and it sounds perfect through his so it being an issue with the audio source is unlikely. It's doubtful that it is internal wiring to the speakers because it is on both sides and I just replaced both speakers. A bad ground going into the head unit may be a possibility. – tjwrona1992 Oct 16 '19 at 20:08
  • The crackling happens consistently at the same parts of the same songs, it seems to be related to the frequency content at those parts of the songs (usually in more dense parts of heavy rock songs). Would a bad ground sound consistently bad all the time in the same way? – tjwrona1992 Oct 16 '19 at 20:09
  • A bad ground would typically be a consistent sound regardless of music playing. I.e it would be changing with something in the car like engine revs, or a/c turning on etc. Not when I'm talking about the speaker wiring, I'm talking about all the wiring going from the harness where the speakers plug into all the way to the Head Unit. If the entire wiring has been replaced up to the head unit when the speakers were replaced this rules that out, however if just the speakers were replaced it is hard to say. A good test may be plug some speakers directly to tweeter output on the head unit. – H. Daun Oct 16 '19 at 20:11
  • Do you think there's any possibility that the amp could have a bad channel and not be pushing the correct amount of output to the tweeters? The amp would be much easier to get to than taking apart my whole dashboard. Is there any way to test for the amp being the problem to at least rule it out as a possibility? – tjwrona1992 Oct 16 '19 at 20:15
  • Overall not a bad answer though, I would upvote it, but I've used so much of my reputation on the bounty I lost that privilege hahaha – tjwrona1992 Oct 16 '19 at 20:18

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