I am using a pair of Altec Lansing external speakers (with a subwoofer) that came with my Dell computer purchased in 2000 (still using the speakers, but a newer computer obviously). These are the speakers (mine are white, but the model number is the same, so I assume all the specs are identical):
The left speaker plugs directly into the right speaker, the right speaker plugs directly into the sub, and the sub plugs directly into the audio card in the tower. I've never had a problem with these speakers, no matter which of my computers I've plugged them into. For the past couple of months, a crackling noise has been coming out of the right speaker only. It was only every once in a while, so it was fairly easy to ignore. But for the past day, it's been a constant crackle, still coming from the right speaker only.
As far as troubleshooting goes, here's what I've found out: It scales with the volume knob. Turn the volume knob on the speaker up, and it gets louder. Turn the volume all the way down, and the noise stops. Changing the volume within the Windows sounds controls does nothing, however. Mute, up, down, nothing changes unless you actually turn the knob on the speaker. Lastly, it still happens when I use headphones. Again, the crackling only comes out of the right headphone.
Any help?? This is driving me nuts and I can't listen to music!