Without a doubt, Ring Doorbells are among the best smart home devices today. Its features are simply incredible, the subscriptions affordable, and the customer support pretty reliable. However, that’s not to say that it doesn’t come with issues. One of the problems often encountered with Ring devices is related to audio.
Crackling Noise and Other Audio Issues
More specifically, there is the crackling noise, static or distorted sound that many users experience. It has been happening for quite some time, but there has not been a concrete solution for it. Even Ring is not entirely sure of the cause of the problem. Still, some of the tips that other users tried seem to work.
Ring Doorbells are not only one of the best video doorbells in the market today. They are also widely popular, especially as a neighborhood communication tool. It does well in deterring trespassers, letting you know if some approach your door. However, nothing is perfect, and Ring Video Doorbells are the same.
It is common to run into some troubles when you first set it up. Even after you got it working, you may encounter power and Wi-Fi issues after a while. As for the crackling noise issue, some users had luck, while others still have this as an ongoing issue. Here are the common audio problems that Ring users report:
- Crackling noise
- Static or distortion
- Indiscernible conversations
- Poor audio during Live View
Here is a video on YouTube of the crackling noise many users encounter.
A lot of times, the video quality is fantastic. Everything works fluidly, but the audio is suffering. Many users thought that the problem has to do with firmware, something that interferes with the microphone and speaker. The thing, however, is many users had already tried replacing their units but still suffered the same dilemma.
It goes to say that the problem does not have to do with the firmware. Others thought it might be due to weak Wi-Fi connection, as most audio issues have. On that note, many users tried to fix the crackling noise with the usual tips. In some cases, the crackling sound was resolved, but most still had the same problem.
For the issue on Ring Doorbell crackling noise – some tricks might work, some won’t. Most users still experience the problem even after trying all the solutions available. Without clear cause and solution, Ring continues to look for ways they can help homeowners on how to solve their Ring Doorbell audio issues.
Best Solutions for Common Ring Doorbell Errors
If you run with issues like crackling noise when using your Ring Doorbell, it is challenging to pinpoint the exact problem and exact solution. However, you can try the different troubleshooting tips recommended by Ring and other users. You might have some luck in them and actually fix your Ring audio problems.
Since audio issues are often due to Wi-Fi, Ring app, and power problems, you can try the following solutions:
Reset Video Doorbell
In the Ring community page, a concern on an undecipherable two-way communication was posted. The solution they found was to reset the device. It might fix your static/crackling noise/distorted Ring Doorbell. In that case, you can follow the steps below on how to reset your video doorbell:
- Open your Ring app
- Tap the specific Ring Doorbell you wish to reset
- Click the setting icon on the screen’s top right corner
- Tap the “Remove Device” button
- Select “Delete” when the pop-up screen appears
This is a simple reset where you disconnect your device from the app. The Ring Doorbell will now disappear from the app and your device is ready to be set up again. Follow the steps you performed when you first set up your Ring Doorbell.
If this reset method doesn’t work because you can’t access the app, you can try the hard-reset method instead:
- Look for the orange/black button either at the back or side of the device
- Press and hold the button for at least 15 seconds
- After 15 seconds, release it, and you will see the front light flashing for a few times indicating it is resetting
- Wait for about 5 minutes while your Ring Doorbell completes to hard reset
- Push the orange/black button again to start setup mode
Hopefully, your device will start working again without the audio issues after resetting it. If not, you can try the other tips mentioned below.
Update Ring App
In some cases, the origin of the crackling noise you experience is an outdated app. In that case, the best solution is to update it. For Android phones, do this:
- Go to Google Play Store app.
- Tap Menu then go to ‘My apps & games.’
- Choose Ring app then tap ‘More.’
- Tap ‘Enable auto-update.’
This way, your Ring app will update to the latest version whenever it connects to Wi-Fi or when data is on.
For iOS devices, you can manually update your Ring app following these steps:
- Open the App Store.
- Go to the sidebar, and from there, click ‘Updates.’
- Next to Ring app, click ‘Update’ or you can click ‘Update All’ to update all your apps.
With that, your Ring app is now updated. Some Ring Doorbell audio concerns were resolved with Android app updates beyond 3.17, which might also address your crackling noise issue.
If you want, you can also uninstall the app then reinstall again with the newest update. In some cases, it is the app itself that was not correctly installed, causing audio issues. You will know for sure by playing videos on another device or through Ring’s website.
Adjust Router Distance
The distance between the Ring Doorbell and the router is a common cause of weak Wi-Fi, which may be the cause of crackling noise. Although Ring Video Doorbells are great, they seem to need a better Wi-Fi chip since being too far away from the router is enough to cause errors. It will help if you move the router somewhere close to the door.
Of course, just bringing your router a little closer to the Ring Doorbell won’t always be enough to fix the problem. When you move the router, test how stable the network is and check the device health in the app, specifically the RSSI score. This score ranges from 0 to -99. The lower the number, the better it is.
Consider Transformer Type
The type of transformer is a critical aspect of the device that people often overlook. As per instructions, the required transformer for Ring Doorbells is anything between 16 to 24 volts. Most homes have a 16V transformer, but that is not the case with others. If yours isn’t, you need to upgrade it to fit the 16-24volt requirement.
You should also consider the VA or volts-amps. Typically, a “16V 10VA” transformer is enough for a single chime inside a doorbell. 10 VA is just about the same as 10 watts of power at 16V. It’s enough for one chime and a simple doorbell button. But for Ring, where you also have to factor the 2-way radio, Wi-Fi, streaming video, etc., it isn’t enough.
A 16V 10VA transformer for a Ring Doorbell is usually underpowered. You can fix this by swapping your transformer with something like a 16V 30VA. It is enough to power up to three chimes and a Ring Doorbell. It will provide your device with around 30 watts of power, eliminating the issue of insufficient power.
When you have an underpowered Ring Doorbell, it causes plenty of problems. Among those include a live event freezing, device regularly shutting off, or the night vision not working. It is not surprising if it also causes crackling noise. By upgrading your transformer, your audio issues may be fixed as well.
If you are comfortable and confident in fiddling with the advanced features of your Wi-Fi router, then you can try this fix. Make sure to set up your Ring Doorbell after you performed the suggestions below.
- Adjust the router channel. In the U.S., the 2.4GHz bands use channels 1 to 11 while other countries use 1 to 13. On the other hand, the 5GHz bands use specific channels from 36 to 165. If you have static/distorted/crackling noise issue, it might be because of congestion or interference in the channel you use.
- Ring recommends switching your router to channels 1, 6, or 11 if you experience audio and video quality issues with a 2.4GHZ frequency. This way, you can avoid overlapping with other channels.
- Use a Wi-Fi analyzer to find which channels are the most congested. Do this whenever you have audio issues like crackling noise or delayed notifications. With that, you can determine if you need to switch channels.
For the problem Ring Doorbell crackling noise – there hasn’t been an exact cause and solution for the problem. Even Ring itself is still looking for a way to fix it, with the most drastic solution they can offer is to replace your unit. In any case, you can try all Ring troubleshooting methods mentioned here.
- Ring Doorbells Still Experiencing Two-Way Audio Distortion, Pocnetwork.net, September 21, 2018
- Fixing Poor Audio/Video Quality by Adjusting Your Router, Support.Ring.com
- The Tricks to Troubleshooting Your Ring Doorbell (Connectivity, Sound, etc.), Pocnetwork.net, August 17, 2018