Ok, after a whole afternoon spent with an obscure Benq laptop on which I installed Windows 8.1 that had a sound crackling problem I’ve finally came up with a solution. I know that it wasn’t hardware related( well IT IS, because it uses some outdated sound card maybe), because I tried a live Linux installation and the sound problem wasn’t there.
I’ve tried everything that was suggested on different sites. First I downloaded Driver Booster and updated my drivers. I’ve updated the windows installation. I tried using DPC latency checker, which indicated that I have a latency issue. I proceeded to disable almost all of the devices from Device Manager, with no result. The next step was to reinstall the driver… I disabled audio enhancements on playback devices. Nothing worked. I was reluctant to perform a BIOS update as the laptop wasn’t mine and wouldn’t want to accidentally brick it.
It seems that some of the above solution worked for others.
What worked for me? Eventually, I was inspired by this guy who disabled his audio enhancements. I instead went to the “Advanced” tab, and figured that the audio driver couldn’t handle the extra quality. So I lowered the sound quality to “CD quality”. This did the trick!