I just received my new 17 R5 a couple days ago and as soon as i turned it on Cortana started to walk me through setting up the computer. Right away i could tell that the left speaker has a crackling noise. After i got up and running I could still hear it. It gets worse the louder I set the volume. I tried to re install the audio drivers but it is still there. And over all the audio seems a bit low compared to my last R3 that this is replacing.
Make sure the same does not happen with headphones, if it does not happen, send me a private message with Service Tag so I can assist you further.
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Ive got the same problem ,on my new one day old alienware 17 R5,very low volume on the laptop speakers plus crackling ,ive tried reinstalling the drivers and updating them.