I'm pretty sure this is a feature and not a bug with the XPS laptops but it is incredibly annoying.
The issue in short is that the audio drivers of the laptop go to "sleep" when not in use, so when a program needs to use audio there's always lag because the audio drivers need to "wake up" first.
The best example of this is if you try to change the sound volume from the taskbar, there's a slight delay before Windows changes the sound volume and plays the new sound volume. If you wait a couple of seconds the audio drivers will again go back to sleep and if you change the volume again there will be lag.
Another example of this is you're watching a video on VLC and pause the video, the audio will go back to sleep after a couple of seconds. Once you resume, the video resumes without sound for a couple of seconds until the audio drivers wake up.
Because I wear headphones, I can even hear the audio drivers go to sleep. Once the audio is not in use for a couple of seconds, I can hear a faint crack in my headphones. After that crack sound, I know the audio drivers are at sleep and if I try to use anything with sound there will be lag. I hear that crack sound again once the audio drivers wake up.
Is there a setting somewhere in this laptop that I can configure so the audio does not go to sleep?
I'm pretty sure it has something to do with these useless Realtek Audio drivers which is just bloatware that Dell insists on using to make their speakers sound louder. I appreciate the louder speakers but I don't appreciate all the other problems these useless audio drivers has caused me.