RE: XPS 15 96560 Audio Crackling
Hello. My regular advice to owners of new laptops with audio noise issues is to consider returning it while still in the return period, because fixing those kind of issues has historically been a very very low priority with Dell, imo.
it was the first time they had heard of anything similar
It is the first time I have heard of your specific symptoms too. However there are plenty of complaints of crackling from owners of Dell laptops with Realtek & Win10. I don't try to keep track of all of them, but the ones where at least one owner posts a fix, I put in the Recent Issues FAQ.
I'd say too it is something wrong with the drivers.
The usual test that I suggest is to switch from the Realtek driver to the Windows native audio driver. If the issue is absent with the native driver, then the Realtek driver is causing it. My speculation is that Realtek doesn't allow enough buffering for all of the processing it does, resulting in the noise. Just guessing. Your tests with ASIO and WASPAPI are suggestive because those bypass the Realtek processing. The Realtek driver download is 267 Mb, which is an awful lot of code for an audio driver. By comparison, the IDT audio driver for my Latitude is 27 MB -- but I don't get Waves with it.
Dell Audio app o
The program is a variation of the Realtek Audio Manager program, and it should download with the driver. If it isn't in the Control Panel I guess it is not included with that version of the driver package.
Is this a known problem with the default Dell MaxxAudio Driver and if it is is there a fix or update somewhere?
MaxxAudio is included with the Realtek driver package, and there is only the initial release version of it so far. You could try going into the Speaker properties, Enhancements tab, and check Disable all enhancements. Also try changing the default format settings on the Advanced tab.
will a system wipe and restore solve this
It could be instructive to use the Factory Image to return the laptop to the exact factory configuration, then test immediately before going online and updating. If the noise is gone after the recovery, but returns after using Windows Updates, that would narrow it down.
Is there a way to set WASAPI as the default sound processor?
To the best of my knowledge, that protocol must be set within the individual programs, if the program supports that option.