This is closly related to the other thread about the Xfi card having distorted sound.
I was on the phone with ASUS thinking it was their mother board having the issue.. I used to have a socket 754 KV8 motherboard with this audigy 2 ZS in it... never had a problem.
I upgraded to a A8V socket 939 motherboard and now I get this crackling problem. I Reinstalled drivers.... this seems to fix it for a couple minutes or until a restart... and it also seems to be getting worse over time.
Right now when I play streaming video it goes beyond crackling to just total distortion... if I cover the video with any other window so its behind it (doesnt display on the monitor) it improves the sound (less distortion), but you can still hear it.
I have tried disabling things, tried every single PCI slot, tried moving the power cables away from the IDE cables... drivers many times... reinstalling windows everything I can think of.
I was starting to think it was my sound card being damaged and was going to get an X-Fi card, but it appears that would not help the situation since the other thread is saying people are having the same issues with that card.
ASUS K8V Socket 939 AMD 3200+ 2.0 GHZ
2 GB DDR 3200 Corsair
X800XL ATI Radeon
Audigy 2 ZS