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ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming Audio cracks stops working

Level 9
I have issue with ROG Strix TRX40-E Gaming, after assembly started OS from old system (x299 Asus Prime Deluxe) and went through normal driver install part. Every device is correctly detected in Device Manager and then I did noticed issue with audio.

Initially I hear cracks from my speakers on video / audio change and audio would stop working after changing few songs in both audio / video player (or any other application that outputs audio i.e. Vegas).
After manually uninstalling device from Device Manager and reboot situation did improved. Now audio works but I do hear cracks on changing audio / video files.

Those crack happens for few milliseconds (under one sec).

Speakers are connected via Optical S/PDIF OUT.

This happens for both audio and video.

Windows version: 1803 b 17134.386

Now I did disabled `Nahimic service` and cracks are still there but there is no lag when i.e. I reboot system.

NOTE: I'm in the middle of RAID-0 migration so I didn't tested much system as copy takes now 10+hours, after that will do more testing.
Just for anyone that is curious - RAID-0 created on Intel system with IRST is not detected on this (all AMD???) board. It could be that I did something wrong but Raid Manager in BIOS didn't detected old RAID.

Level 9
Did audio re-instal few time, ddu clean up ... still same.
Audio complete hung is still there but happens now after more tracks played.

Level 9
Just to be more clear here, those cracks are similar to the ones that You hear when turning on system and audio is initialized.
If audio stops working it produces these cracks in short intervals (initialize audio bumps / cracks) until reboot and playing again audio.

Output is EDIFIER 2.1 S350DB. No issue with intel x299.

Level 9
Resolved issue.
Root - old BIOS. I had 0213 upgrading to latest one 0702 fixed audio issue or at least it didn't happened yet. Asus man... nowhere in BIOS upgrade audio issue is mentioned. Was it omitted so buyers don't see how weak Your product is ?.

But this does not solve everything, I can hear some noise (like coil whine) from either speakers or from mobo itself (I didn't identified it yet). Need more time with this mobo.

Am I silent freak ? Yes and I expect that when paying HUGE amount of money (maybe not that huge, but it's not cheap and Asus charges for it) I get IMPRESSIVE performance / quality. I don't feel such quality right now. Granted it could be Windows issue as I'm on older one. On Linux I have audio driver problems... snd_hda_intel no codec found need to investigate this more).

Level 9
Update: confirmed noise comes from speakers.

Level 9
Update: issue is not resolved.
When changing in Windows sound playback settings "Default format" to DVD 48k Hz issue returns, changing to CD Quality (44.1kHz) it works.
Not only that, Linux driver are also problematic - aka. sound card is not detected.

Level 9
Found root of issue.

As said I used S/PDIF out with EDIFIER 2.1 S350DB that worked perfectly fine using Asus Prime Deluxe x299.
This is root of issue.
Switching to line out resolves ALL issues, like:

- there is no crackling / popping sounds when using audio device for extended period of time
- initial "popping" sound is much subtle / silent
- Linux works just fine
- on Windows when playing back for the first time after reboot there is no delay (with SPDIF there was like 1-2 sec delay with audio volume rising from 0 - 100%)
- no cracklings / popping when changing audio / video sources

There is still one issue with those speakers, they do produce low level of noise, but for now it's only noticeable when I put my ear next to them so it could be how they behave by default (don't have time to test).

Bottom line:

For a mid range HEDT platform (aka. not insane expensive but expensive non the less) motherboard that could be used by audio professionals (although due to more fast response and real time processing nature they would go with something with less latency) this motherboard is broken. Using i.e. external DAC is probably troublesome (I don't have / didn't tested) so as long as going with digital out for audio from this board it's broken.

Level 9
Tested latest Windows 1909 + up to date drivers - exactly same issue with S/PDIF out with EDIFIER 2.1 S350DB.

I found solution for this problem, will return motherboard and go this time with MSI.

Level 9
Update: got myself ASUS ROG Zenith II Extreme and all issues that I encountered on Strix are still present on Zenith, that includes:

Audio issue on optical output:
- audio crackling on Windows (with MS and ASUS drivers, doesn't make a difference)
- audio stops working after some time, reboot and starting playback again resolves noise that comes after that event
- SATA performance is lower then on x299 for small reads, burst is same
- inability to disable individual SATA drive in BIOS

In all cases tested with latest BIOS - 0702.

I'm having the same exact problem on My Zenith II Extreme. Optical audio out creates a crackle noise right before any audio is played. So with every single ding system notification I get a crackle right before it.

Best way to reproduce the issue is to play a youtube video (or any video with VLC). You can fast forward and rewind with the left and right arrow keys. So if you fast forward by hitting the right arrow key over and over again you get nothing but a bunch of horrible super loud crackling. It should simply sound like normal audio scrubbing.

And then of course after so long the audio just disappears completely. Have to reboot to get it back. I didn't check to see if I still have a light at the cable. All I know is my speaker system says no digital signal.

Pretty horrible experience all around. I'm hoping it's a driver issue. After almost a month it would be nice if someone chimed in. Is this not ASUS monitored? Are we barking up the wrong tree?