fffurkandeger Tried with a pair of ear buds. It had no effect for me. Something like that would make me suspicious of cabling/grounding, but that I could not be certain.
To be clear when first plugging headphones it sounds silent. Wait a little, maybe a minute after notification something has been plugged into the front port, I'll hear a noticeable *pop* then will start to crackle and hiss. This will continue regardless if I have audio playing or not until.
Two things will reset this for me. 1) Unplugging my headphones and replugging them back in. Or 2) In Realtek HD Audio Manager flipping the "Smart Headphone Amp" On/Off will have the same effect for me. That is why I feel my issue is software/drivers.
Perhaps I am dealing with a different issue. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Well the symptoms you're describing and also the workarounds are also applicable for me in addition to what I describe. Pretty sure that's the same issue