It seems like you've already taken several good troubleshooting steps. Let's try a few more:
Rollback or reinstall audio drivers:
- In Device Manager, right-click on your audio device (Realtek High Definition Audio) and select "Properties."
- Go to the "Driver" tab and try rolling back the driver to a previous version.
- If that doesn't work, uninstall the driver, restart your computer, and let Windows reinstall the driver automatically.
Check for Windows updates:
- Make sure your Windows operating system is completely up to date, as some updates may include fixes for audio-related issues.
- Check if there's a BIOS/UEFI update for your motherboard on the manufacturer's website. Sometimes, updating the system firmware can address hardware-related audio problems.
Check power management settings:
- In Device Manager, right-click on your audio device and go to "Power Management." Uncheck the option that allows the computer to turn off the device to save power.
Try a System Restore:
- If the issue started suddenly and you haven't made any recent changes, you could perform a System Restore to revert your system to a point before the problem began.
Check for background processes:
- Open Task Manager and check for any background processes that might be consuming a significant amount of CPU resources. High CPU usage can sometimes cause audio distortion.
Consider third-party audio drivers:
- While it's generally recommended to use official drivers, some users have reported better results with third-party drivers like those from the "Realtek HD Audio Drivers (UAD - ASUS ROG SS3)" package. Be cautious and ensure compatibility.
If none of these suggestions resolve the issue, it may be worth reaching out to the Realtek support forums or contacting your device manufacturer's support for more specific assistance. I hope one of these steps helps you get your audio back to normal. If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.