Most recent update here:
Crackling noises are heard at certain sound frequencies when streaming via Link/AirLink. Especially human voices. The issue seem to be specific to Link. Playing Test sound on "Oculus Virtual Audio Device" via Sound panel also triggers this crackling noise after a few attempts. Can be reproduces with other sounds as well, like voice from the free Berlin Blitz app on Steam (even when watching gameplay on YouTube). It feels like there's some kind of audio buffer getting overflowed or something. No distortions when playing the exact same sounds via YouTube inside Oculus Browser (outside of Link). Or playing any standalone game for that matter.
I'm using Oculus v34 on Quest 2 and tried both v34/v35 PTC on PC.
What I tried:
Switching from my third-party USB 3.0 cable to provided charging Type-C(x2) cable.
Completely uninstalling Oculus software (removing Oculus folders in /Users/**) and reinstalling it.
Setting various bitrate settings in Oculus Debug Tool, as well as reverting to defaults (by setting everything to 0/Auto).
Updating BIOS on my motherboard to the latest version.
Forcing my MSI X570 motherboard to use PCI-E 3.0 for chipset and PCI slot.
Double-checking that "Oculus Virtual Audio Devices" is set as default Playback and Recording device.
Has anyone else encountered this?
I created a support ticket #3596583 but they just sent me to SteamVR support (via incorrect link, btw) despite this being a problem not specific to SteamVR apps.
My very long and futile exchange with support ended with nothing several months ago, so no, no fixes. But, today I've managed to test ALVR, on open source alternative to Oculus Link (it works via USB cable, too) - and it has no audio crackling whatsoever, it's perfect. I would've just ditched Link altogether at this point, if not for vastly superior video quality and lower latency with Oculus Link. Current version of ALVR, sadly, just can't handle as much bitrate as Link can (about 430Mbps for my RTX 2070 Super). And tracking lags noticeably. So Link is still the preferred option, and it still plagued by the audio crackling...
In the meantime, Oculus Virtual Audio Device driver hasn't been updated since 2019. And there is no debug options for audio whatsoever (for reference, in ALVR you can change audio buffer settings). Such shame.
At least, I don't seem to be the only one with this issue: https://www.reddit.com/r/oculus/comments/r8inbb/quest_2_audio_crackling_when_using_link_w_steam_vr/