Crackling sound is HW issue in 90% cases with sound cards. Since I kinda collect and dissect them a lot. I had most of them. Crackling is latency issues due to some fault, mostly HW or HW conflict. If you don't hear it doesn't mean it is not there. The budget time is exceeded on some processes, or the driver is not compatible with latest WIN10 builds. Mostly none of them are.
Microsoft does humongous audio stack changes, and the time has ended for certain hardware to patch it through, as it needs new HW, it cannot be patched even. Software codec doesn't care.
Lately the only robust way of getting audio from PC is using HDMI. Then you can split of the data as you wish. I2S or DSD. Keep in mind that folks. USB also isn't the savior due to the same BAD driver reason and the fundamental architecture how it even works. Video signal with Audio is highest priority thread and it should go hand in hand like bullets, patching other ways through... nada Microsoft doesn't want it even really. The integrated sound does have direct HDA audio bus coming straight from the South Bridge, you cannot hook up your creative or xonar there, actually if you could, it would solve a shitload of driver problems.