Fixing crackling audio on the Asus Zephyrus G14

Over the summer, I upgraded my laptop to an Asus Zephyrus G14. For the most part, it’s a fantastic machine, but when I bought it, I was having some serious issues with static/crackling noises during audio playback. This issue affected multiple applications as well as Windows system sounds, and it was happening whether I used headphones or the laptop’s speakers. Oddly enough, I could only reproduce the audio issues when running the laptop on battery power in its “Silent” performance profile.

Eventually, I tracked down the cause to a setting in the performance profile. On battery power, the “Silent” profile puts the laptop’s wireless adapter in a power-saving mode that causes audio latency. All of the other profiles put the wireless adapter in performance mode, which is why I wasn’t experiencing the issue in other conditions. To fix it, I made some registry edits to allow me to edit the profile and always run the wireless adapter in performance mode.

I originally posted my solution to Reddit and still get comments and messages about it. For posterity and better discoverability (because Reddit’s search is trash), I wanted to document it here, too.

  1. Open the Registry Editor and navigate to the following key: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Power\PowerSettings\19cbb8fa-5279-450e-9fac-8a3d5fedd0c1\12bbebe6-58d6-4636-95bb-3217ef867c1a
  2. Add a DWORD value to that key named “Attributes” and set its value to 2 (hexadecimal).
  3. Set the laptop’s performance profile to “Silent”. (I did this using Asus’s Armoury Crate application.)
  4. Open the Control Panel, click on “Hardware and Sound”, and then click on “Power Options”. You should see the “Silent” profile selected.
  5. Next to the “Silent” profile, click on “Change plan settings”, followed by “Change advanced power settings”.
  6. In the window that appears, expand the “Wireless Adapter Settings” dropdown. There should be a nested entry called “Power Saving Mode”. If this is missing, make sure that you set the registry value correctly.
  7. Set the power saving mode on battery to “Maximum Performance”, matching the plugged-in option, and save your changes.