Hey Robert, you are using an outdated driver for the X-Fi HD USB. Creative released an update about a month ago. This seems to fix the annoying crackling issues a lot of the users were experiencing (including myself). Could you update your driver suite to the latest build? Furthermore I'd like to aks wether there is any chance to get Dolby Digital Live working on the X-FI HD USB. It uses the same Chip as the Surround 5.1 Pro, which supports both DDDL and DTS Connect.