Audio issues with KVM


Mar 9, 2017
I've successfully set up GPU pass through with KVM (with Proxmox), but I'm having some annoying issues with audio in my Windows 10 VM. After a lot of experimentation, I found that passing through my motherboard's onboard audio worked best. However, audio still crackles and distorts whenever there is significant disk or network I/O. Oddly enough, game audio works fine, but Youtube and other streaming services have issues when, say, downloading a Steam game in the background. I'm using the virtio drivers for disk and network, which should reduce the I/O load but I'm still having this annoying audio distortion. Any tips?

BTW, audio works great under ESXi. I'm just more familiar with Linux, and prefer having a graphical desktop for the host.
I tried USB audio and it was awful. Tried a PCIe sound card, and it was much better but still unacceptable. The onboard sound is the best so far, and it's OK for gaming, but has occasional issues with distortion when streaming video esp. when downloading in the background. At this point, I'm ready to throw in the towel and go back to ESXi. It has issues as well, but I've found acceptable workarounds for all of them. Gameplay seems better as well, with higher FPS and fewer frame dips - though I haven't done formal testing.
Yes, I had read somewhere that it was possible to get working with JACK. Normally I'd roll my sleeves up and take a crack at it, but my time is limited right now, and that looks non-trivial to set up. Back to ESXi for now, though I may come back to it at some point and play with JACK.