Having installed Linux Mint as a dual boot OS, I had no immediate issues with the sound in Linux whether through the speaks or headphones.
I then followed up on some recommended steps to do after installing Linux. One of which was to install TLP, a linux power management tool that essentially helps to boost battery life. (Not as good as the one on Windows, but better than nothing). Anyway, its a pretty hands-off tool, next time you reboot it runs by itself.
However, soon after installing this tool, I noticed that whenever an audio stream started there was a popping sound and whenever the audio stream ended, few seconds later there was the popping sound again. It was very annoying and painful at times, especially when wearing headphones.
After several hours of investigation, I discovered that TLP was powering up and off the sound card in order to conserve battery life. I then proceeded to look up the docs for TLP and found the following configurable settings ...
To edit the TLP config, do ... (Note: gedit or any other simple text editor)
gksudo gedit /etc/default/tlp
(Note: gedit or any other simple text editor)
# this was my default setting, where it was powering off the sound card when running on battery ...
SOUND_POWER_SAVE_ON_AC=0SOUND_POWER_SAVE_ON_BAT=1SOUND_POWER_SAVE_CONTROLLER=Y # Powers off the controller together with the sound chip
# I changed the setting, so it disables sound power save on battery as follows ..#SOUND_POWER_SAVE_ON_AC=0SOUND_POWER_SAVE_ON_BAT=0SOUND_POWER_SAVE_CONTROLLER=Y
Saved the file and rebooted the machine for the changes to take effect.
After several days of use now with these settings, I have not had any audio issues. Hope this helps.
Thanks for posting your solution. I have added it to the Recent Issues FAQ.
Jim Coates -- 14th year on the Dell Laptop Audio boards -- since 2/6/04