Inconsistent sound quality when playing mp3 files

Is there any way to improve the sound quality during playback of mp3 files? Each file is very small (just a word or phrase) but I often hear “cracks” in the sound during playback. If I playback the same sound several times, it sounds fine sometimes, so I think each file itself is fine. And weirder still, if I try to record what I’m hearing, the symptom doesn’t occur: it sounds fine when I try to record it.

The preferences include an option to choose video driver, and I keep thinking there ought to be some choice of audio drivers too.

Anki 23.12.1 (1a1d4d54)
Python 3.9.15 Qt 6.6.1 PyQt 6.6.1
Platform: Windows-10-10.0.22631

Are you using bluetooth headphones? If so try playing some silent audio on repeat in the background like found here and see if that doesn’t fix it. It’s what I do.

This post post explains it:

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I’m using wired headphones plugged into standard headphone jack, no bluetooth. The behavior seems to improve somewhat (but not completely) if I unplug headphones to use the computer’s built-in speaker.

The problem goes away while recording (using Windows Sound Recorder or Cok Free PC Audio Recorder) or, indeed, while playing a silent audio file. I also tried turning off bluetooth, which seems to help but not completely.

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