Just popping in here because I didn't see this solution anywhere. Most of the problems with distortion and/or crackling are related to drift between the system clock and the device samplerate. That's why it can be temporarily fixed by resetting the samplerate in the Audio MIDI utility. Some may have some luck by forcing the use of HPET clock in Chameleon:
It worked for me!
Could you elaborate on that. System clock....effect? That's the issue I'm having. The only version working for me is 2.8.2. Sound starts out perfect but after a few minutes static, crackle, distortion, sets in until it totally looses the sound, left with popping distorted bits of sound. Also on booting speaker give off a pop. Going to midi setup and changing frequency fixes it but only temporarily after a few minutes same thing. Can't figure it out. Force HPET did not work for me.