“Jim or Joe Beaty, have you experienced this?”
I’ve never come across this problem and have the exact same OS as the OP. As I said earlier, I have experienced static with a Creative Labs high-end sound card when I switch between game and entertainment modes. It happens very rarely and it fixes itself when I switch modes back again. Of course, the OP has a Sony laptop, which is quite different from my setup, which is a mid-tower HP machine. I’m wondering if there is a setting somewhere specific to the Sony which causes this.