Ok so I have an AS Rock Z77 Extreme 4 motherboard, with onboard RealTek audio. When I plug headphones into the case of my computer, the sound quality is horrible. I don't even hear all the sounds, but the headphones work fine with other devices. Now normally my audio is fine, because I have an HDMI connection from my video card to my monitor, and then I've got speakers plugged into the monitor. Everything works fine that way. Its only when I plug in headphones that it sounds really bad. Now, I don't have a sound card. If I were to buy a sound card, would this issue be fixed? Or are my drivers messed up or something for my onboard audio? Need help! Also, If I plug in my Sony wireless Pulse headset into the USB slot, the audio is perfectly normal. Only when headphones are plugged into the headphone jack do they suck. Basically, I just want to hear perfectly normal audio when plugging headphones into the headphone jack, instead of crackling, fading and artifacts.
On board audio should be fine for everything short of professional/audiophile grade speakers and headphones. Updating drivers never hurts, but I would also check your audio config. You might be losing frequency ranges if you're configured for 5.1 or if you're plugged into one of the other output channels instead of the headphone jack (They're color coded, but not always well labeled). Another option would be to plug your headphones into your monitor rather than directly to the motherboard.