Jan 12 2024 update: Zoom is definitely triggering the issue. Turning off the EQ in spotify has solved it for Spotify. I think when Zoom is trying to aggressively process audio it can sometimes trigger the issue across the system. Leaving the zoom call fixes it. As near as I can tell there isn’t a way to adjust Zoom’s settings to fix it.
Dec 19 2023 update: Zoom seems to trigger this issue somehow.
Currently attempting a fix by disabling the equalizer in Spotify. Will update this post if that doesn’t work.
This is one of those “blog about it to save someone else the hassle later on”: I use the Caldigit TS3+ dock with my M1 macbook(s) and have had a persistent issue with audio playback slowly becoming garbled and distorted when listening to music in Spotify. For whatever reason it seems that selecting a different audio source and then going back to the Caldigit one fixes it for a while.If I plug the audio cable directly into my macbook it never seems to have a problem.
The actual audio input shows up as a USB 3.0 device in System Report called: “Caldigit Thunderbolt 3 Audio”.
It also seems to effect Zoom, although I haven’t determined if that’s because Spotify is also open at the same time Zoom is open.
Something I discovered today buried in a forum is that the Spotify Equalizer might be a problem. I’m going to disable that and see how it goes for a few weeks. An hour in and it seems to be doing better.