I’ve heard of a wide range of audio problems with Macs. Among the most common occur in Bluetooth audio streaming, but I’m also aware of users with USB audio devices which don’t work properly. The reason might be the firmware in their T2 chips, according to a report by Peter Kirn on CDM.
It’s claimed that a bug in the T2 firmware affecting timing synchronisation can disrupt the majority of devices which use audio over USB 2. This causes periodic dropouts and other glitches in the audio stream.
The best solution, until Apple fixes this issue, is to use Thunderbolt or USB 3 audio devices instead; their audio stream isn’t apparently affected by the bug.
It is also claimed that unchecking automatic clock synchronisation in the Date & Time pane, and automatic setting of time zone in the Time Zone, tabs of the Date & Time pane can reduce the frequency of these problems; if you are stuck with using USB 2 for audio this is worth a try.
Full details are in Peter Kirn’s article on CDM.
Thanks to Peter Steinberger @steipete for drawing attention to this.