So the audio is still fairly crackly in Sims 3. It's not all the time, but it's enough that it's irritating. Sims 2 and 4 are fine. My audio drivers seem to be up-to-date. So, for now, I won't be playing the Taylor family. I managed to get Bethany and Christopher to age into Children. But for now I'll be focusing on the Bancrofts and the Smiths.
Sucks, but it happens sometimes. And 2 out of 3 games isn't bad.