I have the same setup except using Cinnamon. Still trying to find a fix - I have disabled enhancements, prevented it taking sole control of device, tuned host alsa settings / volumes. I tried installing conexant drivers into windows but it won't see them as better than the default. Overall I may be wishful thinking myself into the problem being not as bad as it was, but it still isn't anywhere near good enough.
I checked the audio settings on my VirtualBox (VB) installation, and I noticed that VB offers more options for audio settings than VMware Workstation does.
My present VB audio settings:
host audio driver = PulseAudio
audio controller = Intel HD Audio
In contrast, the only setting for audio on VMware is the host sound card, which I have set to ALSA: Intel HDA PCH.
The sound is clear as a bell with VB, but crackly with VMware.
I tried different quality settings. This did not help.
At first, I thought that the problem might be that the audio drivers were Microsoft (MS) rather than VMware, but the audio drivers on both my VB and VMware setup are the same 6 drivers from MS.
Thanks! This sort of worked. The scratchy static sound is now gone, but this has been replaced by a stuttering effect. However, at least now the sound is tolerable.
I hope that VMware can fix this issue completely in the next point release update. It would be good to have the audio on par with the video.