Not sure how wide spread this is…
On my HP EliteBook 2540p with Xubuntu installed I can hear a very faint double click in the background which is not related to the volume control.
I found the cure ages ago and will put it here for safe-keeping.
The command to run is:
$ echo 0 | sudo tee /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save
There is a way of making this permanent with adding a configuration setting but for now I’m happy to run this manually after a restart.