I have been a satisfied, long time user of ESET software.
As stated in the topic title, I replaced my on-board audio card with a dedicated one. Since then (about 2 months) there seems to be an initial scanning that is taking place on the first incidence that requires the use of audio resources after the boot sequence is complete. This seems very similar to the scanning that takes place on the USB port that I use to connect my blood glucose meter. For that, I was able to exclude the particular port in the Advanced setup > ThreatSense exceptions list.
The only thing I can add is