A few months ago I started to experience sound issues on all my openSUSE computers. Some running openSUSE thumbleweed and some LP 15.2.
Almost all applications that dealt with sound/video started having issues.
Sound did not work if the ALSA device was not specifically set, with gstreamer it completely froze the application. Google Chrome and Chromimum had issues with starting YouTube videos, sometimes the video would start, but if you stopped the video it produces a loud noise buzz that continued for around 10 seconds after the video got stopped, if you switched to another video it wouldn’t start.
When running the application on the terminal, it produces the following error:

[E][000000035.674928][core.c:71 core_event_error()] core 0x7f6bdc053410: proxy 0x7f6bb43a79d0 id:2: seq:7 res:-2 (No such file or directory) msg:"no node available"
[E][000000035.674937][stream.c:292 stream_set_state()] stream 0x7f6bb4012180: error no node available
[E][000000035.674943][pcm_pipewire.c:830 on_core_error()] alsa-plugin 0x7f6bdc04be10: error id:2 seq:7 res:-2 (No such file or directory): no node available

All applications I tried had that same error on the terminal.

I saw the line “pcm_pipewire”. Then I found that something called “pipewire” was installed, I have never heard of it before. But when uninstalling it, everything works again and is back to normal.
I tested installing PulseAudio to see if it would then work with pipewire installed, it seem to work, but does not work when PulseAudio is uninstalled or not running.
Does anyone know if pipewire is supposed to work without PulseAudio? I never use PulseAudio, and it’s not installed.
What do you need pipewire for?
On thumbleweed there are no package issues when pipewire is uninstalled, but on LP there are complaints that patches cannot be applied.

In any case, pipewire has caused me a lot of problems, this took me a few hours to figure out, I thought posting this here could help others.

Pipewire is a new audio framework. I think some intend it to eventually replace the older frameworks. I think it has better security and remoting capabilities. Google Linux pipewire audio for info.

PipeWire is too new for this.

PipeWire: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PipeWire

PipeWire is a software for handling audio and video streams and hardware on Linux.

We’ll I’m just roughly summarising some fluff that’s been written from memory. You’re correct it involves video as well. Although it is early days, it is being used. I suspect it’s about as mature as Wayland, which is to say it’s bleeding edge. Certainly the intention is to complement Wayland in its approach to security - https://blogs.gnome.org/uraeus/2018/01/26/an-update-on-pipewire-the-multimedia-revolution-an-update/