Did anyone consider using the WDIDLE3 utility to disable parking? This is the major cause of wear & tear on all HDD's, not just WD, only there's a bootable ISO to make the parking times longer between events (default is 8 seconds), can be upped as far as needed, or disabled altogether (wdidle3 /d).
This is what I performed on all of my WD RE4's long ago, recently purchased two of the 2TB WD Gold's, while the casing may be the same, I believe there's more involved than what label is slapped on. First off, the obvious, only the WD Gold has a 128MB cache (256MB on high capacity models), while the rest are still at 64MB, so has to be more than firmware.
Also, unlike the ultra low cost drives (the Blue model), the warranty is significantly longer, 5 years versus 2, so WD has confidence that these will last. Unlike SSD's, there's no limit to TBW that would cause the warranty to be voided prior to the years, although today, I still truly believe that a quality brand of SSD will outlast most all new HDD's, have two Samsung 850 Pro models with 10 year warranties & will never reach the allowed TBW before then, as my downloads, documents, pictures/videos & virtual machines are on the HDD.
Finally, the only HDD that I've had to go bad on me, although found a tool & used some trickery to revive was a Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200.11, which were notorious over firmware issues that between late 2008 through early 2010 & affected tens of thousands of consumers (well, those who reported). And the worst thing was, Seagate had no magical 'fix', it took the efforts of those coming from the School of Hard Knocks to figure out how to revive, yet the consumer still had at that time to obtain components for the job. Today, there's eBay suppliers offering the complete tool for $15 shipped, mine after laying unused for 3 years, was finally revived & I didn't bother with the updated firmware, installed in a secondary PC & am imaging twice weekly. Should it fail again, will fix & update firmware.
Have never had a SSD to die on me, my first in 2012, a 128GB Crucial m4, while not the fastest writing model at a little over 200MB/.sec (the 2TB WD Gold almost matches that speed), still has 98% lifespan left.
So my vote is for the WDIDLE3 utility, while cannot be downloaded from WD any longer (or hard to find) is hosted on several sites in a zip file, I used Rufus to create a USB bootable ISO & all of my WD HDD's other than the Gold's has parking disabled. I'm wondering if that's the noise, because these drives has twice the platters of the Black series & more around or past the 6TB mark. This utility were originally created for the WD Green drives, although expanded to the WD RE4-GP, once the disable flag (/D) is selected, will flash not only into a regular WD RE4, also w/out head parking (WDIDLE3 /D). As mentioned above, one can choose to keep parking, although at a much reduced rate. This is why drives that runs 24/7, as RE4 & Gold models are designed for, in addition to RAID, has few start/stop cycles, even after 15,000 hours of use.
I purchased a 1TB RE4 still under warranty on eBay for $19 shipped, manufactured in 2013, had around that many hours of uptime, although with under 100 start/stop cycles, within a week, that value had been doubled by my usage, once I ran the WDIDLE3 utility, these fell more in line with my boot cycles, rather than head parking. So I'd assume, the larger the drive, the more & larger platters, the more one will notice weird sounds every few seconds. Fortunately, while we can fix this with the WDIDLE3 utility, there's not a similar tool for Seagate HDD's, which now includes the once popular Samsung models & any other corporations (or HDD divisions, in the case of Samsung) that was acquired by the corporation.
At any rate, that's my two cents on the issue, it's something worth considering, and by chance if one doesn't like the results, can be reverted to defaults if desired, or at least a far less aggressive spin down cycle. The way WD drives are shipped, early death is built into these drives & why the Red & Gold series aren't recommended for desktop usage. I chose the Gold because first, it's the successor to the Re4 line, secondly, double the cache & more features for only $15 more than a consumer based WD Black of the same size (2TB). Note that I also purchase 'prosumer' SSD's also, my best are the Samsung 950/960 PRO PCIe models, will go beyond the distance of the consumer based EVO line.