Bryston BDA-3 Mac Mini only play 44.1

I’ve seen similar questions, but going through the answers have just gotten confused.

Why will Roon not play my hi rez files, in hi rez mode through my new Bryston DAC? Every file is stuck at 44.1.

The DAC plays DSD files no problem, and using other digital music services plays at higher resolutions, but through Roon all files, no matter what the software says on the screen of my Mac Mini, has the DAC at 44.1.

With all of the questions, and poor explanations I might add, on this forum, it seems this is a huge problem with Roon, and it’s making me seriously think about ending use of the product while in the Free period.

Too bad, I like the interface, but if I can’t use my wonderful DAC there is no reason to use the software


Have you tried redownloading and reinstalling the codec?

Did you validate that your DAC is setup correctly in Settings?

I did validate the DAC, and I don’t know why the setup is so involved anyway. Why doesn’t the software just output the stream of the file? That would be too easy.

Also, is the software so twitchy that it might need to be reloaded? That doesn’t make me feel any better.

So I did get a higher resolution through the Optical (vs the USB) connection today. It got up the 96, which I believe is the limit the Mac Mini will output, but the signal got really messed up then, and sounded terrible. I had to disconnect the optical cable. The USB would still only output 44.1 from Roon to the Bryston. I still don’t understand the problem

so far, I’m not seeing this as a great playback option, thinking the design of the software is not very user friendly especially given the USB connections where the DAC can talk to the computer

Can you supply a screenshot of Roon->Settings->Audio and then also the ->Device Setup for the USB connection to your BDA-3. Make sure to select ‘SHOW ADVANCED’

It is not a problem of Roon. Use a different DAC and everything works as expected. Use a USB bridge and an AES cable and it works most of the time. It should be a problem of the BDA-3. I have one and yes, the sound is very good, but sometimes it loses connection. I guess if one would like to keep the DAC, it is something to accept until Bryston comes up with a solution.

Hello @Michael_Mellen,

What does the Signal Path show when playing back these files, can you post a screenshot?

I would also make sure that you’re using the latest firmware version on the BDA-3 and possibly try another USB cable as well to see if that helps. There should also be multiple versions of the BDA drivers in Roon Setttings -> Audio Tab, I would try them all to see if that has any impact on the issue.


I’ve never heard, that, and in fact it really doesn’t make any sense, and you dont’ give any reasoning on why that would be?

I don’t see any other available settings for the BDA-3, and once again, why is this software not plug and play? Shouldn’t it just output what I tell it? Pretty sure the Bryston can read what’s being output, it does with all other devices, and other software. It’s definitely a problem with Roon.

where do I find “signal path”

Hello @Michael_Mellen,

Sorry to hear about your troubles getting Roon up and running. We strive to make Roon as plug and play of an experience as possible, I have passed your feedback to the product team.

It appears that you may be playing to the “System Output” zone instead of to the Bryston BDA3 device directly. In order for audio programs to talk directly to the DAC, you must use MacOS’ CoreAudio “Exclusive Mode” which will allow for the audio program to change the sample rate of the DAC instead of sending the audio to the MacOS system mixer which will resample the audio.

In the Settings > Audio screen, find the device that says “BDA3 Audio 2.0”. Click the enable button and then enter a name for the zone. Playback to the new zone will use “Exclusive Mode” by default.


OK, so looking at the signal path makes this even more confusing. I really don’t understand what the roon site describes?? Not user friendly at all

Ugh… I don’t understand this at all. I have System Output(???wtf is this), Mac Mini, and the Bryston DAC enabled and I don’t understand how they interact. What is the System output, and why do I need it? I need to choose that or Mac Mini to play music, but they can play independently and neither outputs more than 44.1 through the USB to the DAC, and how on earth am I supposed to follow the muck that is the Signal Path explanation???

so my 5 year old Oppo 105 will easily directly output DSD to my Bryston DAC, or I can use my music files from the NAS that are higher rate output to the Bryston DAC, and lo and behold, it plays them no problem, why all of the drama with a 2019 music management program?

I won’t even go into the other music management software I have that while not as user friendly as Roon, outputs and plays my files without issue.

Hello @Michael_Mellen,

When you play to the Bryston DAC zone, are you able to get playback to work at rates higher than 44.1kHz?

The “System Output” and “CoreAudio” zones are provided as options for users whom may not have USB DACs and would still like to use Roon to play music on their computers.

The “System Output” zone allows Roon to play music on the computer concurrently with other sources such as YouTube or Netflix in Safari or Chrome. It does this by playing to the MacOS system output mixer, which will resample all audio passed to it in order to allow for playback from multiple sources. After resampling, audio can then be passed on from the System Output mixer to any audio device connected to the computer.

The “CoreAudio” zone talks with the Toslink/optical and DAC hardware located inside your Mac to allow for high-resolution playback to these outputs without MacOS resampling.


I can’t play the Bryston DAC zone only the System output or MacMini to the DAC.

To be honest, this has just really confused me even more. I just want to play from the MacMini Roon software and output it to my Bryston DAC to listen through my stereo system. I don’t want to sample, or resample anything. I want the Roon output to go through my USB cable, to the DAC and the DAC to output to my stereo. That should not be this hard.

It’s not a user friendly, plug and play system, that’s for sure.

I don’t have a core audio zone.

Hello @Michael_Mellen,

Why can you not play to the Bryston DAC zone?

  1. Have you enabled it in Settings > Audio?
  2. Have you selected the Bryston DAC zone in Roon’s Zone Picker? You can open the zone picker by clicking on the speaker icon located to the left of the volume control along the bottom of the Roon window. This will show a pop up list of all of your devices, click on the Bryston DAC zone to select it and then click anywhere to the left of the zone picker menu to hide it again.
  3. If you have enabled and selected the Bryston DAC for playback, is it failing with an error?


I don’t know why I can’t play that, when I select it nothing happens. No error, nothing happens. Once again, I’m confused. Also, why would I pick the Bryston to play when it does nothing but process, it should be passive just processing the signal from the Mac Mini.

actually, the Bryston play button is not lighted up. Can’t select it