Cannot play to airport express group in sync

hi @mike, my setup is still suffering from this annoying behaviour when playing to three Airplay grouped zones.
When I manage to have all three zones playing in sync, after pausing or jumping tracks most of the time one of the zones isn’t playing or is out of sync (seems to be always the Apple TV). I believe the problem lies in the different IP addresses seen by ROCK.
Just wondering if you guys at support have been able to replicate the problem and if there are any news about a possible solution.
I’d really like to have this system working, as it’s how we listen to music ‘socially’ at home, with music diffused over the two floors, with more remotes (iPhones /iPad) well aware of the limitation in SQ of the Airport stream with high res files.
For critical listening I have a DAC (AudioQuest DragonFly Red) directly connected to the NUC and to the main system (Bryston PS20 pre/4BST power + Dynaudio Focus 220). I know most people would cringe at having the DAC directly attached to the NUC, but to my ears it sounds great (but I’ve been reading extensively and I’m looking into USB conditioners and stuff…)


Hello @Marco_Sassone,

We have spent many hours attempting to replicate this issue in our QA lab, and we believe we may have identified a possible mechanism that would cause the behavior you are seeing. I can’t make any promises on if this will resolve your issue, but I just wanted to give you a heads up that we are continuing to investigate and iterate in order to get things back up and running for you. We hope to have this fix included in an upcoming release to the Roon client.


Thank you @john for the update, I was actually wondering if someone was looking into this. I really appreciate it.
The issue keeps happening and I’m looking ffwd to a fix in the next update. (And maybe a new feature for properly tagging large multi cd box set :slight_smile: )

well @john I’ve just been notified and I updated to Build 401 and … it 's 1000 times better! :smiley::smiley::smiley:
Not quite perfect, but whenever (much much less) sound goes out of sync (when it happens it’s always in between tracks or when skipped/ffwd by user) it’s far easier to get it back in sync (just pause/play all zones)

It downed on me to try and set the Crossfade time and all the other settings to the same value on each Airplay device ungrouped and the same to the grouped zone and it seems to be working better (so far).

What now seems rock solid is the link with the AppleTV, which before was easily lost, and regained only by Disable/Enabling it. Now AppleTV works every time without need to do so.

I know Airplay is not the best way to stream music because the SQ limitations, but it’s still a convenient way for people like me with an already Extreme/Express wifi setup in their home - for casual/background listening, of course.

It’s very late over here, but tomorrow I’l try more extensive tests and enjoy the new features in the new build.
For the time being, Thank you!.

Hello @Marco_Sassone,

Glad to hear things have improved with the update! We continue to monitor the situation regarding reports of less than ideal Airplay sync; investigative work is ongoing. Thank you for the effort and information you’ve provided us during the troubleshooting process, it has been helpful for us in figuring out the conditions necessary to trigger this behavior.


thanks @noris. Problem solved

One last thing, just wondering if you guys at Support have any news on my Issue 3, of grouped Airplay endpoints randomly going out of sync, as it just happened minutes ago. After an hour or so of good play, suddenly happened in Roon Radio mode. Not a big deal, but just worth mentioning.

Issue 3
Around a year ago I reported a problem of out-of sync grouped Airplay endpoints.

in which @john helped and the situation got much better.
Unfortunately, I have to report the issue is sometimes, much less, but still happening.
Just worth reminding that two of the three Airplay endpoints (all Airport Express + 1 AppleTV 3rd gen) show a different IP than the network I set up and expect to see(

Hi @Marco_Sassone,

I’ve moved this issue back into the existing thread, it’s better to have all the information surrounding the issue in one place.

I will discuss your case with John again at our next meeting, but can you please reproduce this issue and let us know the exact local time + date + track/station it occurs on?

Thank you @noris,
tomorrow I’ll let the music play and try to take note of when and if it happens again.
A detail that could help to frame the issue:
yesterday it happened using Roon Radio (which I use locally, from my library, as I don’t have external subscriptions with Tidal or Qobuz), hence picking a track from different albums.
I’ll let you know.
I’m no network expert, but what seems weird to me is that my Airports are seen all in the 10.0.1.xx realm by Airport Utility (V 6.3.9), while Roon sees in that realm the AppleTV only, and all the others in

I more frequently group the AppleTV with the Bryston Airport 2, as the two audio systems are in the same big room, and the out of sync here is very noticeable (while the Audiolab Airport 4 is on the upper floor)

This is a self assigned IP address and is indicative of the device not getting an address from the DHCP server in your router(normally)

thank you @wizardofoz,
my set up is how I posted at the beginning of this thread,
with my fiber modem with WiFi off, connected to my Airport Extreme which is generating my wi-fi and giving the DHCP addresses to all devices.
My devices’ IPs are a little different now than in the drawing, but all in the 10.0.1.xx (this is confirmed with Fing app too).
As I said, I’m no network expert, and I don’t know how your info is pointing me to a solution…

It’s pointing you to an issue… as they are showing a self assigned address roon might not be able to find then so reboot them or hardwire them as it’s possibly flakey WiFi or networking,

Apple networking products have been identified as problematic in the knowledge base

Hi @Noris, it just happened: I started playing from History and at the beginning of the second song, AppleTV and Airport 2 were out of sync.

Hi @Marco_Sassone,

What was the approximate local time that this occurred? On what track did the devices get out of sync?
Please be as specific as you can as this is useful when cross-referencing logs.

ouch! I wasn’t aware of that… before going for Roon life subscription I read this and thought it was enough. I tried it, tested the Airplay grouping and as it worked, I went for the subscription.

Hi @noris,
History shows it occurred 1 hour ago, so 7:15 pm here in Italy, at the beginning of Every Breath You Take by The Police (mp3 320 kbps file), just after playing “The Universal” by Blur (ALAC m4a file).
They both reside in Roon Optimized Core Kit Internal Storage, and were randomly picked by Roon Radio.
I just played the same sequence again and it went smoothly, with no out of sync …

I might jus add:
went for checking on difference of DSP settings and found that Sample rate Conversion was Enabled in AppleTV and Disabled in the Airport 2. As two different settings in a grouped devices don’t seem a good thing to me, I Disabled in both. Now waiting for any changes …

Airplay devices per se are not the issue it’s with airport networking that issues have been noticed. For some they work just fine but others have had issues. Ymmv

Thanks for the timestamps @Marco_Sassone. I’ve activated diagnostics mode for your Core and what this action should have done is automatically upload a logs set to our servers.

I have been keeping an eye out for the logs but they don’t seem to be uploading. Can I please ask that you use these instructions to manually send me a set?

The best way to get the logs over would be via a shared Dropbox / Google Drive link, but if you don’t have either service just let me know and I can provide alternate upload instructions.


@noris, zipped Logs sent via message

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