Crackles with 24/192 kHz files with Mac mini 2018

I just got a new Mac Mini 2018 a few days ago. It’s a 3.2 GHz Intel Core i7 with 1 TB internal SSD storage and a 16 GB DDR4 RAM. The Mac Mini is running Mac OS Mojave, version 10.14.2.

I have the Mac in my office and it is feeding my Devialet Expert 120 to its Ethernet port via a Cat 7a Ethernet cable. The wiring scheme is in the sketch below.

My music files are stored on a 2 TB external Samsung T5 SSD drive connected to one of the USB-C ports.

As long as I play 24/96 files from my Samsung SSD, everything works like a charm. However, playing 24/192 kHz files, I get frequent crackling. Very annoying! I should say that I haven’t had problems running 24/192 kHz files from the same Samsung SSD from my MacBook Pro connected to the same Ethernet network.

From reading several topics regarding problems with the Mac mini, I increased buffer size to 1000 ms and I enabled RAAT server and Roon software in the vault settings.

Any help is greatly appreciated! Thank you!


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Hello @Paul_Jeno,

Can you please confirm that the crackles are still present with “Headroom Management” turned on in the DSP settings for that zone? I would try with a -3dB setting to start off with:

Also, what is your Signal Path information when playing 24/192? Please post a screenshot, it should look something like this:

Please let me know if that info when possible and we can continue from there.


Hello @Paul_Jeno,

I will add to @noris’ post, we have been made aware of some reports of Devialet Air streaming running into issues at high sample rates. We are investigating the reports and hope more news to share soon.


Thank you Noris, for the swift reply!

Currently, I have DSP settings disabled and I play a native 24/192 file from the external SSD (see DSP settings in attachment).

Also included is a snapshot of the signal path. Looks perfectly fine to me.

@Paul_Jeno on your first screen shot: enable the “DSP Engine” (in the top left corner) for the Headroom Management to take effect.

Did that and it didn’t help at all.

Just did a quick experiment and migrated Roon onto my previous Mac Book Pro (3 GHz intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM). It’s running macOS High Sierra version 10.13.6.

No crackles whatsoever with 24 bit/192 kHz files running off the same 2 TB external Samsung T5 SSD! The Mac Book Pro is connected to exactly the same Ethernet as the Mac mini uses, except connection is via a Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter going into a Thunderbolt port. So Roon Air communicates without any problems with the Mac Book Pro even with 24/192 files.

Now we can isolate the problem either to: Mac OS Mojave (v 10.14.2), or the Ethernet port on the Mac mini (10 Gbit Ethernet port).

Or does anyone see more options?

Thanks for input!

Hello @Paul_Jeno,

Thanks for the thorough report! I’m going to put this information in a ticket and pass it on to the QA team for further testing. I will let you know what their findings are.

While certainly not an ideal solution, if you would like to use your Mac Mini as the Roon Core and play your 24/192 content without artifacts, you can try using Roon’s DSP Engine Sample Rate Conversion to re-sample your 192kHz content to 96kHz. To do this, you would set the “Sample Rate Conversion” option to “Custom” which will expose manual controls for each sample rate.


Thanks, John, already thought of down-sampling the 192 kHz files :grinning:

In the meantime, I am pretty sure that it there’s some issue with macOS Mojave and Devialet AIR. I get exactly the same behaviour (crackles with 24/192 files) with Audirvana plus and JRiver and both players involve Devialet AIR.

Thanks for your help!

@john - Just a friendly reminder that I had exactly the same problem with my Nucleus+ when streaming 24/192 to the Devialet 1000 Pro and using Netgear Orbi as a router.

So, what was the fix?

@Paul_Jeno Pops and clicks are usually associated with packet loss. Devialet AIR uses UDP which discards lost packets, whereas Roon RAAT uses TCP which will re-request a lost packet. If not before, this issue should at least be fixed when Devialet finally supports Roon RAAT.

I’m not sure why you’re losing packets with the new Mini and not the MacBook, but perhaps the 10 Gbit Ethernet port is to blame. You could try manually setting the ethernet port to 100baseT, or try WiFi, and see if that makes a difference.

Is it possible to try the Thunderbolt Ethernet adapter with the Mac Mini instead of using the built-in 10Gb Ethernet port?

Unfortunately there was no fix to this crackle issue. My Nucleus+ is currently packed to a carton box and I plan to continue using it after this bug has been fixed.

I am using Roon Server on a Windows 10 PC which works just fine.

Thanks for the suggestion! I tried the settings you suggested, alas, the problem persists!

I thought about the 10 Gbit Ethernet port being the culprit. It is supposed to automatically adjust between 1 - 10 Gbit speed. I have to see if I find anything on the internet suggesting problems with the new 10 Gbit port.

Have you tried this too?

Thought about it as well. I have to find out if there are any Gigabit Thunderbolt adaptors available for the new Mac Mini, as there are no Thunderbolt 2 ports anymore that I used for internet connection with the Gigabit adaptor.

I think about it, but I have to find an appropriate adaptor. Will tell you soon if find one.

Interesting! In my desperation, I thought about ordering a Roon Nucleus. But since you report the same problem, I can just as well save the money :grinning: THANKS!

But it’s interesting, it might point to the Netgear Orbi being the culprit. I have to think of a simpler setup to connect my Mac mini with the Devialet. Maybe a straight Ethernet connection. I read about this in the Devialet chat forum.

No, we don’t have hardware that resembles the OP’s. Even if we have that, our products run RAAT so it’s very different from the protocol the OP uses.