Crackling sound on playback - affecting 10% of albums

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)
Windows 10, Intel® Core™ i7-9700 CPU @ 3.00GHz, Roon Build 795

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)
Vodafone Hub / Ethernet

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)
Audioengine HD3 speakers through Audioengine D1 DAC on Dell Tower with 2TB drive, via USB

Description Of Issue
Since joining in January, I’ve experienced crackling sound playing Qobuz classical albums. I’ve tried to play with exclusive mode off for a while (as someone suggested), and although this seem to remove the crackling sound, the quality of the playback has been so poor and muffled that I’ve had no choice but revert to exclusive mode. About 10% of my albums are affected.

Any help in the community will be much appreciated. Thanks.

Hi @johan

Is it always the same albums that have the crackling sound?

Can you share a screenshot of the Signal Path when playing one of these albums?

Hi @dylan

Here you go.

The ones that crackle, always crackle. But there are also always new albums I find on a daily basis that crackle.

In addition to the constant crackling sound (for those c.10% of albums that do crackle) occasionally there is also a loud sound similar to a radio signal distortion. I have to then quit the app and restart it altogether.

I’ve done further investigation this morning:

  1. The cracking now also appears when listening to the affected albums directly via the Qobuz windows app.
  2. The crackling is GONE when listening to Qobuz webplayer via MS Edge (I’ve never bothered using this before for obvious reasons).
  3. Interestingly, the sound quality via Qobuz webplayer is VASTLY superior than via either Roon or Qobuz. That certainly was not the case before. Having spent over £2,000 on Roon and speakers that came highly recommended, this is not a great place to be as now getting worse sound quality than before Roon days with basic Logitech speakers.

Worth noting:

  1. I have had Qobuz for c.10 years due to its great classical music collection and have never experienced crackling until installing Roon in January. So just assuming they’re linked. Happy to persevere as absolutely loving Roon!
  2. I have installed a box standard set-up and try keep things uncomplicated (IT dept reported to me in a previous corporate life and although I’m a finance guy, I’m not entirely clueless when it comes to technology :slight_smile: )

Thanks for any help you can offer @dylan, as my list of albums I cannot listen to is ever-expanding.

Hey @johan – if all of the above is true, then it really seems like there might be something wrong with your DAC or the actual source material from Qobuz. Have you contacted Audioengine or Qobuz about this?

I’d also like to get a few more pieces of information from you:

  1. A recording of the crackling would be a huge help
  2. Play to system output instead of your DAC – does it still crackle?
  3. Screenshot of Settings > Audio


Wait a minute – it looks like we answered this for you less than 2 months ago. This is a problem with the Audioengine D1, not Roon.

If you’d like to ask the community about gear recommendations or sound quality, I’d recommend moving this to #audio-products. Would you like me to do that?

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Hi @kevin

To be honest, when this was pointed out earlier by @dylan , I undertook my own investigation and couldn’t find anyone specific with actual complaints or evidence of the crackling – mainly hearsay…

In addition, I’ve contacted AudioEngine in the US and Qobuz in France - neither could confirm that this was a known problem - but there was sufficient deflection. Always amazes me how every tech provider blames the other parties’ software or devices, with the user caught in the middle!

Having said that, I have this morning decided to replace the AudioEngine D1 in any event as wouldn’t need to spend >$300. So will buy something else this weekend. Don’t worry about moving this thread Kevin, I will do some research on the Community as there’s plenty of insight there.


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