Distorted playback when audio format changes

Problem description:
When there is a change in the audio format/resolution (e.g. from 44.1kHz to 96kHz) the playback of the first song using the new format is heavily digitally distorted. The issue happens with locally stored files and with Tidal streaming.

Two options to correct the issue:
Option 1: Pause the playback. There will be static hissing, for about 5-10 seconds. Once the hissing is gone I can resume the playback and the distortion is gone – until the next format change occurs.
Option 2: Pause the playback and resume the playback from the beginning of this song. Playback is fine - until the next format change occurs.

Workaround to avoid the issue:
Apply a sample rate conversion to a fixed value for all playbacks – then the issue does not happen at all. E.g. even setting upsampling to 768Khz works fine and stable → there is no bandwidth problem with my local network. Unfortunately, I do not consider this workouround to be a solution the problem, as I prefer to send the files natively and let my DACs do the upsampling.

Devices used (all are using the latest SW versions):
Roon server running on an Intel NUC
The DACs are connected via USB to a Raspberry Pi4 (per LAN) or locally attached to the NUC
On the Raspberry Pi I have tried various OS: Volumio, Rooopie, HQPlayer, DietPi
The issue appears in all possible combinations of the involved devices → the problem is not related to a single device.

Additional details:
I tried setting resync delay to even 10.000ms (10 seconds) – with no improvement. The issue appears also after the long waiting time.
Applying/disabling other DSP settings does not change the behaviour.

I have that DAC and don’t experience said problem while running Roon server on Win11 with XMOS ASIO USB DAC driver installed.

Hi Marin,

thank you for the confirmation.

Unfortunately, using Win11 is not an option for me. The SMSL DAC, as well as the others mentioned, works generally fine. Hence I suspect the issue needs to get resolved somewhere in Roon. Which should be possible, as I am using certified hardware.


If you are not running Win11; what OS are you running?

My apologies, I should have mentioned that my server is based on a ROCK installation.

Hi @Michael_Lobitz,

Thanks for writing in and for your patience while our team works through each thread.

As a next step in troubleshooting, could you please test out using a different connection method other than USB and see if you’re able to reproduce?

With that, it would also be good to confirm if the issue still occurs on a different Roon Server device, if you could temporarily test this out as well.

Lastly, if none of the above show any difference in behavior, could you please reproduce the issue and share the specific date, time and name of the track playing when the issue occurs?

Once you let me know this info, I’ll go ahead and enable diagnostics for your account so I can review the logging for clues.

If you’d rather do it yourself manually, please use the directions found here and send over a set of logs to our File Uploader.