My 2 cents - these dropouts are a pain in the butt to resolve! I think (think, hope, pray) that mine are resolved. In the end it was primarily a networking issue. Not exactly a DHCP lease renewal issue, but I suspected that early on. When I timed the dropouts I proved to myself it wasn’t as exactly on the same interval as I thought it was. Here’s what I went through, maybe it’ll be helpful resolving your issue:
Setup (before I started debugging my dropout issue):
Roon and HQPlayer running on 2018 i5 Mac Mini. Streaming Qobuz/Tidal. Mixture of RopieeeXL and and NAA OS endpoints. Netgear Orbi mesh wifi (3 nodes: 1 router, 2 satellites). Mac Mini runs wirelessly on the network. My office where I listen is across the house from the Mac Mini, meaning that my NAA endpoints are wirelessly connected to a different mesh node than the Mac Mini.
Roon has run on the Mac Mini for >1yr with no issues, both “bit-perfect” streaming and Roon up sampling to PCM / DSD. Super stable and happy. When I added HQPlayer I immediately started having dropout issues while streaming HQPlayer. It wasn’t obvious that the dropouts were network related. I was learning HQPlayer, and learning the limits of my Mac Mini for filter / modulator settings. I had a huge jumbled mess of CPU limitations and Network limitations. I sorted out the CPU limitations by buying a stack of long ethernet cables and putting EVERYTHING on a hardline. This made my HQPlayer streaming rock solid. Based on this I knew the root cause was network.
Debugging the Network:
An observation I had: DSD256 would stream fine (very few if any dropouts), but 16x PCM (32bit/768kHz) would have dropouts. A little quick math indicated at least partially where this was coming from: DSD256 has a lower data rate than 32/768 PCM (if you work through the math it turns out DSD512 has the same data rate as 32/768). So running PCM had more dropouts not because of computational difficulty, but because of higher network traffic. Basically I was operating at the edge of the bandwidth my network could reliably sustain for HQPlayer with other typical wireless network traffic.
On paper I drew out the path a “audio” packet would have to travel through my system to reach my endpoint: internet modem -(e)-> router -(w)-> satellite 1 -(w)-> mac mini -(w)-> satellite 1 -(w)-> router -(w)-> satellite 2 -(w)-> NAA endpoint. All wireless traffic, gotta love mesh networking. It was a huge mess of traffic. No wonder a relatively small increase of data rate was causing a noticeable increase in dropouts.
To clean this up I moved satellites around such that all of the network traffic stayed within a single satellite: internet modem -(e)-> router -(w)-> satellite 1 -(w)-> mac mini -(w)-> satellite 1 -(w)-> NAA endpoint. Essentially eliminating a hop back through the central mesh router. This made a big difference, getting me down to 1 dropout every 1 - 2 hours. But I would still get them. And if the wireless traffic in my house picked up (ie kids watching Roku) I would get constant dropouts making it unlistenable.
I realized that the ideal fix would be to get the Mac Mini hardwired into the same switch as the NAA end point. But due to house placement limitations (and limits to my wife’s patience for running long ethernet cables), I couldn’t do this. So I took the opposite strategy, and put as many other things on ethernet that I could (Rokus, smart TVs, work laptop, etc), such that the Mac Mini became the primary user of the Wifi in that part of my house. (The ethernet connections are into a mesh node, so still relatively heavy wireless backhaul traffic, but so far that has enough bandwidth to not become another weak point.) Essentially giving the Mac Mini unobstructed use of the WiFi, other than basic mobile devices, which typically are not significant enough to cause a glitch.
With this I got down to just 1 dropout every 3 - 6 hours. Generally stable, and not a problem. BUT I’m an OCD MF, and this wasn’t good enough. My suspicion was that my mac mini placement wasn’t ideal for WiFi signal, and I would get periodic wifi interruptions causing dropouts. Going back to my diagram above, there is still heavy wifi traffic in and out of the Mac Mini (concurrently stream in / up-sampled stream out). If that signal isn’t solid, there could be glitches. To clean this up I purchased an external WiFi adapter (actually several of them to get one I was happy with for the Mac Mini, gotta love Amazon return policy) that I could position with line-of-sight to the mesh node. This was the ultimate fix.
I’ve been rock solid ever since. No network dropouts (knock on wood). The final network path for my audio packets looks like: internet modem -(e)-> router -(w)-> satellite 1 -(w)-> Mac Mini -(w)-> satellite 1 -(e)-> NAA.
This solution is OBVIOUSLY very specific to my setup. But the idea that made a real difference is that the network traffic associated with HQPlayer is significant, and if it’s all running on WiFi you can easily hit a bandwidth limitation that causes periodic dropouts. If the HQPlayer can be hardline into the same switch as the NAA, it shouldn’t be an issue at all. But if that can’t be done, look for ways to improve wireless bandwidth available to HQPlayer.
wow, that got long… my bad…