Exclusive mode not working

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Dell XPS 15 9570/Win 10/8th gen i7, 16gb ddr4 ram, 1tb NMVE m2 SSD/Roon 1.7 build 521

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

None. Music played from Laptop HD.

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

Chord Qutest via USB

Description Of Issue

Problems started a couple months ago. static crackles and pops in music. Originally after a period of about an hour playtime led me to believe it was overheating. Plugging in laptop would “solve” issue, but connect system to mains ground leading to degredation of SQ. Eventually ruled out all hardware issues. Fresh install of windows without Dell software.

After fresh install of windows, only happens on high bitrate or HD tracks, and not all, but most.
Did “Kevin Shroff’s Modded Realtek Audio Drivers”, didn’t solve problem.

No amount of fiddling with settings on either ASIO or WASAPI corrected issue.

Eventually got it to work yesterday after 4 hours of fiddling by playing youtube music through Firefox and Qutest, (giving control to my laptop?) then pausing and playing music from Roon through Qutest.

I believe my laptop is processing or altering music, or otherwise not allowing Roon full exclusive control of the Qutest hardware. There is no warning or error, I have exclusive mode enabled, but it appears Roon thinks it has exclusive control when it doesn’t. This is the case even when I disable the normal audio hardware from BIOS boot and kill its processes (now set to not load at boot)

Additional info: Qutest appears as a “speaker” output in windows, and which audio output the laptop is set to makes no difference.

Hi @Bryan_Simpson,

Welcome to the forum. I have a few suggestions based on your post:

Just to confirm here, have you tried a different USB cable and a different USB port on the PC and the behavior is the same? Is the Qutest using the latest firmware? Do you have the latest Qutest driver installed on the PC?

Realtek drivers have caused issues in the past with Roon. I have not seen crackles/static being reported but I have seen reports of audio devices going missing with Realtek drivers installed on the same system as Roon, see:

If possible, I would suggest to uninstall the Realtek drivers to see if this is a factor in the issue.

I would not use the “System Output” zone to play back music to the Qutest, but rather the ASIO/WASAPI driver directly. The ASIO driver has Exclusive Mode as always on, so if you are able to reproduce this behavior with the ASIO driver, the issue might not necessarily be Exclusive Mode.

If you do uninstall the Realtek drivers and find that they were indeed the cause of the issue, you might instead install the basic Microsoft HD Audio drivers which are available. That is what I do on my PCs with Realtek hardware.

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