Pop/snap when paused/unpaused

I have a laptop with all my music files stored on a SSD. I have a USB 3.0 cable running between the laptop & a iFi Zen Signature DAC, which is set to fixed output and plugged directly into a Parasound power amplifier. I use Roon to control the volume output. The stereo is plugged into a power conditioner, the laptop is not, and I am running the latest version of Roon. iFi Zen AISO with native DSD playback and MQA decoder & renderer selected.

When I pause/start a song, I get a pop/snap through the speakers. Worse is if I leave the amp turned on and put the laptop to sleep - BAD pop/snap. Any ideas of what may be the cause?

Likely the Ifi Zen, when it is switching formats / turning off. I’ve a similar situation with a topping DAC, pop’s when it goes off, and clicks when it goes from DSD to PCM / vice versa.


  1. Turn the amps off before the DAC, they are on a smart plug.
  2. Don’t waste my time with DSD, its a gimmick and just a waste of space. It’s place is in the DAT while recording, it doesn’t make any sense in playback. Majority of digital music is recorded in DSD and quickly converted to PCM for editing/mastering. Paying a premium for someone to convert it back from PCM to DSD is just throwing money away. Yes even NativeDSD.com does this, DXD == PCM.
  1. Which is what I do when I’m powering on/off for the day. But there are times when I pause the music, and when I hit play, I get the pop/snap.

  2. I thought the idea of DSD native was that if the file was created as DSD, this setting would keep it DSD to the DAC?

  1. Is it with both pcm/dsd or just with one, either way it is likely the Ifi and requires them to fix this. But for me it only happened when switching formats.

  2. In theory, if you are listening to a raw DSD file, and your DAC fully supports this direct mode then perhaps, but true raw DSD music is not very common.

NativeDSD is upfront (ish) about that fact that most of their files are converted to PCM before being converted back to DSD. So why not just get the PCM file and save yourself the headache. If you really want the best possible available, get the DXD files which are 32/352 PCM. But even then, in a lot of cases the reality of the tool chains at the moment mean 24/192 PCM is going to be the true max and the rest is just padding.