Random Sound Dropout after 1.8 update

Roon Core Machine

Roon Core on Synology 920+ with core on external SSD drive, 4GB RAM, 4-core processor (usage below 5% most of the time, never seen it above 35%)

Networking Gear & Setup Details

eero mesh WiFi, connected via Netgear nighthawk and TPLink managed routers, NAS connected to TPLink rounter

Connected Audio Devices

iPhone 10 with Roon app WiFi, Windows PC Roon app ethernet

Library Size

100 tracks plus TIDAL (have not imported main library yet)

Description of Issue

Since the 1.8 update when playing Tidal tracks via Tidal playlists or daily mixes, the sound will randomly dropout at the beginning of tracks on my iPhone. Once the track starts playing after the first 0:01, the music will not drop out for the remainder of the song. The next song may or may not start playing. The curious part is that my phone says that the song is playing fine and the song time progresses as usual and continues to the next song as if nothing is wrong and continues to progress the counter in the next song even though no sound is heard. The only way to fix the problem is to skip ahead or back a few tracks to get the song to play again (which sometimes works) or completely close and reopen the Roon app. Note that I have already deleted and reinstalled the app today which did not help. This problem does not occur when playing any playlists through the windows Roon app.
I have done some preliminary troubleshooting in an attempt to look for a pattern and I may have found something. The problem seems to occur most often when the source file quality changes and only when playing TIDAL tracks. The few files I have in my DB play fine with no delay but are all 44.1 quality or below. I have duplicated the problem fairly consistently when going from one TIDAL track that is FLAC 44.1 16bit-2Ch->16-64 float->44.1to48->64-24Float->iPhone (~75x processing) to another TIDAL track that is FLAC 48 24bit-2Ch, MQA 192->MQA 192 Auth->iPhone (no processing). If I start a playlist with the non-MQA track first, it plays fine as do the next non-MQA tracks but the MQA track doesn’t play when the playlist gets to it nor will it play any non-MQA tracks if I skip ahead or back off of the MQA track. If I start with an MQA track from my playlist it plays fine but the next non-MQA will not play about 75% of the time. I hope that information helps solve the problem. Thanks

To add some follow-up information … After several more days of experiencing the sound dropout problem, I can definitively confirm that this only occurs with TIDAL tracks when the source swaps from non-MQA to MQA tracks and vice-versa on the Roon app on my iPhone. If I listen to only MQA tracks, no problem, but as soon as a non-MQA track comes up, silence. If I listen to only non-MQA tracks, no problem, but as soon as an MQA track comes up, silence again.

On additional follow-up … The problem seems to go away when I set the iPhone device as 16 Max bits per sample (PCM) from the default 24. This is not ideal since I have TIDAL HiFi which includes MQ audio at 24bit.

Sorry for the delayed response, @Brian_Cruse

The first thing that I notice is that your Roon Core doesn’t quite meet our recommendations. An Intel Celeron is below our requirements and could certainly play into things here, especially once you import your main library.

We know that a lower bandwidth stream works fine, so there are two potential causes:

  • The Core isn’t able to stream over the network to the endpoint fast enough with a higher bandwidth stream (i.e. a network problem)
  • The Core isn’t able to process the higher stream fast enough (Core performance problem.

Do you have another device that meets our requirements that you could give a try? This would definitely help us narrow the root cause of this issue down.

To eliminate anything and everything related to the core and networking I performed the following:
I moved the core to my desktop computer (i7-4770k with 8GB of memory, 1TB SSD drive), I also disconnected my entire network so that the only hardwired connections are (cable modem → (1) base eero pro unit → desktop with core). All other eero access point unplugged and all switches powered off. Rebooted everything and my desktop and wireless from the single eero pro work fine. I then started up roon on my desktop and there is no change to the issues on my iPhone which is in the same roon as the working eero. Everything plays fine at “'max bits sample rate” of 16 but intermittent sound at 24 bits. So there is no change to the problems I am having. This leaves only three items in the loop: (Tidal to Roon connection, eero pro, and iPhone X playback). Since the desktop plays fine at 24 bits and maximum sample rate through the same eero switch this leads me to think that this is a end device problem with the iPhone or via wireless although I am less than 10ft with line of site to the switch. Note that the same problem occurs when playing through my iPad
Thanks for your help.