Slight background noise before and after playing [Resolved - Ethernet connection]

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

Acer Aspire 5 laptop with core i5 and 8GB
Roon Core 1.7 build 610

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

Netgear Orbi RBK50 mesh wifi.

Roon core connected on 2.4GHz Wifi.
Internet speedtest of 80mbs download at the location.

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

Naim Unit Star connected with CAT 5e ethernet cable to Netgear Orbi RBS50 sattelite.
Firmware version 3.5.0

Description Of Issue

I am on day 9 of my free trial.

I have been listening to Roon quite a bit but last night I noticed, for the first time, a very very slight background noise when starting a track from Qobuz or Tidal. The sound is very very slight and I can only detect it on my Sennheiser HD660s headphones. It can best be described as sounding almost like digital noise just just inside the audible range. Kinda like silence being played in a very lossy format.

When I then pause the song the sound continues for a second or so and then cuts out. The sound is present as long as the pathway indicator in Roon is lit up. So during the time Roon is playing “silence”.

What is very curious is this sound is NOT present when I play local sound files over Roon. Only when the data is coming from Tidal or Qobuz.

I did upgrade my Uniti Star to the latest firmware yesterday but am unable to say whether this noise was present on the previous firmware version. Last night when I detected this I was in a late night silent room and any ambient sound whatsoever will be enough to drown this out.

FYI I am not using any DSP settings and the Resync Delay to the Star is 0ms.

Does anybody have an idea what this is and how it can be fixed?

Thing is if I listen to the same track via native Naim streaming I detect nothing.

But I agree, if it is not doing this with local files it does not seem to be the Uniti Star doing this.

Hello @Almero_Steyn, and thanks for your report! In a moment, I’m going to send you a PM with another step for this issue. But for the thread, are you seeing this behavior on any other endpoint? Please try the built in speakers on the laptop with Qobuz through Roon and let me know if the issue is present there or only on the Naim, thanks!

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Hi, thank you for getting back to me on this!

Well since I logged this I can say the following:

The sound is extremely slight. I picked it up only the one night I was listening in a completely silent room with Sennheider HD660s headphones. If there is any ambient noise I cannot hear it and I do not hear it even through good speakers.

The sound was present when no music was playing but the signal path indicator was active.

I will need to try this on my laptop with the same headphones at some stage when the ambient conditions is suitable again. And then I will get back to you.

Hi @nuwriy.

I have run the test as requested. I used the same headphones and tested this on the laptop where Roon Core is running.

I can confirm that this sound is not present on the Core.

The sound is ONLY present on the Naim Uniti Star. And only when playing Qobuz and actually Tidal as well.

I tested it with a song I own the lossless WAV file of. When playing the local WAV file the sound is NOT present. Only when using one of the two streaming services.

Hope this helps us further.

Hi again @nuwriy.

Some interesting news. I tried a few things and then I set the Resync Delay on the Uniti Star zone to 1000ms. The sound disappeared on both Tidal as well as Qobuz.

Then in rest it to 0ms again and the sound is still gone.

I will have to monitor this but it seems to have fixed it. Maybe this reset something in the connection?

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Hey @Almero_Steyn, glad you found a solution! Please let me know if the issue returns.

@nuwriy, unfortunately I have to report that the issue returned again. After playing for two days without issues it is back. Again on Tidal and Qobuz only, with local files being unaffected.

I tried the Resync Delay adjustment again, only this time it had no effect. It was obviously then not what changed it the first time around.

@nuwriy hang back with picking up my previous comment. I have moved things around and have now wired my Roon core into an Ethernet port on the same Netgear Sattelite device that has my Unit Star wired in.

The sound disappeared again.

I am starting to think this may be network related after all. But I am going to test it like this for a few days and come back with either a final OK or if the sound returns I will let you know.

I know that the Roon recommendation to used a wired network connection, but it was easier to play from Wifi and it did not seem to have an audible effect… until now.

@nuwriy Report back a day later or so: The background sound seems to still be gone now that the Roon Core is using wired ethernet connection. I do believe the issue was caused somehow by the network connection. If it comes back again I will let you know.

Odd or what?? I can’t think of any even vaguely plausible reason why!

Yeah neither can I. But hey enough people have said that wired connections are preferred over WiFi. I can only think that perhaps due to intermittent wifi issues that reading the data from Tidal/Qobuz gets delays and therefore it does something weird. Who knows.

Hello @Almero_Steyn, glad things are working again! We do recommend Ethernet whenever possible in our networking best practices article. If the issue returns, though, please let me know!

Hi @nuwriy, the sound still has not returned.

I therefore have to conclude that using wired Ethernet solved the problem.

Consider this ticket closed.

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