Strange behavior configuring USB output to DAC

I have a MacBook Pro running Roon, essentially as an endpoint / bridge (not a core). It connects via USB to my DAC, which is uncharacterized by Roon. In the audio setup i have it named, and if i open device setup it says “unidentified device” and “USB High res audio” For the record it is grouped with other zones.

However, while i can see and select “USB high res audio” from the Mac’s audio output menu bar, it consistently jumps back to “internal speakers”. And yet… the output DOES play on the DAC and does NOT come from the speakers.

Any idea what is going on?



no replies. Moved.

Can you share a screenshot of Settings>Audio?
So you have a Core on what sort of machine? And on the MacBook Pro are you running Roon or Roon Bridge?
I might be misunderstanding something here, but you should not need to monkey with Mac controls. The adjustment needs to come via the Core.
I suspect Roon is doing exactly what it needs to do. The Core is talking to the Roon Bridge and properly controlling the DAC. It is overriding the settings on the Mac itself.

Full Roon Core, but acting as client/bridge. I have no idea what Roon bridge even is. I’ll look it up. Core is ROCK, and elsewhere on the network.

In Roon setup --> audio i have three outputs for this laptop:

  1. System Output
  2. Built in output
  3. Something that was, i believe “USB high res device” which i renamed “Denefrips”. To be honest i’ve reconfigured several things due to the fact that sometimes they work, then suddenly didn’t.

I have it in exclusive mode and working per the signal path.

That said, what i find confusing is that int he mac’s menu bar, where sound output is selected, it will sometimes jump to 'Internal speakers" although clearly the sound is not coming from the laptop, but from the DAC connected system. If i try to set it back to “USB high res audio” it jumps back to “internal speakers”.
yet, in order to be sure i was describing it correctly i went upstairs and checked. It has, on nits own, jumped back to “USB hgih res audio”. It has been playing uninterrupted the whole time.

The core is ROCK, but that should be irrelevant for this purpose. Its a configuration terminology and Roon-as-client/bridge question.

There is little to no discussion of which output to use on a Mac in the audio setup section, at least that’s easy to find. When i began i could make at least two of them work, although i can’t be sure exactly how i did that months later.



well, uploading was intuitive (not!), no paper clip, just mysterious little pictograms

Roon can takeover the DAC if you’re using exclusive mode. This is normal. You don’t need to select the output device on the Mac. You use Roon settings. I can provide screenshot of my setup later if that helps.

Thanks for your input; and I’ll triple check. But read again what I’m saying.

I believe I understand exclusive mode, and i believe you are mixing issues here. Exclusive mode says when configured device X is selected by Roon, only Roon can send a digital signal to it and other potential sound sources are muted. It’s that “when … selected” part that is confusing; especially since “selection” on a mac occurs, or can occur, in the menubar (which is but a shortcut to the sounds system preference pane). And the status of that menubar is inconsistent.

If selection occurs during audio setup only, then i have a point of confusion. Since roon dos not recognize the device, its often unclear which of several audio outputs Roon thinks is my DAC. None of them bear its name or characterization. And to prove that its ambiguous even to Roon, i have, at various times, made every single one of the 3 work by futzing enough. And every one passed the Roon signal path test for uncorrupted path.

In any event - why would the menu bar indication jump from “internal speakers” to “USB high res device” randomly, on its own, while that Roon zone is active?