Unable to play using Mac headphone port

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


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

Ethernet to NUC

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

MacBook Pro, iPhone 8, Chord MojoPoly

Description Of Issue

I typically use Roon wirelessly with the Chord MojoPoly and from there to my headphones. I tried something different the other day- I plugged the headphones direct to the Mac for a quick listen. Even though the speaker indicator properly selected “External Headphones” the music kept playing through the Mac speakers and not my connected headphones.

I tried a different use case- I plugged the Chord Mojo DAC (did not use the Poly streamer) directly to the Mac and got the same results. The speaker indicator replaced “External Headphones” with “Mojo” since that was the new output.

Finally, I tried both scenarios not using Roon, but rather a different player (VLC in this case), and my music played when directly connected to the Mac and to the Mojo DAC.

I then deleted and reinstalled Roon, but got the same results.



I suppose it has something to do with enabling the correct output for your Mac‘s headphones in Roon Settings=>Audio and then selecting that Zone as the endpoint.

yes, I would check which zones are enabled in Roon (settings/Audio) and make sure you select that zone to output to in Roon. I don’t have a Mac so I can’t get screen shots of what it looks like for you.

Hi @David_Weinberg,

You’ll want to use the “System Output” zone when outputting to the Mac’s hardware.

The Mojo should also have it’s own section in Settings -> Audio which needs to be enabled before starting playback. More information on how Zones work can be found in our Audio Basics Setup Guide.

Can’t say that I follow all of the guidance. Mojo was enabled and I have successfully used that (my main listening scenario). I renamed and enabled the headphones (it was not enabled before). After doing so, the new Focal Clear is grayed (may be hard to see it in the attached) out and I am unable to select it.

I’m not certain what is the “System Output” zone. I assume that it is another zone in addition to those that are in current use.

Please advise.

The zone that you have labeled “Chord Poly” is the System Output zone on the Mac. You can confirm that by clicking on the gear icon and then selecting device set setup. If you set that zone in Roon, you should be able to play from on board Mac speakers or headphones.

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That is so wild, and not as intuitive as I would have thought (BTW, it works!).

I would not have thought to select the system output to the Poly, especially when I was not using the Poly. That is why I initially selected the Mac, figuring that the Mac is the output (which it is for the Mac speakers) and the headphones connected to the Mac.

Anyway, it works. Thanks.

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No problem, glad it worked.

BTW, you can change the labels on the devices by clicking on the pencil icon.

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Hi @David_Weinberg,

As @Peter_Deschamps noted, you can change the zone name by clicking on the Pencil icon, I suspect you might have accidentally changed that zone name in the past from the default of “System Output”. In any case, happy to hear you sorted the issue out!

That clears things up. After I followed Peter’s guidance, I then saw two Chord Polys under Settings / Audio. It was also why I was confused that selecting the Poly would allow me to use the Mac headphone output (when the Poly was not in use). But, to Peter’s credit as I said yesterday, it worked.

Once you suggested that I may have edited the zone name from System Output to Poly (the one under the MacBook, not the Roon Ready Poly) then I understood why I have two Poly settings and why the top Poly worked regardless if the Poly was in use.

I changed it back to System Output and will use that as my non-Poly default.

Thanks to all!!


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