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BluOS 3.16.3 Dropouts, “Audio clock trim” as fix?

Discussion in 'audio' started by Subito, Jan 11, 2022.

  1. Subito

    Subito pfm Member

    My Bluesound NODE had been utterly flawless since I bought it in early November, but with the latest BluOS update (3.16.3) I’ve begun to get occasional dropouts lasting 2-6 seconds or so when listening to Qobuz. At first I thought it was an issue on Qobuz’s end, but I also run Qobuz on my iMac through Audirvana and that has no dropout issues.

    (FYI, I don’t experience dropouts when listening to my iTunes library on the SSD drive attached to my NODE or when listening to streamed Tunein radio programs.)

    I did some online investigating and apparently Bluesound added the “Audio clock trim” setting option back to the BluOS software—it was not part of the NODE 2021 as delivered (3.14.22 or thereabouts). Apparently this option was originally designed to accommodate external DAC usage. As Bluesound explains the feature:

    “Enable to reduce jitter and increase audio clock timing precision when using an external DAC.
    Note: Not all DACs can handle this. If audible clippings or dropouts occur, disable Audio Clock Trim to avoid BluOS's accuracy setting from interfering with the external DAC's firmware.”

    But I’m using the internal DAC, so it’s not clear why this would cause dropouts. I turned off “Audio clock trim” (which newly appeared in 3.16.2 and was turned on by default) and so far the dropouts seem to have ceased, but I’ve only been testing this for a couple of hours.

    Has anybody else run into this dropout issue using the internal DAC? Bluesound originally claimed the NODE 2021 didn’t include the “Audio clock trim” option because it wasn’t needed: “The new NODE has a different DAC and does not require the Audio Clock Trim function, hence it does not show in the Bluesound App.”

    But apparently Bluesound changed their mind as of the 3.16.2 update. My guess is that the “Audio clock trim” feature ultimately proved necessary for some external DACs and that’s why it was added back to BluOS, but somehow it messes up the internal DAC (which as noted above doesn’t need it, according to Bluesound). If that’s true, Bluesound shouldn’t have activated the “Audio clock trim” feature by default, and they should specifically explain this issue in their support docs.

    I don’t mean to make a mountain out of a molehill, but the huge appeal of the Bluesound NODE for me was that it just works. (No faffing about with Raspberry Pi setup and configurations, etc.) So the prospect of my NODE getting buggy every time there’s a software update is concerning.

    Anybody else running into this problem (or any others) after updating the BluOS?

    (And sorry for such a long post/rant!)
     
  2. Bluedroog

    Bluedroog pfm Member

    I’ve not experienced this but I do find the app a bit hit and miss at recognising my Node. It’s one of them where I just have to play about with the app, close and restart etc and it finds it. Annoying none the less. I do wonder if it’s my phone rather than the app or Node hardware.
     
  3. Paul68

    Paul68 Active Member

    I use a node 2021 version and update 13.16.1 caused drop outs on all services, I use an external dac (audiolab m-dac) setting the jitter rejection to the highest setting stopped the drop outs. Update 13.16.2 with the "audio clock trim" option set to off solved this completely.
    Seems odd that the internal dac should suffer from this as the audio clock trim was meant to solve any problems with external dacs.
    There is the new update 13.16.3 which enabled usb output on the new node, if you haven't already updated might be worth a shot.

    Bluesound seem to add things into their updates that aren't in the release notes I.e. they solve one problem and then create another. I'm not slagging them off as that was the only problem I've had with the node since I bought it in June last year.
     
  4. snowflake

    snowflake Former Albino Ape

    In the olden days my app just at started and the player was there. Nowadays it seems to scan for the player every time the app starts.

    Which is slow....

    S
     
  5. Moonbuggy

    Moonbuggy pfm Member

    Using internal dac and have no issues here since updating. I'm using Tidal & Spotify.
     
  6. Paul68

    Paul68 Active Member

    That's how the BluOS app function's for me but it finds the node in a matter of seconds.
     
  7. snowflake

    snowflake Former Albino Ape

    Yes, I would prefer the option to save that few seconds and just lock my player in :)

    S
     
    steveinspain likes this.
  8. Subito

    Subito pfm Member

    Followup: I listened to Qobuz pretty much all day and didn’t notice any dropouts, so toggling off the “Audio clock trim” feature seems to have fixed the problem. Still seems odd this feature would impact operation when using the internal DAC, but whatever…
     
  9. htsdgrvs

    htsdgrvs pfm Member

    Audio clock trim fixed the problem for me too.

    Then they added USB output which works, and sounds good, but doesn't actually offer fixed volume on my DAC like it's supposed to. It would be as simple as adding a toggle switch, but BlueSound support seems to be blaming users and DACs instead of fixing it.
     
    Subito likes this.
  10. Subito

    Subito pfm Member

    Sigh…had some more dropouts with Qobuz today, very frustrating. I decided to go ahead and reboot the NODE (Settings>Help>Diagnostics>Reboot), thinking that might be a smart thing to do after a BluOS update is applied (or perhaps after changing the “Audio clock trim” setting). A bit of a long shot but what the hell.

    So far Qobuz is playing fine with no dropouts, but I’ve been down this road before…
     
  11. shevans

    shevans pfm Member

    Bit off topic but I had issues with Qobuz yesterday and my login credentials, but once logged in it played fine on my Bluesound POWERNODE.

    Trying out all streaming services at the moment to see which has the best interface. Really like Amazon and price with hires but it’s painful to use on Bluesound.
     
  12. IanRB

    IanRB pfm Member

    Amazon is almost unusable on the Bluesound app. However it is fine on Widows PCs & laptops, so now I build play lists and add albums & tracks to my library on a PC and then just use those on the in the BS app. Bit of a faff, but it makes life easier.
     
    doctorf and shevans like this.

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