Airport Express 7.8 Audio Quality Issues

Milesc2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 22, 2018
22
6
Is anyone else having audio quality issues after the Airport Express 7.8 and 7.8.1 firmware updates?
Sound is crystal clear on 7.6.9 but full of distortion and artifacts on 7.8 and above.

I am feeding a pretty high end system through an external DAC connected to the APX via optical.
This occurs with or without the external DAC.

I have tested with 3 different Air Port Express's (latest gen) and have gotten the same result each time. 7.6.9 sounds magnificent, 7.8 is unlistenable. I can even hear this distortion through headphones connected directly to the APX. I have also tried to connect the APX to my network via ethernet and get the same results.

Very upset to see these devices made worthless to me over a firmware update. I have been wanting multi room since these came to market.
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
3,930
5,134
Very upset to see these devices made worthless to me over a firmware update.
This is a big reason why I wait to update any of my Apple products anymore.

After getting burned with the iOS 9 update that made my iPad Mini 2 unusable, I usually wait.

I wonder if you can go back to the old firmware?
 

Milesc2

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 22, 2018
22
6
This is a big reason why I wait to update any of my Apple products anymore.

After getting burned with the iOS 9 update that made my iPad Mini 2 unusable, I usually wait.

I wonder if you can go back to the old firmware?
Yes, the downgrade is super easy thankfully. That’s how I have been doing all the testing.
I can now easily hear the difference between 7.6.X and 7.8.X. Lots of crackling with the new FW.
 
Last edited:

netnewswireuser

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2017
34
31
Yes, the downgrade is super easy thankfully. That’s how I have been doing all the testing.
I can now easily hear the difference between 7.6.X and 7.8.1. Lots of crackling with the new FW.
Can you explain how to do the downgrade??

I just updated my AE to 7.8.1 :(
 
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Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,353
2,725
Atlanta, USA
Can you explain how to do the downgrade??

I just updated my AE to 7.8.1 :(
  1. Go into airport utility
  2. Click on the base station.
  3. A popup will appear.
  4. Option + Click on the version shown
  5. A selection dropdown will appear.
  6. Select the old version you want and go...

I think the old versions are stored in files on the mac you're running airport utility from. AirPort Utility saves each version whenever you do an upgrade.

That means that if you have several macs and you've used them over the years for different firmware updates, then each mac will probably have different versions available. You'll need to check that yourself if you can't immediately find the old version you want.

Update: Here you go. Pictures and all: https://www.macobserver.com/tips/quick-tip/macos-roll-back-airport-basestation-firmware/
[doublepost=1561516577][/doublepost]
Is anyone else having audio quality issues after the Airport Express 7.8 and 7.8.1 firmware updates?
Sound is crystal clear on 7.6.9 but full of distortion and artifacts on 7.8 and above.

I am feeding a pretty high end system through an external DAC connected to the APX via optical.
This occurs with or without the external DAC.

I have tested with 3 different Air Port Express's (latest gen) and have gotten the same result each time. 7.6.9 sounds magnificent, 7.8 is unlistenable. I can even hear this distortion through headphones connected directly to the APX. I have also tried to connect the APX to my network via ethernet and get the same results.

Very upset to see these devices made worthless to me over a firmware update. I have been wanting multi room since these came to market.
Thanks for the heads-up. I updated mine but didn't bother to check audio quality was OK. I should probably do that.
 
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netnewswireuser

macrumors member
Jan 2, 2017
34
31
  1. Go into airport utility
  2. Click on the base station.
  3. A popup will appear.
  4. Option + Click on the version shown
  5. A selection dropdown will appear.
  6. Select the old version you want and go...
I think the old versions are stored in files on the mac you're running airport utility from. AirPort Utility saves each version whenever you do an upgrade.

That means that if you have several macs and you've used them over the years for different firmware updates, then each mac will probably have different versions available. You'll need to check that yourself if you can't immediately find the old version you want.

Update: Here you go. Pictures and all: https://www.macobserver.com/tips/quick-tip/macos-roll-back-airport-basestation-firmware/
[doublepost=1561516577][/doublepost]
Thanks for the heads-up. I updated mine but didn't bother to check audio quality was OK. I should probably do that.
much appreciated my friend

thanks!!