iMac USB ports noisy?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by carbontune, Oct 1, 2018.

  1. carbontune macrumors member

    carbontune

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2018
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    Is anyone using a 2017 iMac and playing audio via USB to an external DAC and then onto powered speakers? I have spent a lot of money changing DACs and cables but still get a crackling noise from the speakers. If I plug a Blu-Ray player directly to the speakers via phono cables then the crackling noise is not present. Also, strangely, if I plug headphones into the DAC then I don’t hear the crackling noise either.

    Speakers are KRK Rokit 5.

    I’ve reduced the noise by using a very high quality USB cable between the iMac and DAC.

    The only other thing I could try is another set of speakers but that’s a very expensive option. I’m going to try using the 3.5mm headphone out on the iMac directly connected to the active speakers via a 3.5mm to RCA cable.

    As the iMac is just a few weeks old then I could contact Apple and I’m so disappointed as it’s cost me around £3.5K for the iMac and I get very poor audio quality from it, plus Apple has limited the digital audio output to USB only.
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
  3. carbontune thread starter macrumors member

    carbontune

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2018
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #3

    Thank you for the suggestion! This kind of device may help. This particular model is very hard to get hold of in the UK though.
     
  4. StellarVixen macrumors 68000

    StellarVixen

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2018
    Location:
    Earth
  5. cbautis2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2013
    #5
    You can just buy the iFi iUSB 3.0 + iFi iGalvanic with Gemini 3.0 cables (for a good measure) if you're in the UK
     
  6. Cayden macrumors 6502a

    Cayden

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Location:
    Utah
    #6
    Are you using Logic or do the crackling issues occur no matter the source? I’m also having some issues with crackling audio issues through a USB DAC but they only seem to happen when playing from Logic and I’m not sure why
     
  7. carbontune thread starter macrumors member

    carbontune

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2018
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    Setup was iMac USB to a DAC to studio monitors. I tried a couple of DACs with the same results. I tried several USB cables. I tried many analogue cables from the DAC to the speakers, both balanced and unbalanced.

    This week I noticed that the speakers made a noise even when the DAC was powered off but had been on and music had been playing. I then plugged headphones directly into the iMac and the sound was fine. Then I tried the headphone output on the DAC and that was fine too. This left just the speakers. So, it may not be the iMac after all.
     

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6 October 1, 2018