General Issues with USB Dongles and external USB DACs

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prohibido_por_la_ley

Senior Member
Nov 21, 2011
268
74
Chicago
I just read through the conversation and it just baffles me. So the "official" Pixel support forum is run by volunteers who basically tell you "if you have a problem, don't bother us, we just give you pre-prepared text-blocks - if they can't help you, we're out" - if you want "real" support, go and use "feedback form" - meaning you write a wall of text to an known person, won't get any sort of answer or input and have to pray that Google will care?

Uff.

I mean, as a Pixel user you can always try the

-> Settings
-> Tips & Support
-> Contact us

form, that way you can at least write to a person/talk to a human, even though they will most likely also just form a "feedback form" after your conversation, since they are powerless Tier I tech people.

I hope that Google can fix those problems here, so you guys can have fun with your device. Google certainly doesn't deserve the "our phone just works" - status, if they forget to add basic compatibility to common third party hardware.
False, the Google dongle works just fine and other users have reported a higher end FiiO dongle to be working too.
 

Morgrain

Senior Member
Aug 4, 2015
893
965
False, the Google dongle works just fine and other users have reported a higher end FiiO dongle to be working too.
I'm not sure if one anecdotal example of one functioning product can falsen my basic compatibility claim (third party), especially since the majority of people in this thread report problems with getting their third-party hardware to work.

It's at least nice to hear that at least one third party hardware seem to function, but that is - of course - not enough.
 

Nemuritor01

Senior Member
May 22, 2017
276
197
Google Pixel 6 Pro
False, the Google dongle works just fine and other users have reported a higher end FiiO dongle to be working too.
I would be really interested in details. What is working? Is "real" high res working or just android processed, native sampling rate?
I have also a Creative SXFI Amp which is working. But I would say, it's native up/down sampled music playing.
My Oppo HA-2 SE, which is a 350$ DAC is not working properly.
 

prohibido_por_la_ley

Senior Member
Nov 21, 2011
268
74
Chicago
I would be really interested in details. What is working? Is "real" high res working or just android processed, native sampling rate?
I have also a Creative SXFI Amp which is working. But I would say, it's native up/down sampled music playing.
My Oppo HA-2 SE, which is a 350$ DAC is not working properly.
I'd say it's limited to 24/48 because everytime a 24/96 or higher track comes on in Amazon Music it says Device:24/48 Output:24/48. I don't know if it's the Android limitations or if it's the maximum capability of the Google dongle. Even with that, it's plenty hi res at least to me.
 

Nemuritor01

Senior Member
May 22, 2017
276
197
Google Pixel 6 Pro
I'd say it's limited to 24/48 because everytime a 24/96 or higher track comes on in Amazon Music it says Device:24/48 Output:24/48. I don't know if it's the Android limitations or if it's the maximum capability of the Google dongle. Even with that, it's plenty hi res at least to me.
That should be native sampling rate. And we are talking about an issue and not a matter of "it's enough". It's not working properly, that's the point. If the camera would take photos with 5 mp instead of 50mp, this might be also enough for some users. But for others its a no go.
 

EndlessBliss

Senior Member
Sep 22, 2012
52
45
Still have the same issues here too with the December update. It would be nice to know if they're even working on this
 

philthebeat2

New member
Dec 17, 2021
3
8
Yep. Saw this article on Android Police and made an account here to say that I was having the same issue and found a workaround that fixed the screeching sounds for me.
Important words above are "for me". Who knows if it'll do anything for you but the steps are simple enough that you should definitely give it a try.

1-Unplug DAC/phones
2-Open Android Settings
3-Choose Sounds and Vibration
4-Turn off the last four options
They should be
-Dial pad tones
-Screen locking sound
-Charging sounds and vibration
-Touch sounds

And that's it! I would reboot my phone after that and then plug in the phones/DAC just to make sure but shouldn't be necessary.

Hopefully that did it for you as well and it could give Google a clue where to start to actually fix it.

EDIT: Just edited wording to clarify that this workaround is specifically to fix the screeching sounds some people are reporting. If you get no audio at all (or if applications crash), this might not help. We just need to wait for Google to implement the fix this summer.
 
Last edited:

roirraW "edor" ehT

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Yep. Saw this article on Android Police and made an account here to say that I was having the same issue and found a workaround that fixed it for me.
That is one of the most potentially useful, coherent, and relevant first posts I've seen on XDA in a long time. And without hurrying to post more replies to other threads to artificially get their post count up, on top of that. Kudos, even if it doesn't help anyone else!
 

Nemuritor01

Senior Member
May 22, 2017
276
197
Google Pixel 6 Pro
Yep. Saw this article on Android Police and made an account here to say that I was having the same issue and found a workaround that fixed it for me.
Important words above are "for me". Who knows if it'll do anything for you but the steps are simple enough that you should definitely give it a try.

1-Unplug DAC/phones
2-Open Android Settings
3-Choose Sounds and Vibration
4-Turn off the last four options
They should be
-Dial pad tones
-Screen locking sound
-Charging sounds and vibration
-Touch sounds

And that's it! I would reboot my phone after that and then plug in the phones/DAC just to make sure but shouldn't be necessary.

Hopefully that did it for you as well and it could give Google a clue where to start to actually fix it.
Hi and welcome to the forum.
I've tested your findings, but it does not work with my DACs. I found just one solution to get at least some audio playing, but also it does not solve this issue. With the workaround below you can get music playing (if your app freezes), but it's still android processed.

1. Take care, that the app e.g. tidal has all permissions system --> apps ...
2. Go to system settings - privacy
Switch off the toggle for "allow all apps use camera" and also "allow all apps use mic"

Then disconnect your DAC and close all apps.
Now connect DAC or Dongle and open your app... Should work

Maybe this works for some of you, as well.

Please be aware, that this disables the microphone for all apps! So take care to switch it on, after your music session.
 

EndlessBliss

Senior Member
Sep 22, 2012
52
45
Yep. Saw this article on Android Police and made an account here to say that I was having the same issue and found a workaround that fixed it for me.
Important words above are "for me". Who knows if it'll do anything for you but the steps are simple enough that you should definitely give it a try.

1-Unplug DAC/phones
2-Open Android Settings
3-Choose Sounds and Vibration
4-Turn off the last four options
They should be
-Dial pad tones
-Screen locking sound
-Charging sounds and vibration
-Touch sounds

And that's it! I would reboot my phone after that and then plug in the phones/DAC just to make sure but shouldn't be necessary.

Hopefully that did it for you as well and it could give Google a clue where to start to actually fix it.

Appreciate the post, but unfortunately it doesn't fix the larger kernel issue. Android still resamples all audio, and the phone freezes up if you grant an app like Tidal direct access to the DAC. However, this does remove the static/screeching noise in some instances as the OS doesn't have to trip over itself to mix audio streams (like system sounds and a music stream)

The best everyone can do is star and comment on the issuetracker threads (see my post here for links), and submit your own feedback reports and support tickets from settings. Just insist that it's a widespread bug and that you want to submit a bug report
 

philthebeat2

New member
Dec 17, 2021
3
8
Appreciate the post, but unfortunately it doesn't fix the larger kernel issue. Android still resamples all audio, and the phone freezes up if you grant an app like Tidal direct access to the DAC. However, this does remove the static/screeching noise in some instances as the OS doesn't have to trip over itself to mix audio streams (like system sounds and a music stream)

The best everyone can do is star and comment on the issuetracker threads (see my post here for links), and submit your own feedback reports and support tickets from settings. Just insist that it's a widespread bug and that you want to submit a bug report
Ah yes, absolutely! I should have mentionned that I was talking mostly about the screeching noise people are reporting. It fixed it 100% for me.

It might not help for freezes/crashes as you said.

And yes, reporting is the best thing to do. They will not act on it until they know it is affecting a good number of users.
 
Last edited:

whatsisnametake2

Senior Member
I'm using a hidizs sonata with Westone um2 headphones. my library is almost entirely flac 16 bit 44.1. ie cd rips. I can confirm with neutron that when I enable usb direct it all goes south. maybe I'm misunderstanding something though. Nothing analogue is passing out of the USB port to the DAC it's all digital till you get to the DAC at which point it becomes analogue up to your headphones. so does it matter too much if it's not direct accessing the dac (I'm not entirely sure what that even means in this hardware scenario)? sounds pretty glorious to me already.
 

crypticc

Senior Member
Aug 22, 2009
1,164
139
London
I'm using a hidizs sonata with Westone um2 headphones. my library is almost entirely flac 16 bit 44.1. ie cd rips. I can confirm with neutron that when I enable usb direct it all goes south. maybe I'm misunderstanding something though. Nothing analogue is passing out of the USB port to the DAC it's all digital till you get to the DAC at which point it becomes analogue up to your headphones. so does it matter too much if it's not direct accessing the dac (I'm not entirely sure what that even means in this hardware scenario)? sounds pretty glorious to me already.
if Android has resampled :

MQA and to use the off board DAC to do the last unfold to a bitstream won't work because the MQA metadata won't make it through the resampling.

I don't know for this one but potentially your precious 44.1 KHz CD and 88.2 Khz HD DVD soundtracks could have been resampled into either 48Khz or 96KHz causing quantisation errors.
 

Alekos

Senior Member
Feb 18, 2008
505
373
Apps & Games
Google Pixel 3 XL
Yep. Saw this article on Android Police and made an account here to say that I was having the same issue and found a workaround that fixed it for me.
Important words above are "for me". Who knows if it'll do anything for you but the steps are simple enough that you should definitely give it a try.

1-Unplug DAC/phones
2-Open Android Settings
3-Choose Sounds and Vibration
4-Turn off the last four options
They should be
-Dial pad tones
-Screen locking sound
-Charging sounds and vibration
-Touch sounds

And that's it! I would reboot my phone after that and then plug in the phones/DAC just to make sure but shouldn't be necessary.

Hopefully that did it for you as well and it could give Google a clue where to start to actually fix it.
This so so funny. the first day I got my 6 Pro (Nov 1st) I was using my sonata DAC and everytime I touched the screen there was a weird interference. It was so odd. I did a factory reset! and a ton of other things. but then turned off all the sound and haptic options, and voila it was fine. I thought - okay this is surely just an issue with this one specific DAC - then I tried the FiiO and a few others and same thing. I was going to return/exchange the device but I don't use those sound specific sound/touch settings really so it never bothered me.

It is disconcerting that there are some issues with LDAC/960kbps, USB-DAC etc. Even on a $300 phone I would be concerned... but at $1300 it's unacceptable. - my 3XL works fine - no issues with LDAC or USB-DAC. and its now almost January - 3 months since release.

People shouldn't really have to deal with issues like this. I'm lucky that I can troubleshoot and flash different builds etc, and compromise. no one should have to though. I like this phone, and don't have any of the other issues people complain about (battery/fp/mobile network). What are our options? Okay, I hit the "star" on the issuetracker, sent a few feedback requests - but it just seems no one is listening. If I had a twitter account with a few thousand followers, I guess it would help? - sad that it's the only way to make your voice heard, but nothing has really changed. twitter is the new megaphone (where the newspaper was before that).
 

eng.stk

Senior Member
Mar 29, 2011
7,055
60,233
OnePlus 5T
OnePlus 6
Can someone with the DAC issues test this for me?


Would appreciate feedback if it works with this build r42
 

whatsisnametake2

Senior Member
just to add further to this, I am using a hidizs sonata. playing back audio normally works fine. as soon as I try to playback anything usb direct like with neutron player, it craps out. I am exchanging emails with the device trying to get to the bottom of it. I just sent him some log files so we'll see what he comes back with.
 

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  • 2
    to anyone that has got the may update, has the dac fix from April's beta been implemented in the main release now?
    I'm wondering the same exact thing.
    No unfortunately not.
    1
    to anyone that has got the may update, has the dac fix from April's beta been implemented in the main release now?
    1
    I'm not rooted and have may update neutron player still doesn't do high res audio I think if your on beta it's been fixed but if your running stable then it's the feature drop next month that will have fixed it
  • 6
    Yep. Saw this article on Android Police and made an account here to say that I was having the same issue and found a workaround that fixed the screeching sounds for me.
    Important words above are "for me". Who knows if it'll do anything for you but the steps are simple enough that you should definitely give it a try.

    1-Unplug DAC/phones
    2-Open Android Settings
    3-Choose Sounds and Vibration
    4-Turn off the last four options
    They should be
    -Dial pad tones
    -Screen locking sound
    -Charging sounds and vibration
    -Touch sounds

    And that's it! I would reboot my phone after that and then plug in the phones/DAC just to make sure but shouldn't be necessary.

    Hopefully that did it for you as well and it could give Google a clue where to start to actually fix it.

    EDIT: Just edited wording to clarify that this workaround is specifically to fix the screeching sounds some people are reporting. If you get no audio at all (or if applications crash), this might not help. We just need to wait for Google to implement the fix this summer.
    5
    There is another problem with the Pixel 6 (6 and 6 pro) devices. External USB DACs and dongles do not work properly. USB Host API or the DAC offloading and hand-over are bugged. Apps like Tidal, Neutron, USB audio Player Pro crash or can't play music in high res. The problem has already been reported by some users. There has been no statement from Google yet.
    A work around for me to get music playing and stop apps freezing was switching off the toggle for "allow all apps use mic" in system/privacy settings.
    But this does not solve the issue, as the apps still can not access the USB Dongles or external DACs directly and by pass android system limitations and software processing.
    Google skips the 3.5 port and users are forced to use dongles, etc., which do not even work properly.
    4
    Yep. Saw this article on Android Police and made an account here to say that I was having the same issue and found a workaround that fixed it for me.
    Important words above are "for me". Who knows if it'll do anything for you but the steps are simple enough that you should definitely give it a try.

    1-Unplug DAC/phones
    2-Open Android Settings
    3-Choose Sounds and Vibration
    4-Turn off the last four options
    They should be
    -Dial pad tones
    -Screen locking sound
    -Charging sounds and vibration
    -Touch sounds

    And that's it! I would reboot my phone after that and then plug in the phones/DAC just to make sure but shouldn't be necessary.

    Hopefully that did it for you as well and it could give Google a clue where to start to actually fix it.

    Appreciate the post, but unfortunately it doesn't fix the larger kernel issue. Android still resamples all audio, and the phone freezes up if you grant an app like Tidal direct access to the DAC. However, this does remove the static/screeching noise in some instances as the OS doesn't have to trip over itself to mix audio streams (like system sounds and a music stream)

    The best everyone can do is star and comment on the issuetracker threads (see my post here for links), and submit your own feedback reports and support tickets from settings. Just insist that it's a widespread bug and that you want to submit a bug report
    4
    It's really funny reading the comments on tech news sites. most commenting how usb-dac/LDAC 990 is so rarely used that it doesn't matter that it won't work properly.

    Anyway, I am really disappointed in the Pixels. But we only have 2 other choices - Samsung and Oneplus. I'm not sure what to think anymore. I mean many of us on xda who purchased 6/6 Pro, knew there would be bugs. That's fine. but when a basic feature doesn't work at all? I am lucky because I didn't experience any of the issues that others have had - except this one (and some battery drain on 5G).

    If it gets fixed at the end of summer - it'll be almost a year since the 6 series was released. They need to do better. Much better.