- Aug 4, 2016
USB DAC ISSUE *SOLVED* [WIN10/64BIT]
Pardon the super huge title. I just like to make sure those of you who, like me, bought the AK JR and got frustrated over the lack of sound when connecting as a USB DAC to not miss this read. I actually just created this account for this post.
Preamble (skip to [the fix] if you don't wanna hear my rants)
Scrolling through this forum, I quickly understood that the USB DAC was either a hit or miss function. Undeterred, with multiple reviews singing praises of the AK Stepchild's sound quality as well as finding a brand new ak jr sapphire edition set for sale at $200, I, like many of you lovely Headfiers here, decided to pull the trigger.
The ak jr immediately connect to my desktop. Driver installed smoothly without any issues and my playback devices was automatically configured to iriver USB DAC. Seeing how smooth sailing things were going, I thought I was one of the lucky ones with a working USB DAC unit until... no sound came out of my IEMS. Slightly annoyed, I composed myself and followed the recommended fix from this thread.
1. Every single USB port inclusive USB 2.0 and 3.0 - no sound
2. Stock cable and a whole bunch of high quality Micro-USB cables on every port - no sound
3. Uninstalling/Disabling/Reinstalling its drivers via Device Manager - no sound
(starting to panic)
Reading that it did work on laptops with older windows version and with the packaging explicitly listing support:
4. I tried it out on my Windows 7 pro dell laptop, repeating steps 1-3 and.... no sound
5. Using an external USB 2.0 HUB - nope.
Alas. None worked. I started questioning myself - coming from a Hidizs AP60, a BUDGET DAP that costed me $60, which managed USB DAC functions easily with totally no issues - how does a well known company such as Astell&Kern manage to mess this up. They are not even showing initiative to rectify this issue. All of you headfi-ers here are right - this is totally unacceptable. I was so ready to sell my set away.
I must have almost scrolled through this entire thread searching for a viable solution.
It must have been around page 70+ of this forum. I finally found the solution. It was right there, just not too obvious.
NOTE: I am using a Windows 10, 64-bit operating system on a DESKTOP. This fix requires you to access BIOS therefore i cannot guarantee that it can work for laptop users.
1. Restart/Boot Up your computer
2. Hit the BIOS keys (F2 or DEL on my Asus H81 motherboard)
3. Look for USB CONFIGURATION (mine was under advanced settings)
4. Look for INTEL xHCI (could state USB 3.0 or not) and hit DISABLE
/*if you cannot find this, just keep looking around - the key is to disable xHCI or anything that looks like it.*/
Sweet sound started pouring out of my IEMS. [Finally] USB DAC function even extended to all my USB 3.0 ports.
Taken from Intel:
The eXtensible Host Controller Interface (xHCI) specification describes the register-level host controller interface for universal serial bus revision 2.0 (USB2) and above.
To sum this up - No. The USB DAC function is not a HIT/MISS or a "Phantom" function. AK might not have foresaw this issue, but they definitely could have easily found a fix for it if they bothered.
HOPE THIS HELPS Y'ALL. CHEERS!
-A friendly Headfi-er
EDIT: I'll try my best to help all WINDOWS users as i am quite familiar with the platform/hardware. If you're a mac user, I can't help much but I happened to see many mac users solving this issue by using a USB 2.0 HUB - this can be found even on an external mac keyboard.
This is bolony dont waste your time