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Apple Airport Express Having Dropouts While Streaming Music


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As the title says, my Airport Express is dropping out often when streaming music and it's driving me nuts. I use it to stream a music channel that I subscribe to (Music From The Hearts of Space) and it has increasing problems with dropouts, and sometimes it even leads to a complete inability to continue to stream music. At that point, the DAC can no longer even get a signal from it.

 

I am using a high quality router, and have the Airport Express directly connected to the router, via ethernet cable (it is not using wifi). The Airport Express also connects via optical cable to my DAC.

 

Any help in resolving this would be immensely appreciated.

 

JC

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I am using a high quality router, and have the Airport Express directly connected to the router, via ethernet cable (it is not using wifi). The Airport Express also connects via optical cable to my DAC.

Have you tried using the analogue output of the Airport Express (rather than optical). You need to do this to check if the issue is with networking or with the quality of the optical output of the Airport Express (which many DACs struggle with).

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Eloise, I have the old 2nd generation (802.11) model. I've checked the unit, and it only has one connection, the optical one. Now I'm wondering if replacing it with a newer, current model might solve this?

No, the optical connection is also a 3.5mm analogue connection...

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Have you tried using the analogue output of the Airport Express (rather than optical). You need to do this to check if the issue is with networking or with the quality of the optical output of the Airport Express (which many DACs struggle with).
+1

 

Certainly is a commonly reported fault, eg:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4276807?start=0&tstart=0

https://discussions.apple.com/message/29709225?tstart=0#29709225

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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I did not realize it was possible for that connection to be both. Just wondering what I could plug a single analog connection into.
Just get a 3.5mm jack to RCA lead.

 

BTW, what device do you currently have the Airport Express plugged into, ie, is it the same kit as the new Marantz NA8005 mentioned in your other thread is going to be part of? If so, you can use the Marantz's AirPlay support instead of Airport Express.

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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As the title says, my Airport Express is dropping out often when streaming music and it's driving me nuts. I use it to stream a music channel that I subscribe to (Music From The Hearts of Space) and it has increasing problems with dropouts, and sometimes it even leads to a complete inability to continue to stream music. At that point, the DAC can no longer even get a signal from it.

 

I am using a high quality router, and have the Airport Express directly connected to the router, via ethernet cable (it is not using wifi). The Airport Express also connects via optical cable to my DAC.

 

Any help in resolving this would be immensely appreciated.

 

JC

 

I've had similar issues on the APX (A1084) where it quits playing or just disappears from the selection list of devices. Often it still shows up as available on other computers in the house, but is unresponsive to them. I am using it wireless (no Ethernet cables).

 

The only thing that has worked for me is to first reinstall the latest firmware upgrades, reset to factory default settings and then setup the device as its own network. Stream music to it this way for a time (minutes / hours) and then rejoin my home network router. This is the only remedy I've found so far that seems to get it back on track. Usually it will work OK for weeks or months.

 

Not sure what causes this aliment but I suspect the power supply is failing and somehow causing data corruption of the firmware. It gets really warm inside that sealed case and these things are left on 24/7. Capacitors have to be cooked after a few years.

Hytek

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If it's airplay from a mobile device, then wifi is still a possible issue. Do you have a dual band router? I just purchased 4 chromecast music devices. I discovered that I cannot group devices that are on the 5G antennae of my wireless AP with those on the 2G. Just a shot in the dark, but maybe try disabling the 5G or 2G radio on your wifi and see what happens.

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Try downgrading the firmware. How to downgrade your AirPort device's firmware | Macworld explains how. I had a similar problem, and downgrading to 7.6 fixed it. Known problem. What are you using to stream to the AE?

 

+1. Downgrade the firmware

 

The 1st and 2nd gen are known to have excellent bit perfect optical outs. The third gen has the bit link problem......and subsequently has an EXCELLENT on board DAC.

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I would strongly suggest you try downgrading the firmware. There's no harm in trying - you can always upgrade it again.

 

I tried to downgrade the firmware to v6.1.1 but the APX (A1084) does not rejoin my network. I also tried to set the APX up as its own network, but Airplay and Airfoil do not work with it and ask for a firmware upgrade. I am unable to find a download for firmware v6.2. Anyone have a link for v6.2?

 

Downgrading Apple Airport Express 802.11g (A1084) firmware | Leigh M. Smith

Hytek

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If you follow the link I posted, you should be presented with all available firmware versions without downloading anything. You do this by option-clicking on the version number field when in Airport Utility. I know I was running 7.6 with no problems (although not sure what version of the Airport Express that applied to.

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  • 2 months later...

Another option I didn't see listed is to change your wireless frequency (2.4 and 5 GHz) from automatic to a fixed channel. This has worked for me before, and it's easier as a first step than downgrading firmware.

 

See this and other possible options:

Is your wireless connection dropping?

Sum>Frankenstein: Schiit Yggdrasil LiM+Shunyata Venom+PS Audio P3 Regenerator, Linn LP12/Hercules II/Ittok/Denon DL-103R, Pass Labs XA25, Tellurium Black II, Monitor Audio Silver 500 on IsoAcoustics Gaias, Uptone Audio LPS-1.2, ISO & EtherREGENs, Shunyata/Silnote/Transparent Audio cables/cords, and a treated room.

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In the end, buying a new, top of the line router, which I purchased to eliminate another problem entirely also had the benefit of curing my Airport Express woes. Thanks to everyone for their suggestions and assistance.

 

JC

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  • 2 weeks later...
Just curious which router you bought to cure your woes.

 

And the router that was replaced.

QNAP TS453Pro w/QLMS->Netgear Switch->Netgear R7800 Router->Ethernet (50 ft)->Netgear switch->SBT->iFi xDSD->Linn Majik-IL (preamp)->Linn 2250->Linn Keilidh; Control Points: Squeeze Commander (DroidX) & iPeng (iPad Air); Also: Rega P3-24 w/ DV 10x5; OPPO 103; PC Playback: Foobar2000 & JRiver; Portable: Sony NWZ_ZX1 & ZX2 w/ PHA-3; SMSL IQ, Fiio Q5, iFi Nano iDSD BL; Garage: Edifier S1000DB Active Speakers  Wish List: New DAC,  SBT replacement; Dream system: Linn EXACT or ATC Active or Big Tubes (KR or Nagra or Shindo or ...)

 

My goal is to use appliances and take home PC out of the chain...

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