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Windows 10 PC: output same audio to two USB audio devices (Denon AVRs)?


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QUESTION: 

Using Windows 10 PC USB, how do you get the same audio out to two different AVRs (using USB)? 

1)  Is there a way to configure Windows Sound to output the same audio out through two different USB jacks (I've tried configuring Stereo Mix in Sound Settings but it doesn't work to combine two different USBs)?

OR

2)  Is there a way to use a USB splitter cable or USB Hub ( https://smile.amazon.com/Splitter-Charger-Female-Extension-Adapter/dp/B07S8XC8PK/ref=pd_ybh_a_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=5GKNBG1XG7F7C9C7VHZ1 )? 

 

If either of these methods is possible, would they degrade the sound by altering the signal timing for the clock or would they introduce other noticeable artifacts?

 

BACKGROUND INFO:

This winter I built an all new up-to-date general use desktop Windows 10 PC containing mid-priced case, power supply, mobo, SSD storage & memory, video card (my mobo has multiple USB jacks that are 1.0 up to 3.0.  This desktop computer is kept in a side room and currently use a HDMI powered splitter to get video and audio out to two Denon AVRs in separate rooms. The two Denon AVRs are approximately 40' from the computer so I use an 'HDMI to CAT6 extender' for the long runs, the extenders work very well.

Now I would like to get better digital audio using the Windows PC USBs out to each of the Denon AVR DACs.  Due to the long cable runs, I plan to use 'USB to CAT6 extenders' to connect the computer to each Denon AVR (  https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01K9V7D18/ref=ox_sc_saved_title_1?smid=A8Y6CR0L74MKF&psc=1 ).  

How do I play the same audio out to two different AVRs through USB?

 

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Thanks.

I do have JRiver which is used for my CD ripped catalog.

 Most of my listening now-a-days is streaming apps, mostly Deezer, some Tidal, sometimes experimenting with Roon.

 

I may try to use an app called Voicemeeter Banana (sp?) which acts like a switchboard inside your PC.  I tried this app years ago because someone said that it could force all PC audio through Exclusive Mode to be bit perfect, but it didn't work, I found out that the app (Deezer, Tidal, JRiver....) has to allow Exclusive Mode AND allow a bit perfect path. 

 

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You can install the Realtek HD audio drivers and that will give you a Sound Mixer device in your Sound Control Panel that you can then point the output to another USB interface.

 

I use this all the time to capture streams that I want an offline copy for.

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35 minutes ago, Kal Rubinson said:

You can probably route your streams through JRiver's WDM function.

It’s probably easier to use JRiver, as you suggest above, Kal.  Connect multiple AVRs or other renderers to the source PC and each will show up as a separate JRMC zone.  Group the desired device zones and they’ll play simultaneously.

 

Voicemeeter Banana is a cool piece of software that’s very useful for audio file processing, combining and distribution. But it’s a very long run for a short slide, and one of its major shortcomings for audiophiles is its inability to play, record, or convert FLACs.  It does give you up to 5 separate virtual output busses that are selectable from the “device” menus of your audio programs for direct playback and it will distribute FLACs to multiple players/endpoints (eg DACs and streamers) on your LAN.  But it will only record and play mp3, WM, wav and a few other basic formats. There’s no reason to use it just to get your FLACs onto your LAN when they’re accessible directly to networked endpoints for decoding and playback.
 

It’s donation ware that’s well worth downloading and supporting - but JRiver is a lot easier to use for the OP’s stated purpose.

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Several years ago I had experience routing streaming apps through JRiver WDM.  I haven't grouped zones together yet. 

 

Same for the Realtek HD Sound Mixer, I had used it momentarily years ago but can't remember the details. 

 

I'll look into both of these further.

Thanks.

 

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I've been experimenting with the methods listed above but can't get either to work.

 

Realtek HD audio:

I've installed this but I see nowhere to enable mixing of both USBs in either Windows Sound Control Panel nor Realtek HD audio Console.

 

JRiver zone linking & WDM:

I have successfully linked the zones of the two USBs. Both zones play simultaneously while playing audio within JRiver.

I have successfully enabled WDM and can route Windows audio (Deezer app & other websites) through any single zone of JRiver.

However, trying to play Windows audio through the linked USB zones doesn't work. Audio will only play through one of the two linked zones and that audio is always stuttering. I've tried all day to stop the stuttering by adjusting buffering but to no avail. And there is still the issue of audio only playing out of one of the lined zones. Maybe there is something that needs to be done with Zone Grouping.  I'll keep trying more later.

 

For the end of the week I've ordered a USB splitter cable that is supposed to allow data transfer with the split.

 

I'll update later. 

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It is technically difficult, because usually each USB DAC runs its DA conversion with respective local clock crystals and those two clock crystals are free running, not synchronized each other. And sound playback position of two DACs starts to drift just after playback starts.

Sunday programmer since 1985

Developer of PlayPcmWin

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I don't think the USB splitter is going to work. I tested it using two different portable USB DACs (Topping D50s & FiiO BTR5). The computer sees each DAC as a separate device and will not send the audio out to both at the same time.

I was hoping that this would work the same way that my HDMI splitter works, but the HDMI splitter works, and the USB splitter doesn't.

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I have done this with a MAC because the OS allows the creation of a virtual output device consisting of one or more real ones.  After that, I failed to do it on my Win10 machine but was told that it would be possible using ASIO4ALL.  After one weak attempt, I gave up due to insufficient motivation.  Someone with more motivation should work on this as it seems to have the needed tools.  There is probably other software in this category that I do not know about.

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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I'll give more info later, but I've got my two test USB devices combined using the VoiceMeeter app (not VoiceMeeter Banana).

Tomorrow or Saturday morning I'll hook up my two Denon AVRs with USB and see if VoiceMeeter will output to both of them.

 

 

 

 

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No go.

The computer doesn't see the Denon AVR-X4700h when connected by USB, and the Denon doesn't see the computer, so the Denon cannot be used as a USB DAC.

I plug a USB thumb drive into the Denon and the Denon will see it and play music from it, but not the computer.

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1 hour ago, GlennS said:

No go.

The computer doesn't see the Denon AVR-X4700h when connected by USB, and the Denon doesn't see the computer, so the Denon cannot be used as a USB DAC.

I plug a USB thumb drive into the Denon and the Denon will see it and play music from it, but not the computer.

I am not surprised since your Denon is not configured for this.  Note that the Denon's connector is a USB-A and not the necessary USB-B.  It has nothing to do with th PC hardware or software.  From the Denon manual:

Quote

- USB memory devices will not work via a USB hub.
- It is not possible to use this unit by connecting the unit’s USB port to a PC via a USB cable.

 

Kal Rubinson

Senior Contributing Editor, Stereophile

 

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Connect two DACs to PC with USB HUB .

 

USB cannot broadcast one sound data to all connected devices: USB DAC A and USB DAC B are recognized as a separate devices from PC, and PC should send sound data to two DACs separately.

 

Fig2.thumb.png.076351df81df9f29ad0f17230fc04b3a.png

Set Two USB DAC clock source to external Word Clock input.

 

 

 

Fig1.thumb.png.fae04dce58c1f78519d2449c39487ac3.png

Set USB DAC A clock source to internal clock.

Set USB DAC B clock source to external Word Clock input.

 

Sunday programmer since 1985

Developer of PlayPcmWin

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