Find Out How To Disable USB Audio Routing

Audio routing involves sending an audio signal from one location to another. For example, you’ll come across audio routing when working with audio cables and inserts.

Although most mobile devices use USB mainly for charging, Android devices can detect a USB digital audio peripheral and automatically route audio playback.  

Automatic routing may interfere with some applications. So, disabling this feature will deactivate automatic routing to USB-connected external audio devices.

So, how do you activate Disable Audio Routing? Continue reading to find out.

How To Disable Audio Routing

Turn off automatic audio routing to USB-connected external audio devices by following the instructions below.

1. Access the Developer Option:

Android hides Developer options on its devices by default. The reason is that they made it for developers who want to try out different features and make changes that might affect the phone’s performance.

To access the developer settings on any Android device, go to the Settings menu and look for the build number. However, depending on your phone model, the exact location of the build number may vary.

  • Go to your phone’s Settings.
  • Scroll down and find About phone. Next, select Software Info, and tap Build Number.
  • Tap Build Number seven times. As you tap, an indicator will display your progress and how many steps remain.  Your device may request for your pin to process. Your device will inform you when it activates the developer options.
  • Now, return to SettingsDeveloper options will now appear as an entry.

2. Disable USB audio routing in Developer options

  • Go to your phone’s Settings
  • Go to Developer 
  • Search for “Disable USB audio routing.”
  • Toggle on the option

3. Uses Of Disabled USB Audio Routing

So, what’s the fuss about disabling USB audio routing? Well, this action may have some practical applications.

  • This action will enable audio through USB in your Android device to work with an external DAC. 

A digital to analog converter, or DAC, is a device that converts digitally recorded data from a laptop or smartphone into audible analog sound.

  • This action also enables you to use USB OTG Audio DAC as an audio source.

About USB

The Universal Serial Bus (USB) is a standard connection that connects a wide range of external devices to several computing devices.

USB ports and cables connect a wide range of external hardware such as scanners, printers, external storage drives,  cameras, and even peripherals like keyboard and mice to your computer, laptop, or netbook. However, mobile devices use USB mainly for charging their batteries. 

USB Audio

USB audio is a digital connection that allows you to transfer digital music from your computer to an analog converter. Although regular computers come with in-built digital-to-analog converters (DAC), many users still prefer USB audio. 

The main reason is that most computer DACs produce poor-quality sound. This trend is because computer makers tend to invest more resources on processors and screens, spending only a fraction of their budget on audio outputs and built-in DACs.

By using USB audio, you bypass the computer’s internal soundcard and allow the USB DAC to perform the digital to analog conversion in much better quality.

The DAC receives digital music in the form of USB packets from the PC. These transmissions occur at regular intervals based on the computer’s clock.

Internal clocks determine the time of both a computer and a USB DAC. One of the challenges with USB audio transfer is that these clocks run at different speeds.

Parts Of USB Audio System

Any USB audio system has three major components. The first is the media player, which is software that allows you to listen to music. Spotify, iTunes, and Deezer are some of the popular options.

Second, there’s the driver — both Windows and Mac OS X have USB drivers built-in. Finally, the USB device is the DAC in question, such as the DacMagic XS or the CXN.

Classes Of USB Audio

USB audio features two classes: Class 1 and Class 2. While both categories are capable of playing high-resolution sound, they differ in many ways.

The difference is in the amount of music resolution they can provide. Compared to the headphone output on your computer, Class 1 will offer you a better sound quality. Class 2 will, however, take you a step further.

Class 1 can send up to 24-bit/96kHz hi-res files, but you’ll need to upgrade to Class 2 if you wish to play studio master quality files. Class 2 supports files with a resolution of up to 24 bit/192 kHz for those seeking absolute audio quality.

Macs, by default, support both Class 1 and Class 2, allowing you to send files up to 24-bit/192kHz to your DAC. Windows, on the other hand, only supports Class 1.

However, Windows users can still play those ultra-high-resolution hi-res files by installing a USB Class 2 driver.

Types Of USB Audio Digital Converters (DACs)

All USB audio DACs fall into three types – synchronous, adaptive, and asynchronous USB DAC.

Synchronous USB DAC:

This is the lowest quality of the three and is prominent in low-cost gadgets. Because of the temporal disparities between the two clocks, they receive data packets whenever the data delivers them, causing periodic glitches.

Adaptive USB DAC:

Adaptive USB DAC continuously adjusts its clock to accept data from the computer whenever it arrives. There is no continuous, precise master clock in the DAC since its clock is continually changing, resulting in disturbances in the audio stream.

In both circumstances above, the computer controls the transmission time of the data packets.

Asynchronous USB DAC:

This is the most challenging class to implement, but it outperforms the others. Asynchronous DAC requests for the transfer of data packets to correspond with its clock’s timing, resulting in the lowest jitter and best quality sound.

Troubleshooting USB Audio Issues

The best troubleshooting method for any technical problem is to rule out likely causes. Generally, technical issues with mobile or computer devices have roots in either software or hardware problems.

None is easier to troubleshoot. However, troubleshooting requires smart strategy and careful investigation.

Using another computer, test your audio device. This method is the most effective technique to troubleshoot a wide range of problems with an audio interface or any other computer accessory.

Contact the Technical Support team for more in-depth troubleshooting if the same issues appear on several PCs.

Software USB Audio Troubleshooting 

Ensure the USB driver on your device is up to date. Some problems may be a result of outdated drives. However, it could also be due to a software flaw such as your buffer size settings.

Resolving buffer size settings:

A buffer size modification is available in most DJ software applications. To troubleshoot latency and audio artifact symptoms, play around with Buffer Size settings.

A higher value will mean less stress for your computer’s CPU. Conversely, the lower you set this value, the more stressed your CPU becomes.

Reduce the Buffer Size to reduce latency, but keep in mind that your sound quality will suffer from clicks, pops, and distortion as your CPU becomes overworked if you set it too low. 

Because people cannot distinguish latency periods smaller than 10ms, you do not need to set the Buffer Size to a low value to obtain the lowest latency levels.

It may not seem like a problem when you first set it up, but if you start adding tracks, instruments, and effects, you’ll experience issues with your audio.

Hardware USB Audio Troubleshooting

First, rule out common audio hardware issues. Noise pops, distortion, and hum are functions of some simple factors.

Loose or broken I/O connectors:

Double check your audio source. Use a variety of speakers or headphones to conduct your tests. Try using a different source to test the same speakers or headphones.

Poor gain staging:

This can affect both recorded/sampled signals and audio playback to speakers/headphones, resulting in higher noise levels or signal distortion.  Check for proper gain staging in headphone/speaker levels. Also, check your source, software, and audio interface input and output levels.

USB cord/ slots:

Try using a different USB cable to see if the problem persists. Do no USB extenders. Use a short-length USB cord. With all other USB devices disconnected, test on multiple USB ports.

Insufficient CPU power or memory:

You may experience many pops, clicks, and crashes from your audio rendition if you’re running memory-intensive programs. It’s either you have exhausted your RAM space, or you have a weak or outdated CPU. 

If you cannot buy a new CPU, optimize your computer’s performance by running only a few programs at a time.

Isolate connected devices:

If your computer is your studio, you likely have other external audio, video, and MIDI devices connected simultaneously.

It’s either you have too many connected devices or one problematic device. When troubleshooting, disconnect all external devices. If the problem goes away then isolate the device causing the issue by connecting them one after another.

Conclusion

To access the disable USB audio routing settings, first enable the developer option on your Android device. You can help the developer option by tapping on the Build Number seven times.

A USB audio connection lets you transport digital music from your computer to an analog converter (DAC). Although computers come within DAC, people still prefer USB audio.

USB audio comprises two classes – class 1 and 2. Class 2 generally offers better quality than class 1.

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