Streaming through Airfoil (Airplay) sounds like martian

When I try to stream from my laptop to Volumio through Airfoil (with Airplay enabled), the artist sounds like a martian! The sound is heavily distorted; a kind of nasal, scrambled sound with a high pitch. Otherwise, playing through the Volumio interface from my NAS works like a charm. I am using my new Meridian asynchonous DAC. Previously, Airfoil worked fine with my IQAudio i2s DAC. What can I do to make the Meridian work?

Laptop: HP G72
OS: Windows 7
Volumio 1.41
Airfoil 3.6.1
USB DAC Meridian Explorer

I have this same issue with Volumio & Airfoil 3.6.1 on Windows 8.1.

Local files play just fine, but those streamed via Airfoil / Airplay do not, they sound terrible. Airfoil worked with musicboxpi, so I guess it is an issue between Volumio and Airplay and how those two handle things.

AudiophilePi & mopnexi,

This seems like a general problem on the Airplay side of things in standard Volumio builds (1.4 & 1.41 at least).

The VERY strange thing is as you have noticed the Airplay works fine with an I2S DAC (or Pi Audio socket). It seems not to work with USB DAC’s for some reason. I tested an AudioLab Q DAC and an Audioquest Dragonfly (so we can add these to the list along with your Meridian, AudiophilePi).

mopnexi, Are you by any chance using a USB DAC too ?

The good news is that the DLNA Streaming works with these DAC’s so instead of using Airfoil you can use a DNLA application for streaming for now.


Yes, I’m using DIY USB DAC. It uses XMOS & ES9023 DAC chip. Everything works just fine, when I’m not using Shairport/Airfoil.

I’m actually thinking of moving to this next … c_pcb_only via I2S

Will be interesting to see if a USB >> I2S solves this issue with shairport.

I can confirm that with RPI and I2S DAC that the martians are kept away :mrgreen:

I don’t know if it still is relevant for you. I have an USB DAC and experienced the same problem. But I found the solution in this newer thread:


After making the change in the /var/www/command/player_wrk.php file, Airplay quality was fine! The only issue I’ve left is, when I play the music with the VLC player on my Mac. After each song, the output gets switched from volumio to the built in speakers. With iTunes I didn’t have this problem…