No Output from the DAC
1. Make sure you’ve selected the DAC in BOTH System Preferences/Control Panel and your player software (Bitperfect, Amarra, Audirvana, Foobar, JRiver, etc…) Sometimes you’ll have to restart the player again, too.
2. Remember that a DAC with multiple inputs, like Gungnir or Bifrost, it has to be set to the USB input. Believe it or not, some people miss the button on the front panel.
3. If the above doesn’t work, try a different USB cable or USB port. Yes. There are a ton of dead/crap cables out there. And dead USB ports.
4. If you’re still not hearing music, make sure you don’t have the volume turned all the way down on your player software.
5. Still no sound? Are you using an amp and headphones or speakers? The DAC won’t make sound by itself.
The DAC doesn't show up in Control Panel or System Preferences
If you’re using Windows:
1. For Bifrost and Gungnir, make sure you've followed all the instructions at schiit.com/drivers.
2. Try a different USB cable, 2m or less in length, USB 2.0-rated, non-audiophile type. Seriously.
3. Try a different USB port. On some PCs, if you only have USB 3.0 ports, you may have to update the USB motherboard driver to ensure they are compatible with USB 2.0.
4. Try a different PC. If it works on that one, guess what? The problem is the other PC.
5. You may be having port power management problems. Try it with an externally powered USB hub. Also see schiit.com/faq/usb-problems for more tips.
If you're using a Mac:
1. Try a different USB cable, 2m or less in length, USB 2.0-rated, non-audiophile type.
2. Try a different USB port.
3. Try a different Mac or PC. If it works on that one, guess what? The problem is the other Mac.
4. You may be having port power management problems. Try it with an externally powered USB hub. Also see schiit.com/faq/usb-problems for more tips.
Distorted Sound or Drop-Outs
1. Try a different USB cable. Long USB cables can be problematic. We recommend a USB cable of 2 meters or less in length. You can use long analog cables on all our DACs if you need to span a distance between DAC and amp.
2. Throw away that hand-made, pure-silver, lambswool-insulated USB cable. Audiophile USB cables can be problematic. Yes, we know, you spent ten billion dollars on it. Well, that’s cool and all, but in our testing, many audiophile brands are not capable of USB 2.0 transmission rates. Get a short, true USB 2.0-rated cable from Monoprice or Belkin (or our PYST cable, which is tested at USB 2.0 speed.)
3. Some USB ports have strange power management behavior. If you have power management options that include things like "Power Saver" mode, the USB port may not provide enough power to the DAC when the computer comes out of sleep mode. See schiit.com/faq/dac-problems
4. Get a new (or newer) computer. If you’re using your computer for more than listening to music, it may have trouble keeping up with your work and your music—especially if it’s a few years old, or using an older operating system. Macs work best on 10.6 and above, and we cannot seriously recommend Windows XP or Vista for serious audio applications.