This section provides troubleshooting guidance for a few common pitfalls users have faced when deploying balenaSound.
No audio is coming out of your speaker system.
If you are using a DAC, make sure your DAC is on the supported list here and that you applied the required configuration changes. If your DAC is not on the list, please let us know by opening an issue. We will work with you to find the correct configuration and add the DAC to the supported list.
When streaming audio via bluetooth to a Raspberry Pi 3 B/B+ that is running balenaSound, you experience the following:
21.12.19 22:35:35 (+1100) bluetooth-audio /usr/bin/bluealsa: SBC decoding error: No such process 21.12.19 22:35:35 (+1100) bluetooth-audio /usr/bin/bluealsa: Missing RTP packet: 27632 != 27630
audio E: [bluetooth] a2dp-codec-sbc.c: SBC decoding error (-3) audio E: [bluetooth] module-bluez5-device.c: Decoding error audio D: [bluetooth] module-bluez5-device.c: IO thread failed audio D: [pulseaudio] module-bluez5-device.c: Switching the profile to off due to IO thread failure. audio D: [pulseaudio] module-rescue-streams.c: No evacuation source found.
Stuttering issues on the Raspberry Pi 3 family are related to a known problem with the BCM43438/CYW43438 chip where Bluetooth and WiFi signals interfere with each other. Both the chip manufacturer (Cypress) and the Raspberry Pi Foundation have acknowledged this and there are several upstream open issues that address it. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to be a high priority task for them. Here are the relevant GitHub issues:
At the moment there is no "official" solution to this problem. The following workarounds have proven to work or at least reduce the frequency of the audio cuts. Your milleage might vary depending on your use case so be sure to test them all.
This is the official recommendation made by the Raspberry Pi Foundation. Adding a USB Bluetooth dongle to your board removes the interference problems happening at the onboard WiFi/BT chip. balenaSound will automatically detect the bluetooth dongle and configure itself to use it in place of the board's bluetooth.
This dongle has been tested to work for this, but any dongle really should work.
Using multi-room has proven to make this issue a lot more frequent and noticeable; most likely due to the increased resource usage that it requires.
master serverfrom which you stream to other devices to a Raspberry Pi 4. Raspberry Pi 3's can exhibit audio stuttering when working as
master serverbut they work fine if you use them as
Bad quality power supply units are more likely to trigger this problem. Investing in a good power supply unit is always a good idea! We recommend using the original Raspberry Pi power supply and if not possible at least one that conforms to the power requirements described in here.
Raspberry Pi 3's before rev 1.3 have no HW flow control on the UART that controlls the Bluetooth modem. This causes occasional data loss which result in the audio stuttering problem described above. Reducing the UART baud rate to
460800 lessens the problem significantly when compared to the default value of
This however requires advanced knowledge and usage of balenaOS. So the advised change is to roll back to balenaOS version 2.38.0+rev1 which uses a default baud rate of
921600 but has other firmware conifiguration that avoids this problem. In order to roll back your balenaOS version you will need to re-flash your SD card and re-provision your device.
We are currently working on bringing back the configuration present in balenaOS 2.38 to the latest version so that the roll back is not necessary; you can keep track of it here.
When playing audio from any source it takes a few seconds for it to start/stop playing (usually 2-3 seconds). This is especially noticeable when streaming audio from a video source as it's not in sync with the image.
balenaSound uses many technologies to provide audio streaming capabilities. All these layers of software introduce a small amount of delay that in the end add up to something that can be noticeable. We understand that this means that balenaSound is not suitable for certain applications (streaming audio from video sources for instance) but we believe this is an acceptable tradeoff for all the cool features we offer.
There are however workarounds that you might want to take if you are willing to sacrifice some features:
Streaming audio to a device works fine but other devices on the network don't sync to it.
Multi-room is enabled by default in all device types. Ensure your device is properly configured. You can see the list of default modes of operation here.
If your device is properly configured and still can't get multi-room to work try power cycling the
master server device. Devices might have missed the event broadcast where a device announces itself as a new
master server, by rebooting it we force the device to send them again.
HDMI audio output is currently not working as intended on Raspberry Pi 4. See this issue for details.
You can force HDMI audio to work by setting the device environment variable
2. Thanks to @zchbndcc9 for finding this workaround.
No audio coming out from either the audio jack or HDMI when using balenaOS 64 bit on a Raspberry Pi 3.
For details see:
vc4-kms-v3d dtoverlay setting from the
Device Configuration section of your device.
If you have any questions regarding balenaSound, whether it's an issue not listed in the troubleshooting section, a request for a new feature or DAC, or simply if you want to discuss about the project, feel free to reach us at our forums or open an issue on our GitHub repository. Thanks for trying out balenaSound!