Questions & Answers

Audiobox USB96 output clipping in Windows 10

+3 votes
asked Apr 2, 2021 in AudioBox USB by Psycho Bass Guy (190 points)
edited Apr 2, 2021 by Psycho Bass Guy
I recently replaced an 11 year-old Audiobox USB whose left main output had died a few years ago. It was the output itself; the rest of box functioned, so I just took an insert cable and ran an unbalanced connection from the headphone jack to my powered speakers which did work fine and still works fine. Since I just upgraded to a new computer a month ago, I bought a new Audiobox USB96 because the old one was starting to lose connection and I had to continually restart the audio service either by software reset or by pulling and re-seating the USB cable. With those caveats aside, it worked on multiple machines, including another running Windows 10 and never had any level or clipping problems.

I installed my new USB96 and and works as expected with one major exception: regardless of signal level, if I run my Windows audio level above 90%, the unit clips its output and pops and crackles. This is true across all content from all sources. I have multiple high-end audio editors that can confirm no signal clipping is occurring within the files themselves. I would just turn down to 90% and leave it, but I also notice that the signal tonality changes significantly with volume. My old box never did that with the same monitors on this new computer and still doesn't do that when I change them out to test, so it leads me to conclude it is a hardware/driver issue. Has anyone else encountered this and if so, were you able to solve it?

6 Answers

0 votes
answered Apr 2, 2021 by Psycho Bass Guy (190 points)
edited Apr 2, 2021 by Psycho Bass Guy
Update: it is almost certainly a Presonus hardware or driver issue because if I bypass the Microsoft Sound Mapper mixer and go straight to the ASIO driver for audio output in my Sound Forge 15 settings, the audio distorts in the same way and is constant. I may have a defective interface.
0 votes
answered Apr 12, 2021 by (220 points)
I had the same issue and the same work around. I'd say this 100% a driver issue. Its like the audio from windows is extremely loud, if you want it to be stranger then play a song on youtube through the audiobox and then play the same song on youtube music... How strange is that so i think it must be to do with the way windows encodes its audio. Im sure presonus can fix it in a driver update. Plus for the price i cant really complain, its not perfect but at least it works and dropping windows audio down to 90 isnt a massive issue, I'm just glas the annoying popping sound has stopped. Good luck on your musical journey
0 votes
answered May 12, 2021 by edoardorivieccio (140 points)
Hello...same problem here. Clipping and popping even if the level is low. I tried to put some music on youtube and everything works correctly, but the problem is if i try to use my DAW or simple mp3 wav music from my pc. Same if i Use guitar or mic.

Someone solved the problem?
0 votes
answered Jun 3, 2021 by jaysteezzy5138 (140 points)

okay I was just about to send this back.  I purchased the audiobox on june 1st and was super upset about the playback.  so after reading and reading all over the net filing a ticket installing uninstalling short of unplugging and sending back....

I found this thread.  

TURN DOWN YOUR WINDOWS SOUND @ 100 it clips with no indicators of clipping whatever....  I have mine set @ 98 now no issue even when I se the mixer right and headphone @ 100 all good

0 votes
answered Oct 14, 2021 by gnosticone (190 points)
What about Mac users ... lol, we cannot just turn down the output volume by a few dbs on the whole system. Core Audio drivers seem to rely on the output volume controls from the source application. For example, if I am listening songs in the Music App, I need to turn down the output volume a little bit. Same in my DAW, if the mix is pushing the maximum levels, it will clip on the output speakers so I need to turn the Master output fader down until the clipping stops ... looks like you can't make professionally mastered recordings with a 99 dollar interface, go figure.

Bottom line is that this box seems to easily have its digital to analog converters clipped. If you want to avoid this, listen to only smooth jazz or buy a different interface with more converter headroom.
+1 vote
answered Nov 10, 2021 by attehaapsaari (160 points)


I just purchased Audiobox 96 USB 25th Anniversy edition and E5 speaker pair as well. I  am rocking old HD 500 Sennheiser also as headphones.

At 98% Windows 10 volume or 100% volume the sound sometimes starts clipping and buzzing, which is REALLY annoying. Otherwise this works just fine.

I just changed the Default format from 48000 Hz (Studio Quality) to 24 bit 44100 Hz and it stopped the clipping in an instant. But, it shall be seen IF this is the last and final fix to this problem.