Audio drop-outs on SW 4.3.1 system-wide


Anybody else notice audio drop-outs on system-wide after installing the new version 4.3.1 ?

It's ok for a while but then suddenly starts dropping out since this new release. Setting audio buffer size to 1024 samples doesn't help either.




Official comment

Hi Marteen!

We have received multiple reports about clicks and pops on Windows by now and we do have a pretty good idea why this is happening, although there are still some aspects that we're investigating. 

Fixing this issue is now a top priority and we are working on a new software release as we speak. An update released early next week will fix the dropouts on most machines, but there might still be some edge cases that need further investigation. 

The fix might also be available before the weekend - we will publish the next beta version in the installer as an alternative option to the current version.

Hang tight guys, we're on it! 


I'm seeing this issue all the time since updating.  Would be really grateful for a fix ASAP.


Hi Julien, 

The new update will be rolled out tomorrow, it will be available on the downloads page. Most audio dropout cases should be fixed with this, please let us know how it's performing!


Most dropouts cases are indeed fixed, but every time a playback starts there's a single pop/click. Just once. But it's annoying.


I have to agree with the last comment. The drop-outs are less but not gone. Especially at start of playback but for me also later on. 

Using software version now.




I just installed version Sitll the same issues as pointed out by Binaryguilt and Maarten Ligtenberg. Pops/clicks occur in the first 0-2 seconds of playback but ONLY at the start of the first track played after programm launch (tested in WMP, Foobar2000, VLC). After that it seems fine for the rest of the playtime and playlist.
Also applies for short system sounds on Windows. For example when adjusting system volume using the volume bar accessed by clicking on the speaker icon in the system tray. (open volume bar, adjust volume, hear popping. Further adjust volume, no further popping until volume bar is hidden/closed by clicking somewhere else on the desktop)


Hey everyone!

The audio dropouts have been really painful during 4.3 and despite our best efforts to take care of all cases, there are still some of those carried over to 4.4 as well as new ones. 

At this point, we have realized that it's pointless to battle all possible hardware/software setups - there will always be new cases of clicks and pops. For that reason, we have changed the approach and we'll be tackling the problem in a different manner. We are now working on an adjustable 'pre-buffer' stage which will allow getting rid of the problem on all setups with the least possible latency too. 

The fix is first coming to Windows with the 4.4.1 update, which will hopefully take no longer than a couple of weeks, but we cannot say for sure. Mac is a little more problematic and will take longer (there are still some cases of audio dropouts on Mac too).

Stay tuned for 4.4.1 and thank you for your patience!



Everyone who's already running the latest will no longer need to worry about the smaller updates with bug fixes in them - the new 'Update Available' notification is in place and working in 4.4!

Sonarworks Team :))


“Version v4.4.1.49” has the same problem. Which is the current stable version?


I'm back on because every (!) newer Systemwide version has pops and/ or crackles at the beginning of nearly every playback. VST works perfect.


In my case, returning to version had no effect. Since this is a trouble since version 3, Sonarworks should inform the user about the resolution and progress of this issue.

Also, as other users say, only DAW plug-ins work fine.

My operating environment is as follows.
I tried it from two different environments and found that the same problem occurred.

Windows10 (ver.1903) 64bit, RAM64G, CPU Ryzen9 3900X or Intel Core i7 6700

Audio interface: ROLAND Rubix24 (USB connection) or DiGiGrid D (LAN connection)

What I tried
1. Increase safety buffer
2. Increase the buffer size of the audio interface.
3. Turn onboard sound OFF (Disable) in BIOS.
4. Tested with latest version, old version and beta version.


Hi Naoki, 

We have already collected the logs from several users encountering the dropouts and it's starting to look like there is more that one place where sample format, clocking and buffer values can get messed up. The new Safety Buffer feature has resolved the problem in many cases while not helping in others. The new ASIO mode, however, seems to be working out very well for some who were dealing with the dropouts before, have you already tried the ASIO mode? If not, please see here: ASIO/WASAPI output modes in Reference 4 Systemwide [WIN]

As we have established many times over, the possible reasons for this can be many and often we find out that there are new scenarios where dropouts can appear. So at this point, we are looking at implementing a more advanced logging capability, particularly for the audio engine. Our developers have already had some progress and with a bit of luck, we might push it out in a few weeks. 

The new logging capability will have to be easy to use - probably an actual Debug Mode that the user can enable/disable it in Systemwide settings. These logs should be easily retrievable so that there are no issues or advanced computer skills needed to collect them and send them to our support team. 

That is the current state in of this issue in 4.4 - there are no promises I can make for the time frame unfortunately, but soon there will be an update regarding this nonetheless. Big thanks for staying patient and helping us through this problem, we will get this sorted!


Hey, i know this is old but my reference 4 was working perfect, not a single click but i updated my windows 10 and then this problems start

my windows 10 was in his 1903 version or 1904, i think 1903.

now my windows 10 is 2004, so in the windows actualization something goes to hell, i will try to reinstall the program and all of that but i think this information could help the team of sonarworks.


Hi Nicolas, 

Thanks for the comment and my apologies for the lag in moderation/response time here! I've had a brief look in the system and it seems there is no support ticket history present with you. Did you manage to solve the problem, or did it go away by itself? Windows updates have been known to cause this issue in the past but it is very difficult to pinpoint the exact fault due to the number of third-party components and their respective drivers involved. In most cases, we are able to establish a workaround at the very least

 If this is still a problem, please follow here or submit a support ticket and we will have a closer look. Thank you!


The issue still persists for me as well, and I am (always) running the latest version.




I'm experiencing the same thing - one brief audio dropout about a half second into anything I start playing (with Systemwide). This is maybe somewhat bearable when playing music files, such as in VLC, but it actually happens a lot when using other apps every time you play, such as Izotope RX. It's actually really frustrating when editing audio / seeking actual audio artifacts, because they become difficult to tell apart from the ones caused by Sonarworks. I'm using:

  • Systemwide 4.4.6 (Build 20)
  • Focusrite Scarlett 18i20
  • Windows 10 Pro (AMD Ryzen)

There are no hiccups if I switch to my soundcard directly, and they occur when I switch back to Systemwide. I tried a lot of combinations of buffer and pre buffer settings, but they didn't seem to have any effect. Even when launching Sonarworks, the Windows notification sound that plays has a hitch. It seems to always occur when there is silence, and you "start" new audio. A steady stream of audio will be fine after the first hiccup.


Hi Shadi, thanks for the comment! I have created a support ticket to have a closer look!


Oh my god, this is so frustrating. I have updated to the last version and Im getting glitches all the time, they get more frequent as time passes, to the point where Pro Tools 11 stops because of a playback engine error, and when I try to hit play again, software plays, but no sound comes out of the interface. Changing buffer size does not help, as well as using safety buffer. I feel the systemwide has a more serious issue than the plugin.

I simply cannot work like this. Everytime this happens, I need to quit Pro Tools, disconnect and reconnect the interface, wait for SW to recognize it, and only then I can open the DAW again, but It wont play for more than 5 minutes without glitching again.

Im on a mac with Mojave, Pro Tools 11, and Antelope Zen Studio.


Hey Diogo,

To address your issue, I have created a support ticket which I will follow up on shortly!


Fresh Win 10 install + Sonarworks 4.4.7, and I get those cracklings that are especially prone when moving a volume slider (on Foobar2000 or Windows volume icon in tray).

It happens only if system output device is set to Sonarworks, if I set output directly to my iD14, crackling stops. I've tried safe headroom enabled & disabled, all phase modes, different audio buffer and safety buffer sizes, it still crackles.

It didn't happen on my Asus Zenbook 550VD laptop, with the same iD14 audio interface, but on a freshly built Desktop PC it makes this noise.


Also, it seems to happen only in the standalone mode only, when using SW in Cubase 11 as a plugin under the "Control Room" there's no crackling.


Please, fix this, as it is annoying as hell. Let me know if there's any info I could provide to ease up the investigation.





So I found a workaround for the problem. For other reasons I use Voicemeeter right now and I use Cantabile to insert VST Plugins into different audio channels. I shut down Systemwide completely and inserted Sonarworks via Cantabile. Turns out all dropouts are gone. It's not the most elegant way, but it works.

Voicemeeter and Cantabile are using some CPU ressources, and depending on your system it will be more or less heavy. I am using Voicemeeter on a Ryzen 3800xt (workstation) and on a Surface Pro 4 (i5). The Workstation has no issues (0,5-1 % CPU usage by Voicemeeter and 1,5-3 % CPU usage by Cantabile), the Surface Pro 4 is at round about 30 % CPU usage by Voicemeeter and constantly cooling :/


Hi Sergey, 

We reached out to you a while back with a potential solution. Please write back if you are willing to give it a shot!

All other requests have been resolved in individual support requests. If somebody is still encountering this issue, please submit a support request, and we will dive deeper and provide solutions. Thank you!


In my case, pops and crackles have gone since I use and Windows Media Player (which I don't like).

Win 10 21H2, RME Babyface Pro FS.


Hi Hellmut, thanks for the comment! 

I've had a quick look at your support ticket, and the issues are already being investigated and communicated in the respective support threads. There are 3 open tickets for various issues and we have provided some answers and troubleshooting steps to proceed with. It would be great if you could reply to those threads and update us on the results. Thank you!


I am also having lots of clicks and pops in my audio. Why was the fix never posted to this thread?


Hi Garrett, thanks for your comment!

Sorry to hear you are encountering clicks and pops as well! We will need to gather more information from you to further troubleshoot the issue, so I will open a support ticket on your behalf to inspect the problem closer.


You opened a ticket, but now won't get back to me??


Why not just post the solution here for people to find in the future...?

I'm on the largest buffer size, largest safety buffer. 

Pops and clicks just playing back Apple Music or watching videos on Chrome or Safari. 

Reference 4 Systemwide 4.4.9 (Build:11)

2019 iMac Retina 5k, 27"

3.6 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9



There is no excuse for this software not to work. 

I've had this same issue for years. I'm so tired of stupid issues like this...

What is the solution??


Hi Garrett,

We have replied to your recently opened support ticket regarding the clicks and pops. Please note that we want to gather more details regarding the issue you are encountering in order to troubleshoot it further. We understand that encountering any problem when using the product can be unpleasant, so we want to understand each individual case fully and provide appropriate solutions, I hope this makes sense. Thank you!

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