Question My external DAC/AMP is skipping small sounds like deleting a file, emptying trash, error bell in terminal,etc. Why? Is it Normal?

Aug 6, 2022
I bought a new DAC/AMP Fiio K3 (2021), this is my first DAC/AMP, I never used anything like this before. I noticed that it skips small sounds in macOS like deleting a file, emptying trash, error bell in the terminal, posting a tweet, etc. same thing happens on Windows and Linus also, it's just more noticeable in macOS because it has sounds in its UI for a number of things.

I did some troubleshooting and these are my Observations:
  1. I found out that it skips the sound specifically when there is a short stream of audio like what I mentioned before.
  2. If there are many sounds coming in a queue it will miss the first sound and then accurately plays all sounds in a queue without any lag.
  3. If I am playing music, there is a continuous sound stream continuously going into the computer's device; it doesn't skip anything.
  4. If nothing is going into the DAC for 1 or 2 mins, then if I start some music then it will skip some microseconds of that song and then plays the whole song without any issue.

My Conclusion: DAC turns itself off for power-saving mode if we don't use it for some time, I don't know why. because it's a desktop device that doesn't have any batteries in it, it's connected the whole time to the computer or a laptop. I don't think it's the delay of signal because it needs to travel from computer to DAC from a wire or a dongle because after that skipping it plays everything without lag even if you game on it there is close to no lag in competitive games also.

My Questions:
  1. Is my conclusion make any sense?
  2. Why is this happening?
  3. Is it normal?
  4. Why it doesn't happen when we use the onboard DAC of a motherboard or a laptop?

Thanks in advance!


This product with a USB connection - correct?

KA3 User Manual

Question: Was the USB DAC driver installed per the bottom of physically numbered Page 8?

The DAC is probably not turning itself off for power saving purposes. The host computer(s) would be doing that.


Start by temporarily disabling all host computer power saving settings. Determine if the skips stop or continue.

If the skips stop then re-enable the host computer's power saving settings one by one allowing time between each setting change.

If the skips continue post what you were able to try and what did or did not happen.
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