AirPlay stutter starts after 15 minutes

Hi guys, I have been enjoying the sound from my setup for brief periods, but I keep getting this stutter problem (I guess that’s what others are referring to, a very fast stutter, bordering on ring modulation distortion) after playing music for about 15-20 minutes. I’ve tested streaming from multiple devices, via AirPlay, to my balenaSound device, a Raspberry Pi 3B+ with Allo Boss hat, using onboard wifi. Is this the Pi 3 problem that others have talked about? I have a 4 that I’ve been trying to keep out of the discussion (using it for other purposes), but it may just be that I should deploy that here instead.

I have tested multiple streaming sources to the Pi 3 via airplay and the problem happens every time. And I’ve tried at least one of those devices streaming via AirPlay to a different device (a Roku receiver on my TV), and it did not produce the problem during my 1-hour or so test.

I have not been able to test those same devices via Bluetooth, should I be able to? For some reason, my Airplay-capable devices do not seem to able to connect via Bluetooth even when selected… maybe this is an Apple thing, that it will always choose Airplay over Bluetooth. But when I use my Windows laptop to send via Bluetooth to balenaSound, it always comes on SUPER loud, I have to have the volume down to something like level 1 (out of 100) to have it be at a normal level. Nothing else seems to control the sound. This is kind of unrelated to the above I guess, sorry. Any thoughts on any of this?

Still a problem for me, I have not yet swapped the RPi 4 in for the 3, is that the recommended fix?

Just a quick yes or no, if it sounds like that’s what’s behind the trouble I reported. Thanks.


There is a known issue with the Raspberry Pi 3 where Bluetooth and WiFi interfere. My colleague @ab77 has provided details here: Build your own multi-room audio system Project - Sound is crackling or skipping - #10 by ab77

This is supposed to impact in case of balenaSound usage in multi-room setup with Pi3 as master server. Is Pi 3 the only device you have running or you have multiple devices running ? If you can have Pi4 be the master server here or an external BLE dongle with Pi3, we might be able to resolve this issue.