The Latest MacOS Update broke support for my Sound Blaster E1 DAC/Amp


Just one week after finally reviewing my little Sound Blaster E1 portable DAC/Amp combo…it no longer works on my Early 2016 MacBook.


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Now granted, I didn’t use it that often. Mostly only when I wanted to portably use my 250 Ohm DT770s. But it does sound a touch nicer than the decent hardware inside the MacBook, so it was nice to have that option on the go.

On Monday, I pulled the latest MacOS update (10.12.4). I didn’t do any portable listening until yesterday. When trying to use my E1, I get choppy sound at best, and usually, no sound at all. It was working perfectly up till this week.

Thanks to the closed nature of MacOS, I now have to wait until the next update comes out before I’ll know if it’s fixed. A quick Google search shows that this sort of USB incompatibility bug is a common problem with MacOS updates, and affects USB devices of all kinds.

I’ve got a few more articles to go today, but I just wanted to put this PSA and caveat out there. If you’re looking to pick up an E1 to use as a DAC/Amp with your MacBook, there’s a chance it won’t work right now!

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I had to swtich to my 80Ohm DT770’s. The horror!

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I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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