A new Pixel but the same old story! The devices from the Silicon Valley giants are quite prone to bugs and issues, more so after its switch to Tensor chipset [though now that it’s about to ditch the Exynos base, we might see much improvements in the subsequent builds]. While most of these issues are ironed out over the course of time, some refuse to die, such as the one with Digital-to-Analog-Converter.
The relationship between the Pixel devices and DACs has always been kind of a patchy one, starting with the sixth iteration and continuing up to the latest flagships. As of now, numerous Pixel 8 Pro users have voiced their concern that USB DACs are not working along the expected lines with their devices. After going through numerous user reports, two issues stood in common in most of them: the DAC either outputs no sound or very loud static sound out of the left channel.
In this regard, users have tried out a plethora of DACs [see below list] and all are exhibiting a buggy update. Moreover, the issue is only with the eighth series, these DACs are working well and good with earlier Pixel devices that are also on the same OS [Android 14]. So both these facts point out that the culprit is definitely the latest offering from Google.
The last time this issue was reported on a wide scale basis was with Pixel 6 wherein the search engine giant ultimately rolled out a kernel patch to fix this issue [albeit after months and months of requests]. However, as of now, it is just a mute spectator, and haven’t even acknowledged this bug. Making matters worse is the fact that users had voiced this issue on the Google Support Forum as well, but that page has since been locked.
Which USB DACs are not working with Pixel 8/Pro?
Near about all the popular USB DACs that one could think of are currently not working with Pixel 8 Pro. To be more specific, here are some of them [do note that this is a non-comprehensive list and more entries might be added to this list]:
- Aune Yuki DAC
- Moondrop Moon River 2
- Moondrop Dawn Pro
- HiDIZS S9Pro
- Tanchjim Space Lite
- Raptgo MR10
- Shanling UA1 Pro
- Ifi HipDac2
How to Fix USB DAC not working with Pixel 8/Pro
So now comes the crux of this post is there a workaround to end this fiasco? Well, there are a couple of user-shared workarounds that have spelled out success for some of them. We have listed them below, try them out and check if they work out for you or not:
FIX 1: “Moondrop customer service taught me a workaround using an app called HiBy Music. If you enabled its “Exclusive HQ USB audio access”, you can use the Dawn Pro with no issue. The only catch is that it only works with the HiBy app itself, so you’ll either need to use your own saved audio files or use a Tidal subscription which can be connected to the app. They suspected that there was something wrong with the Pixel phone’s sample rate converter”.
FIX 2: I found out that unplugging and re-plugging the TYPE C to TYPE C cable while playing music, sometimes works.
That’s it. As of now, these are the only two workarounds that are giving a relative degree of success to a subset of users. As far as the official stance on the USB DAC not working with Pixel 8 Pro is concerned, the developers have yet to acknowledge this issue, let alone give out any ETA for the rollout of a fix. As and when any of these two things happen, we will update this guide accordingly. In the meantime, the aforementioned workarounds are your best bet.