I am trying to use my new Apple AirPod Pro headphones as an output in Cubase 11 (on MacOS 12.0.1 Monterey, MacBook Pro 2021, 16 inch, M1 Max). Unfortunately, it appears that there is a bug preventing me from getting this to work.
I think I know how it SHOULD work:
(i) Use MacOS’s “Audio MIDI Setup” tool to create an aggregate audio device, and include the AirPods there as one of the outputs. (ii) In Cubase 11, go to Studio → Studio Setup → Audio System, and select this aggregate driver there as the “ASIO driver”. (iii) For convenience, below “Audio System”, click on the name of your aggregate driver and enter meaningful output names on the bottom right. (iv) Under Studio → Audio Connections → Outputs, add a new output bus that uses the AirPod channels. (v) Use Cubase channel routing to point your audio output to this new output bus.
Unfortunately, I could not get this to work. The problem starts right after step (i), and it appears that there is a bug in Cubase causing this:
With Cubase not yet launched (!) and my AirPods in my ears, MacOS’s “Audio MIDI Setup” tool works nicely, and I can successfully add AirPods as an output to my aggregate audio device; at that point, it displays TWO AirPod output channels, as it should (stereo). However, as soon as I launch Cubase (before the file selector window pops up), the “Audio MIDI Setup” tool start displaying only ONE AirPod output channel. I can see this one output channel within Cubase and at least create a mono output channel from it, but when I route sound to it, I don’t hear anything. When I close Cubase, the channel count in the “Audio MIDI Setup” automatically switches back to 2.
I believe that the changing channel count in the “Audio MIDI Setup” tool is not merely a sign of switching to mono, but rather a sign that something else is going wrong internally, and likely a bug in Cubase 11, maybe in connection with either the brand new macOS Monterey or my new MacBook Pro M1 Max. Unfortunately, I can no longer try this issue on an older system, so I am not 100% sure.