UR242 and MacBook Pro 2015 audio dropouts

Hi everyone!

Recently I’ve purchased a MacBook Pro early 2015, id: MacBookPro12,1 (used, but in good condition). My only peripheral is aforementioned Steinberg UR242 device which sadly I found to be dropping audio signal to a massive extent. It happens during casual listening activities, like: listening to iTunes, Spotify, but it’s especially irritating while watching YouTube.

I’ve read all possible forums watching for a helpful resources. Since it has exactly the same symptoms as those which affected MBP from 2018 I was hoping that newest update from Apple would get rid of the issue, but to no avail. The issue does not exist on my Asus ZenBook from 2016 with latest Windows on board.

By any chance there’s a possibility it’s something Steinberg driver-related? I

Current setup:
MacBook Pro 2015 with macOS Mojave 10.14.4 (updated an hour ago)
Yamaha Steinberg USB Driver 1.10.4 (reinstalled after the update of the OS)

Update from my side:

  1. Did a clean install of Mojave 10.14.4
  2. Configured fresh OS without the Internet connection
  3. Installed nothing but Yamaha Steinberg UR driver
  4. Started listening to random music from copied iTunes library and left it playing in the background - no issues for a good while
  5. Enabled WiFi, connected to network, installed Google Chrome, added Google account to macOS - still no issues
  6. Continued to configure macOS, fine-tuned energy saving options, including setting:
pmset -a tcpkeepalive 0

still no issues
7. Logged in to iCloud - right off the bat the glitching/drops started to occur
8. Logged out from iCloud, force-quitted all iCloud-related daemons, rebooted the machine, again started playing some tunes - no issues

So it’s clear to me that there’s something very very wrong with how does macOS handle iCloud things and, sadly, this has negative impact on our USB interfaces.
I’ll try to dig deeper and try to find optimal (if any) iCloud settings that will allow to use the benefits of the cloud without sacrificing the audio quality. Of course I will try to report a bug directly to the Apple.

In a period when iCloud was turned off, I’ve noted some minor audio drops, but to much lesser extent. This suggests that the issue might not be so strictly iCloud-related - higher hard drive usage?

I have eventually had iCloud turned on, but with synced options stripped to bare minimum of my needs (drive, photos, reminders, notes). I have noticed that as soon as photos sync kicks in, the audio drops occur. Now, at the time of writing, when all massive initial sync is done, no glitches so far.

Did you try the latest Apple Update, and the latest Steinberg Tools update (as of March 28)? They should help on this regard…

I was actually waiting with this topic until the update kicks in. I see this issue more related to iCloud/hard drive activity as aforementioned update was rather targeted at 2018 T2 models.

Maybe this will also improve the situation: https://www.steinberg.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=157&t=158223

Thanks Ed! I will definitely update the driver