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Last reply by 01-01-2023 Solved
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XPS 8950, continuous audio dropouts

In week three of ownership of an XPS 8950 (i7, 32GB, 3060i, 750w) and it's been a good experience. From the start, I noticed that the Tidal PC app would disconnect during music playback about every 3-5 minutes, and remain in a disconnected state. My audio pipeline is XPS 8950, Yamaha/Steinberg ASIO driver, USB out, USB in on Yamaha DAC/amp - home WiFi network. This combo of audio hardware/software/network, and their settings, worked perfectly with my previous laptop since joining Tidal last January.

At first, I faulted the Tidal PC app, as it actually disconnects, and throws an error "Chosen audio output has been disconnected". Nothing is disconnected as far as I can tell. I have been working with the Tidal tech team to diagnose this problem - no fixes yet.

But, over the past few weeks, I've tried other audio apps, such as FooBar 2000, Tidal Web App, and Tidal Android app (running on Win11) and while these apps don't "disconnect", there is a noticeable audio dropout of about 1-2 seconds on the same cadence - about every 3-5 minutes. Maybe these other apps "handle" the dropout better than the Tidal PC app?  They have a dropout, but then keep playing - the Tidal PC app remains disconnected.

This leads me to think that there's something happening with the XPS 8950 that is causing the audio disconnects/dropouts. So now I am looking into every setting that could cause a sleep or similar-type state in the XPS 8950 USB ports, interfaces, everywhere. A quick look into online posts, and I see a history of XPS 8950/XPS 8940 issues with audio, and people talking about the GPU drivers causing similar issues.

First, I am going to exhaust all possible settings that could lead to an idle or sleep state, causing the disconnect. After that, I am up to whatever you folks suggest. Maybe this has been resolved already?

I really need to be able to listen to audio for more than just a few minutes without dropouts. I've been able to do this for decades, on far less capable/expensive hardware. If I can't make this happen, I'll be returning this machine.

TIA for any help you can provide!

Replies (35)

@GoodieBR wrote:


1. But I fear that we might miss some important driver and – specially –

2. BIOS updates by doing that.

3. The weird thing is that I never had problems like these on my old XPS 8700; never needed to disable SupportAssist, and even ran it monthly to check for new updates and "optimize" the performance.


1. Anything you need will come from Windows-Update.

2. I just go check myself (manually) once a year.

3. Today's Support-Assist is different that the one you ran back then.

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Disabling all the Dell services stopped intermittent audio hiccups on my Dell XPS 8950. 

i7-12700, RTX 3080 with latest drivers as of 12/21/2022.


10 Diamond

@SteveA268  - Yea!  Well done!


  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

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I have a similar issue and have been wrestling with Dell Support in search of a fix for the past week. Interesting that there are enough similarities in what you describe to my situation but also enough differences that it confirms my suspicions that it's not being caused by my streaming music app (in my case, Spotify), my audio interface (Focusrite 18i20 1st gen), or audio interface driver (Focusrite ASIO USB). Additionally, my XPS has the i9 12900k with 64 GB DDR5 and the RTX 3080 NVIDIA card. I too have tried all the optimizations recommended by Focusrite, Sweetwater, and many other sources. I even let Dell Support talk me into doing a complete reinstall of Windows 11 and they have since done multiple reinstalls of *their* NVIDIA drivers (but I have also tried the latest available from NVIDIA), a BIOS update, and reinstalls of several other drivers.

In my case, Spotify would play for anywhere from 30 seconds to up to 15 minutes before experiencing a dropout. Sometimes the dropout only lasts for a few seconds before Spotify recovers and continues playing the stream. More often the audio from Spotify just drops and does not come back although Spotify looks like it's still playing the current selected track but my Focusrite audio interface confirms it's no longer receiving any signal over the USB (yes, I also made sure it's plugged into one of the two USB 2.0 ports on the back).

The only way I am able to play music through Spotify (or any streaming audio from the Internet such as YouTube, etc.) for any length of time beyond 10 or 15 minutes without a dropout is by disabling the NVIDIA card and its related audio devices in Device Manager (using the integrated Intel UHD for display), uninstalling all the Dell Support Assist software, and disabling the Killer Smart AP Selection and Killer Dynamic Bandwidth Management services in Windows. Having to disable a very expensive graphics card just to stream media that my 7 year old Dell Inspiron 3847 with a Core i5 does reliably without skipping a beat does not make me a very happy camper about this purchase and I am still considering whether I want to keep this XPS 8950 system. Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for sharing your experience here as it helped to confirm I'm not the only one having these issues with a recently purchased XPS 8950.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

I should also add that despite now being able to play music from Spotify for longer than 15 minutes for the first time since receiving this computer (so far) I am still (eventually) seeing warnings about audio issues in LatencyMon usually identifying "ntoskrnl.exe" and/or "wdf01000.sys" as the usual culprits. If the NVIDIA card is enabled then its "nvlddmkm.sys" usually takes the top spot for causing the issue. Very frustrating.

10 Diamond

@snowbadger  Have you read:  WDF01000.sys High Latency?

And this in thread in the Laptop forum user AdrianG001 says disabling "Intel Management and Security Application Local Management Service" helped too. (Caveat, I don't know if your XPS 8950 has that Intel service installed.)


  Forum Member since 2004
  I am not a Dell employee

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