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I'm using a USB DAC (FiiO BTRK3). When my Mac gets a notification, it ducks the rest of the audio for about 2 seconds. It's a big duck too; All the way to 0 it seems.

  • It doesn't happen when I'm using DAC as a BlueTooth device.
  • Disabling audio ducking in VoiceOver Utility doesn't help.

What can I do to stop the ducking?

I still want the notifications. I still want to use it as a USB device.

I'm on Mojave 10.14.2 right now

  • do not disturb mode should help with this – dwightk Feb 27 at 22:13
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    What is "ducking"? Does it stop working or does it make strange noises? – Allan Feb 27 at 23:54
  • @Allan it’s like going in a low door, duck down to avoid hitting the jam. Audio ducking lowers the volume of the music track so you can hear another sound. Think radio station or a podcast with voice and music changing volumes in relation to each other. – bmike Feb 28 at 0:58
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    Is it the Mac that's ducking, or the DAC? [I'm sure I could make a good word-play joke out of that but I shan't ;) ... test by sending system sounds to a different output. – Tetsujin Feb 28 at 7:40
  • Thanks to @bmike - I know what you're talking about now.... I don't think this is an issue per se. I have this on both Bluetooth and hardwire DAC. It also happens on non-Apple devices like an Android phone and my car's BT. It seems to be a UX convention for notification sounds when having to play over/through existing audio. It's also conceivable that you're not getting it on your BT audio device because not using the headset profile (you can't take calls over your audio system but you can listen to music). – Allan Feb 28 at 14:47
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The bluetooth receiver was also paired with my phone at the same time as the mac.

I've unpaired the phone and it stops the ducking.


I figured this out when a call came in and the ring tone played full blast and started trying to figure out how to prevent that from ever happening again.

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