SoundID Reference missing from Mac sound output [MAC]

If SoundID Reference is not showing up as an output in macOS Sound settings or Audio MIDI Setup, this guide provides workarounds to overcome the issue and more details.


In this article:


Status: in development 
Resolution version: TBD, Expected release: ASAP
Article updated: Nov 30, 2023



SoundID Reference does not show up as audio device

For some users, after updating SoundID Reference to, SoundID Reference is no longer available as an audio output device in Sound > Output / Audio MIDI Setup. No audio is received by the driver, nor outputted to the audio interface or system output. In this case, the HAL driver is not functioning correctly.

Our Development Team is currently investigating the issue for a priority fix.





Restarting playback engine

Restarting the playback engine from the Output Panel will reboot the SoundID Reference driver and return it to a working state in most cases:


  1. Open the SoundID Reference standalone app
  2. Navigate to your assigned audio interface in the Output Panel
  3. Click on '' (the three-dot menu) > Device settings
  4. Click on Restart playback engine

[MAC] Device settings.png

[MAC] Restart playback engine.png


Delete the HAL driver and perform a full reinstall

If the first solution fails, perform a full uninstall (make sure to remove the HAL driver file too), and reinstall SoundID Reference again:


  1. Delete the HAL driver file from this location:
    Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/SoundID Reference.driver
  2. Perform a full uninstall as shown here: How to uninstall SoundID Reference (Mac)? (back up your speaker profiles)
  3. Download the installer again

  4. Go back to the solution above if the driver is still missing after the reinstall: Force quit and relaunch the SoundID Reference.driver

Screenshot 2023-09-08 at 10.26.45.png


Revert to the previous driver version (

If the workarounds listed above are not helpful, we recommend returning to the previous version of the driver until a permanent fix is implemented:

  1. Uninstall SoundID Reference. How to uninstall SoundID Reference? [MAC]
  2. Launch the installer (download here) and click on Customize
  3. Click on the dropdown menu and select version (marked as "Beta")
  4. Click on the Install button to proceed


image (4).png



HAL driver logging

To further our investigation of the macOS driver issue, we must obtain additional (HAL) driver logs. Attached to this article you’ll find a logger that will automate this process.

The new logger version (added in Nov 30) will stay active throughout computer sleep and reboot cycles, which is usually when the driver disappears. This should provide our team with the information needed for a fix. Follow the steps below and send us the logs in a support request:


  1. Make sure the SoundID Reference update is installed (download here)
  2. Quit the SoundID Reference app fully: How to fully quit the SoundID Reference app?
  3. Download and extract the file, attached to this article below. Make sure not to move or delete this folder for the remaining steps
  4. Run the HAL Logger 'Installer' and follow the instructions. Note that you might be required to allow it System Settings: Security & Privacy > scroll down to Security > Open Anyway
  5. Open Activity Monitor and ensure the 'HALLoggerDaemon' process is running

    Screenshot 2023-12-01 at 11.41.34.png

  6. Go to the Sonarworks Logs directory and check for two new files created: HAL.log.gz and Setup.log
  7. Proceed with your regular workflow - playing local audio, browser playback, etc. Keep the logger running throughout several computer sleep and reboot cycles, until you notice the driver has gone missing again
  8. Return to the folder containing the HALLogger, and run the 'Uninstaller' file
  9. Collect the HAL.log.gz and Setup.log logs, and also the latest regular session logs - collect everything in the Sonarworks Logs directory and attach the files to your support request


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Still doesnt work! 


Still doesnt work! 


I can't figure out why to issue a faulty update which renders the whole plugin useless and now all is left or to go back and lose all presets during the uninstall. So much time to spend on an update that shouldn't been around in the first place if it's clearly faulty


Doesn't work for me.. guys, if the HAL driver was the thing that caused the program not to work, WHY would it make sense to just reinstall the same one in a different way. I dont know much about development I admit.. so i'm just gonig off of common sense here, but wouldnt you need to put out a NEW driver instead of having us perform the crazy runaround stuff to just have the same HAL driver in place again? 


Hi all, 

Thanks for your comments here, very sorry to hear you have encountered this issue! 

I've created some support tickets on your behalf if you hadn't yet opened a ticket - we'll assist further on your case.

As it seems, the issue is with the HAL driver installing/updating properly when trying to install the latest version. Uninstalling or deleting the current HAL driver and disabling gatekeeper via terminal should help with properly updating the driver. Please also try rebooting your machine after the reinstall in case the issue still persists. 


This problem is reoccurring every time the machine is restarted, so I'm having to reinstall daily. Running Monterey 12.6.3 on an M1 Pro Max. 

We urgently need the previous version added to the installer to be able to work normally. It still seems to me that the more features are added to SoundID, the more problematic it has become. The original Sonarworks was rock solid for me. 


Hi Tim Allen, thanks for your comment! Sorry about that! I will open up a support request on your behalf regarding the information you have mentioned. 


just can copy this. The Hal reinstallation helps but when you restart the computer the problem is reoccurring. 

under Ventura 13.5.2 (22G91) 

3,6 GHz 8-Core Intel Core i9



The only solution is to restart the computer every time the application "gets lost". Could you maybe let us downgrade to the previous version?... It was great, I don't feel like it needed an upgrade to start with (on Mac. Same upgrade on PC has no issues so far)


Nothing you guys provided fixes the problem, only possible solution is new update or possibility for us to downgrade to previous version which was working perfectly fine.


I'm having a very frustrating back and forth with so called support who to be honest have been pretty useless so far.

So I thought I should ask in here if anyone ever had the followng error message on a mac?


I got this message, and when I click on 'contact Support', it leads to Error 404

*I'm also frustrated but consider that Sonarworks is dealing with a little crisis right now. We must be conciliatory and collaborative.


I'm regreting buying this (so far) useless software/hardware. I have been asking for some real support for 2 weeks now and all I get is half hearted responses asking me to try things I've already done.


5.7.3 freezes continually. Send me previous version. I don't have time for this shit.



Updated the software and now nothing works. 


My solution is unfortunately, until you guys will fix this with a working update, to move back to Reference 4 Systemwide, otherwise, it's just being annoyed all day long. Hope it won't you take too much time to solve this mess


I also experienced this issue and found this article here. I also followed all the recommended workaround steps, but the issue still occurs:

After restarting my MacBook Pro it recognises the driver. But if anything weird happens with SoundID Reference or any playback source like a player, a browser or a DAW, it loses connection to the driver and one has to restart the machine. Such an issue can be simulated by pulling out the USB cable. Usually SoundID Ref would load the driver and the presets as soon as one connects the USB cable again with the machine. But this doesn't happen. So one has to restart the machine again and again and again every time something goes wrong. By the way: This also occurs sometimes when I connect an external monitor.



All the problems listed above happen to me too, and honestly I can't reboot or unplug the USB while I'm working, so either do a version update to SounID and fix all these bugs or allow us to install the previous version, allowing us to download the previous version from your site. Since we're working on it, try to be as quick as possible. Thank you.


I think you misunderstood me when I wrote about unplugging the USB cable. This is not a solution to solve the problem. It is a way to force the problem in order to show somebody. Don't get me wrong here!

This issue has to be solved quickly by updating the software asap or letting us download the previous one.


Same issues on my MacBook as everyone else is experiencing. As others have mentioned before, please let us access the previous version, so we can continue to work while you are working on fixing these bugs. I just don’t have time for this stuff right now. Too much time spent on trying to fix this bug on my own. Your solutions that you have posted have not produced any positive results. Thank you.


thomrenken evillwock dariolu90 and others

I had a hard time uninstalling and installing every single version without success. But actually (fingers crossed) the latest 5.7.3 works fine.

I believe my mistake was to not delete all Sonarworks-related files in the HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/..

->  Follow each step here, to remove files, and I wish you all to be good to go;

Thanks Marco my bad!


Same here. I also spent hours to fix the issue - without success. BUT: By uninstalling everything as you recommended, it works. I can switch off my interface and back on or pull out the USB cable and push it back in and it recognises the driver again. So I don't have to restart the machine every time if something goes wrong with the audio driver.

This is THE ONLY solution/workaround!

Guys, very important: You have to copy the "SoundID Reference" folder from user/library/application support/sonarworks/ to another location in order to save your presets, especially the calibration presets.

Many thanks to news for providing the workaround solution!



I tried the old beta version but with no luck... BUT! after I reinstalled then the actual version it came up! All fine now.


devron: That's what I also did before I chose the radical but effective solution that news provided. It is important to copy your presets to another location in order to back copy them again after re-installing the new update. It works for me and it is remarkably stable.


Very glad this fixed the problem for many of us. My understanding is that the update to 5.7.3 doesn't re-write all files, resulting in a mishmash of versions that generate various problems with the app. Zane sais something about that (Saturday at 01:37)


evillwock Thanks for mentioning the profile backup part. I forgot to add this step to the process. 




news: I also forgot to mention one very important thing: After re-installing the 5.7.3. it's crucial to restart the computer, otherwise all the magic will not happen, because the system will not communicate with the driver.


hmm interesting, because on my side, It worked right away. 


Today I tried, I uninstalled everything manually as described above, I reinstalled everything now it works thanks.


news: Well, the first time I did all this it also worked right away. Today I had to repeat the whole process, because my AirPods Pro 2s which I use to check my masters suddenly destroyed my whole audio settings, because I have them also hooked up to SoundID Ref - man, it was a mess. So I did it again and then I had to restart the machine.

So if it doesn't work right away I recommend restarting the machine.


dariolu90: Very nice to hear that it also works for you - great!

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