[MAC] CoreAudio and SonarworksASPProxy high CPU (on macOS 10.14 & 10.15)

If you notice a high CPU utilization while using the SoundID Reference standalone app on your macOS 10.14 Mojave or 10.15 Catalina device, this guide details the issue and provides a workaround for affected users.


In this article:


Known issue: Fix not planned
Issue reported: Jul 6, 2023
Article updated: Mar 27, 2024


CoreAudio and SonarworksASPProxy cause a high CPU 

With the release of SoundID Reference version 5.7.3, some users of macOS 10.14 Mojave and 10.15 Catalina with specific CPU chipsets might experience high CPU issues while SoundID Reference is running. This can be observed by opening the Activity Monitor utility and checking the CPU readings for these two processes:


  • coreaudiod ~100% CPU
  • SonarworksASPProxy ~30% CPU


In some cases, it might cause a significant and noticeable CPU overload, resulting in computer fans blowing at full power, playback glitching (especially video content via Safari or other browsers), or the computer freezing up. 




Fix not planned

We recognize the challenges some of our users have faced with the SoundID Reference app on macOS 10.14 Mojave and 10.15 Catalina, particularly those with specific CPU chipsets, following the release of our updated standalone app HAL driver in version 5.7.3 (September 2023). After thorough investigation and consideration, we must share that a resolution to this issue cannot be achieved within the current framework of the new standalone app driver.


This decision comes in light of the dynamic evolution of macOS system architecture, which necessitates continuous updates to SoundID Reference to harness the capabilities of newer operating systems, incorporate the latest features, and enhance overall performance. Given these constraints, maintaining backward compatibility for macOS 10.14 and 10.15 has become unfeasible within our latest Release versions.


Support discontinuation for macOS 10.14 and 10.15

With the update, SoundID Reference will no longer support macOS 10.14 Mojave and 10.15 Catalina. Consequently, we will not be pursuing a fix for the CPU issue. We understand the impact of this decision and are committed to assisting our users through this transition. Below, we outline several options available to those affected by this change.


All users that have reported this issue will be reached out to and solutions will be provided as per the below options and within warranty terms, or alternative solutions.



Update to macOS 11 Big Sur

Updating to macOS 11 Big Sur or higher, as the issue is not present on newer operating systems. If this is not an option on your Mac, we recommend the following solutions for different scenarios:


Revert to an earlier version

If updating the operating system is not possible it's recommended to revert back to the last version before the new driver release: version 5.7.2.

  1. Uninstall the current version fully: [MAC] How to uninstall SoundID Reference?
  2. Download and install version here: SoundID Reference


Note: Follow the linked uninstall instructions carefully, make sure to remove all remaining files and components, and back up your speaker profiles before uninstalling.

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Thanks for wasting some of my time with a buggy update. Genuine thanks though for providing a timely solution.


Beta doesn't work either. Keeps saying "Preset switch failed". Then it gives an option to contact support, but the page doesn't exist. 


d_hydrate Sorry to hear that! If you are encountering a "Preset Switch Failed" error, please see our guide for some workaround suggestions here: "Preset switch failed" error message 

The update includes a major macOS driver rework which aims to resolve this error as well. This error may appear if you've reverted, but trying out the suggestions the guide linked hopefully will help get rid of it. 

Just in case, you can submit a ticket to our support team here: Submit a request


I wish that known issues for "compatible" OS's would be published clearly with the update notifications, or even in an email.


would love an update on this issue. does the november update address this at all?
I reverted to and it's fine working again.

prior to revert I was getting +100% CPU from sonarworksASP and/or coreaudio driver, even after forcequitting them multiple times/restarting computer. latency was atrocious and audio would frequently stop working altogether until a restart. even disabling sonarworks from autoloading with startup didn't solve it, CPU usage would just spike right back up. it was a headache until I found this thread.

I'm running Catalina 10.15.5 and can't update my OS any futher. (stable hackintosh reasons) I hope Catalina will continue to be supported


Nov. 19, 2023. The update is still burning up my intel Macbook Pro. Even when no audio apps are running, coreaudiod is at 95.5% and SonarworksASPProxy is at 31.3% CPU. After restarting these processes pop right up again unbidden. Very frustrating. Also drop down menu in the installer shows as the oldest versionnot as in instructions.


Same story goes here, SonarworksASPProxy at more than 30% and coreaudiod above 100% with SoundID 5.9 using Catalina 10.15.5... I've downgraded to I've enabled "virtual monitoring" in 5.9 which i won't be able to trully try since i've activate it yesterday...


I have this issue on Catalina 10.15.7. The problem with coreAudiod persisted somehow even when I uninstalled SoundID, so I had to format my iMac. I have not installed it this time and I'm waiting for the bug to be fixed.


Hi, thanks for your comments, sorry to hear you are encountering this issue as well!

This issue is still being looked at by our developer team, at the moment we don't have an ETA on the fix just yet (it will persist with the latest 5.9.0 update). 

I will open up support requests on your behalves, so we can link your cases to the development report and gather some additional information. 


I saw this in the latest release notes and was hopeful.

"SoundID Reference is fully compatible with macOS Sonoma (macOS 14.0 and above), no OS-specific issues have been found during testing."

This is not true, as the issue still exists, and this thread confirms the issue is known to the programmers.

Please be more transparent in the release notes so I don't waste more time installing and reverting. I have significant trust issues with this company now. Not good.


SoundID Reference VST3 Plugin.vst3 v.5.2.3, what I assumed to be a previous version of the plugin, after the current version made my DAW balk. Turned off UI animation on plugins, quit all apps that weren't being used. This situation forced me to render tracks one plugin at a time, which is ridiculous. Even with no audio apps running coreaudiod and launchd are still running. This machine is ten years old, I know, but these background processes are a major pain.
Model Identifier: MacBookPro10,2
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Core i7
Processor Speed: 3 GHz
Number of Processors: 1
Total Number of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
L3 Cache: 4 MBHyper-Threading Technology:
EnabledMemory: 8 GB


It’s not your computer. Even on newer machines it completely crashes and has to be force quit (sometimes from Activity Monitor).


Hi, thanks for your comments, sorry to hear you are encountering this issue!

ben - Sorry to hear about this. This issue appears to be happening on macOS 10.14 and 10.15 machines from what we have observed from user reports. This problem also appeared only with a more recent update and was not present before. Our developers are looking into and I see that you have also submitted a support ticket for this, thank you!

philips666 - it sounds like you may still be running a newer driver version if the issue still persists after reverting to a 5.2 version. Could you please find SoundID Reference.driver in this location: Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/SoundID Reference.driver -> right-click on it -> Get info -> and check the version that it is showing there. If the version there does not match the current app version you have installed (e.g. the file still shows version 5.8.0 or 5.9.0), please delete this SoundID Reference.driver file and run the SoundID Reference installer again (making sure that you follow the same installation steps for installing a legacy version - in the installer, select "Customize" -> select the necessary version from the dropdown -> proceed with the install). Then check whether the issue is still present on your machine. 

d_hydrate - Can you let us know if you are also experiencing a high CPU utilization issue of the CoreAudio and SonarworksASPProxy processes, or is the app crashing due to some other triggers, in other situations? Thanks!


I deleted the HAL driver, I used Terminal to create an Audio folder in Preferences. Killed processes, restart after restart. Still launchd and coreaudiod made the fan spin up and dominate CPU. Since I’m up against a deadline I deleted everything SoundID and got on with work. This galls me even further because I bought a set of calibrated Beyerdynamics from Sonarworks


I'm getting the same issue on a macOS 10.15.7 (Hackintosh). Unfortunately, for me downgrading is not really an option because one of my key point of using SoundID Reference is Virtual Monitoring that is not available in the earlier versions.

Zane Please let me know if I can help by e.g. beta testing an upcoming fix, providing debug logs or whatever.


Hi, thanks for your comments!

philips666 - sorry to hear about this. It looks like the previous opened request has now closed, but I will open up a new support request on your behalf, so we can link your ticket to the development task as well.

Zoltán Adamek (Scorchio) - thanks for your offer, I will take note of it. I do have to note that Hackintosh devices may not be supported. 


@Zane I have an Intel Mac mini and would happily send logs to help end this problem once and for all. My main issue is wasting time installing and then having to revert. At this point, I would need clear communication from the company and users that the issue is no longer present before even thinking about updating again.


Hi ben, thanks for your comment, I will take note of your offer! Sadly, the issue is still present in the latest SoundID Reference version 5.9.0 - once we have a fix available, we'll make sure to update you here and make a note of the fix in the article as well. 


I enabled trial version for virtual monitoring but I am an unable to use it since the version 5.9.0. is still heating up CPU the same way people describe in previous posts here.

Is there any estimated date when I can expect some beta version that fix the issue with Intel Mac 10.15?

The version works fine but I cannot use the virtual monitoring which I just enabled on trial


Hi petr.kolev - at the moment, we don't yet have an ETA on the fix, sorry about that. I will open up a support request on your behalf regarding this issue, so we can link it to the development task and also follow up via email once we have any updates on the solution (this article will also be updated).


Hi lordikipe - this issue is still being looked at by our developer team, at the moment we don't yet have an ETA on the fix.

It is possible to revert to the 5.6.1 version following the steps here: Workaround

I will also open up a support request on your behalf, so we can link your ticket to the development task for this issue. 


I also have the same problem, you should warn us when you release an update that the problem on os 10.15 is not fixed, it saves us a lot of time. What's more, if you're well aware of the problem


Phew lads….Mac mini, OS 10.15.7 logic pro. Long time user. Tried every work around, and still insane CPU usage. Six month in and it's hard not to feel that we've been abandoned on this one. Oy !


Hi paridem and paul.fairall - sorry to hear about this! Please try reverting to the 5.6.1 version as per the steps mentioned in the guide, this version should work without this specific issue present. I will also open up support requests on your behalves, so we can help you with reverting successfully. 


Hello, the workaround worked in my case. Mac Os 10.15.7 Catalina on MacBook Pro Mid2012. coreaudiod dropped to less than 5% CPU and SonarworksASPProxy no longer appears. I hope the definitive solution can be reached in a new update. For now, I'm staying with


Hi matias.daudet - thanks for your comment, glad to hear reverting to the 5.6.1 version is working. I will create a support request on your behalf, so that we can link your case to the development task as well. 


Same problem here. Still waiting for a fix! Mac OS 10.15.7 on Macbook pro 16" 2019 intel i9


As per your reply, removed all sonarworks and tried to download previous version 5.6.1 however the download centre only gave me a choice of the latest version or the legacy version…which I downloaded and installed. this version did work for me. No high cpu use.                                                                                                          So, I have a working version, but still want to be able to update to the newest version sometime before the world ends.                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Do we have any idea when that might be ??? ( the worlds end and or a working updated version ;-)



cs3 - thanks for reaching out. I will open up a support request on your behalf, so we can link your case to the development report. Reverting to the 5.6.1 version in the meantime should work well, see the steps here: Workaround;

paul.fairall - the 5.6.1 version is not available in the online installer/download center. To install the 5.6.1 version, please follow the steps in our guide here: Workaround. I would recommend installing this version instead of the legacy one as we have worked on more improvements and features over time, so the 5.6.1 should provide a better experience. 



Has any progress been made on this bug or is there a release date for the patch ?

I haven't been able to use the “virtual monitoring” version i bought for several months now because of this CPU  bug on my Imac.

Thank you

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