[MAC] No sound / no calibration effect

If there is no calibration effect or no sound present when the SoundID Reference standalone app is launched, check our suggestions below to troubleshoot and resolve the issue. 

In this article:


No Sound / no calibration

In the majority of cases, SoundID Reference malfunctioning in regards to the lack of sound or calibration effect is a result of either an incorrect setup or software incompatibility. We have gathered a list of quick and simple resolutions for the most common issues. Please look through the following guide if you either don't hear any audio at all or can't notice the calibration effect.

Check Your Equipment and Software

Before you start digging deeper, check on a few simple things. Please make sure you have double-checked on the following before you start troubleshooting further.

  • Cables, connections, adapters, ON/OFF switches, etc.
  • Audio interface (virtual mixer software I/O channels and/or physical outputs)
  • Final physical output (monitor controller, speakers, headphones)
  • Audio source app (media player, browser, DAW, etc.)
  • SoundID Reference master fader and the Dry/Wet knob
  • Check if calibration in the SoundID Reference app is enabled
  • You may play a test tone from the SoundID Reference app Output settings to define whether the signal gets through to the selected output device.


Check your App

First, we will give you a basic idea of how the app works: SoundID Reference acts as a middleman between the audio sources on your computer and the hardware output device. The audio signal from various sources on your computer is routed to SoundID Reference, where it gets calibrated, and is then sent out to the physical output device selected in SoundID Reference.



Therefore, a signal going into the SoundID Reference would be called SoundID input, as the signal going to the physical output device would be classed as SoundID output.

Thus first of all we advise you to check on your app settings paying extra attention to both input and output being set up correctly. Please follow the link for further guidance in regards to in-app activity.


Your Mac Preferences

Your next step would be referring to your MAC Preferences. Once you install and launch SoundID reference the special virtual device is created. Usually, SoundID reference automatically sets it up and selects once you run the software.

Go to: System Settings -> Sound -> Output

Sound_settings.pngMake sure that SoundID Reference is assigned as your audio output device correctly so you would route the sound to the SoundID Reference. Double-check with the Mute box and make sure that you haven't accidentally ticked it. The same applies to your audio interface - make sure it's not muted or on low volume. 


NOTE! If you don't see the driver in the list, please proceed to SoundID Reference Driver.

Audio/MIDI Settings - Muted output

Every audio device stores a profile in the Audio MIDI Setup utility. As SoundID Reference has its own driver it will be displayed as a separate virtual audio device.

Go to: Applications -> Utilities -> Audio MIDI Setup


Make sure that the outputs for the SoundID Reference virtual audio device and the physical outputs are at audible levels. Double-check and ensure that it is not muted for the Virtual Device, nor for the audio interface in use. Sometimes if you have encountered an error within the app, it might be a good idea to delete the profile and restart the app so it would re-create itself.

NOTE! Sometimes additional 3rd-party virtual audio devices (virtual cables, systemwide mixers, etc.) might get involved in the signal chain. That may overcomplicate or overload the signal routing. Normally they would appear as aggregate devices in the list. Therefore, if the aggregate device is not essential, we would advise removing them.


Privacy & Security

We don't know whether your computer feels extra cautious today. We are absolutely sure that our software is safe to use even if your computer didn't suppose so. Therefore, make sure that SoundID Reference isn't being blocked by Mac Privacy & Security Settings.

Go to: System Settings -> Privacy & Security


Make sure that Sonarworks software hasn't been blocked. If it shows as blocked, click on the Open Anyway button.Allow_done.png

Double-check that Microphone Access is granted for SoundID Reference. You can read more about granting Microphone Access to SoundID Reference here.


SoundID Reference Driver

SoundID Reference creates a virtual audio device that processes all the system audio. Sometimes, due to a corrupt installation or incorrectly set permissions, the virtual audio driver file (HAL) doesn't get created.

Go to: /Macintosh HD/Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/

Check if the SoundID Reference.driver file is there. If not, make sure that you have completed Security & Privacy step, and please re-install the software. Keep this folder in the background to check whether the file had been created.


I/O Driver Update

In some rare cases, the issue might appear due to your Audio Interface driver incompatibility. Even though it seems to be working fine, it might not be fully adaptable to the OS version or hardware you are having. Thus, once you try using your Interface with SoundID Reference, it may provoke an error. 

As we may not know your interface specifications and their capabilities, we won't be able to provide you with straightforward instructions or an action plan. You would have to investigate and make sure that you have the most up-to-date drivers that fit your hardware and software specs. 


Terminal Core Audio Reset

Core Audio is the main audio driver that handles all of the sound work involved. When the issues appear, especially when it comes to noise, no sound, or calibration effect, resetting the Core Audio process should solve your problem. Launch Terminal and type in the following command:

sudo killall coreaudiod



IMPORTANT! This step is performed at your own risk. Only proceed if you are an advanced user. In some very specific cases, it may cause permanent damage to your Core Audio driver and may result in a full reinstall of your Operating System!

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EDIT: I resolved the issue after further troubleshooting. Posting here for future users that may run into the same problem.I had previously created a virtual audio device using Loopback and routed the output of certain apps to it. Any apps routed as such will not work with SoundID no matter what you do to troubleshoot. Deleting Loopback did not delete the virtual audio device for some reason, so I had to manually delete all the related files in Library and ~Library and that did the trick after a reboot. 


I have been having this issue with Reference 4 Systemwide and upgraded to SoundID thinking it would fix it, but it's still happening. I've followed every troubleshooting step and everything is set up exactly as it should be. Everything is also set up correctly within SoundID itself, and when I test the output, I do hear the "left, right" test voice in my headphones. I am on an M1 MacBook running Monterrey version 12.3.1 (21E258) and I'm simply plugging in my Sennheiser HD650 directly into the headphone jack. When I play audio from Spotify, Safari or any other audio really, I can hear it through my headphones, but the I/O meters in the SoundID app show no signal coming in or out and there is no calibration effect.  Please help! 




Hi Alvaro,

Thanks for reaching out!

Sorry to hear you are encountering an issue with this. Could you double check that SoundID Reference has been granted microphone access? For details on how to check this, see here: SoundID Reference microphone access requirement in Accessibility preferences [MAC]


Hi Zane,

Thank you for your reply. Everything is set up per the troubleshooting steps, including microphone permissions yet it still doesn't work. 

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