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Audio gets distorted when DSP buffer size is changed to "Best Latency" in Play Mode



To reproduce:
1. Open attached Unity project ""
2. Open "AudioBug" scene
(For better performance, I suggest disabling "Time" "Spawner" and "SpawnRate" GameObjects)
3. Go into Play Mode
4. Edit --> ProjectSettings --> Audio
5. Press Space to start playback
6. When the music is playing, change DSP Buffer Size from "default" to "Best latency"

Note: bug does not always reproduce, give it a couple of tries.

Result: Audio gets distorted and glitchy

Regression first introduced in: 5.3.5p6
Reproduced on: 5.3.5p6, 5.5.4p1, 5.6.2p2, 2017.1.0f3, 2017.2.0b2
Not reproduced on: 5.3.5p5

Comments (13)

  1. Cba834be3b84bfc8f492ce90da32964a?d=mm


    Mar 01, 2018 20:21

    Would like this issue re-opened. This is still a problem in 2017.2.1p2 on Windows.

  2. 804723fc78365abf67a7561c537ef6a7?d=mm


    Jan 03, 2018 06:51

    Could we have this issue reopened please? Problem not fixed!

  3. 4c3e1cd0181253fce8c4cfcaa6bd2e24?d=mm


    Dec 10, 2017 23:10

    Working in 2017.1 and still encountering this bug.

    From the Unity editor if I hit play, sometimes this will take place instantly as we play our menu music. Other times when I hit play, all will be normal. Interestingly though, this bug does seem to happen consistently after the first time, making me think it's memory related. From the other comments this seems to be the case. It does not seem to get triggered at anytime during gameplay; it only seems to trigger at start, but it is persistent thereafter. This will happen both in editor and in builds.

    It's an embarrassing show stopper for sure. If I could vote right now (but I can't since this is ..."Resolved"), I would put all 10 votes on this one subject.

    Thanks for all your help-- I know the dev team has to prioritize a mountain of issues, and this is only of the ghostlier ones, but it's still haunting projects in 2017.1.

  4. 2a10295da733847b41fc333d5d5ebd0f?d=mm


    Nov 13, 2017 13:22

    For the record, I'm seeing this exact issue, as described here and in the forum post listed above. For me it's occuring in Unity 2017.3 b8

    Been fighting this issue for many days.


  5. 804723fc78365abf67a7561c537ef6a7?d=mm


    Oct 18, 2017 02:18

    Same problem here, what's the status of the fix?

  6. Ef85e74a5ac5d8903285c96c6affc0dc?d=mm


    Sep 23, 2017 06:08

    i have also experienced this exact same issue using a custom OnAudioFilterRead setup with a generative synth plugin in Unity. i had previously had good results with Best Latency as well, on an older game using Unity 5.3. recently switched to 2017 for this new generative audio project and the audio performance was terrible under Best Latency - unusable. i did assume that the graphics performance and particle effects might be causing the glitching, however. i switched to Best Performance and the results are smoother but timing is a bit rougher. reading this it seems like we have a one step forward, two steps back situation and as always, audio gets the short end of the stick.

  7. 611af7fbe3ced88bea9020fdd38b065e?d=mm


    Aug 30, 2017 15:53

    There are severe bugs in the Unity audio implementation, see

    Because of this flaw it will be impossible to get glitchless audio in any other than the most trivial applications that use very little CPU. And this is on best performance setting. I believe the low latency setting will work only by chance.

  8. 38ad5006967a2fe6182d52f8a7b85570?d=mm


    Aug 15, 2017 03:05

    This issue is a problem for my projects too! Please fix this Unity so I can update to the latest version.

  9. 4336efc6b5658e7d5c9f8e64f3e479ec?d=mm


    Aug 04, 2017 18:34

    Like Thelo, I encounter this issue only on Windows, but not on Mac end Linux. Setting the Buffer size on anything else than "Best Latency" results in a perceptible input latency. One way or the other, developing rhythm games becomes a lot more difficult.

  10. 26a1dcb09a8a43b80c2e6bc41df2f14b?d=mm


    Jul 21, 2017 15:38

    I'm requesting that the issue be reopened. For the benefit of others following this issue, here's the response received from QA:
    " Hey there!

    I have just received a reply from a developer. He says:
    "Best latency means that buffer sizes are smaller and there are higher chances of not being able to service the sample card in time.

    This is a basic relationship between latency and performance, especially on games that are already pushing the CPU.

    If the user is experiencing glitching, its because the buffering isnt large enough and they should choose a different setting.

    Its kind of like changing the resolution of a game to 4K and then wondering why the framerate drops to 5fps."

    If you have any questions, please write me back.

    Best regards,
    QA Team"

    And my response to that:
    "Hey ----,

    I appreciate your help, but unfortunately the response from your developer is frustrating for being dismissive and condescending.

    [quote]This is a basic relationship between latency and performance, especially on games that are already pushing the CPU.[/quote]
    The relationship between smaller buffers and higher CPU requirements is understood.

    [quote]If the user is experiencing glitching, its because the buffering isnt large enough and they should choose a different setting.[/quote]
    What I demonstrated with the test project I attached to the bug report is that with exactly the same settings, 5.3.5 does not exhibit audio glitching, but later editor versions do.
    All things being equal besides the editor version, the audio system exhibits strain at the best latency setting in versions after 5.3.5.

    Our problem may be an edge case, but it's a big one since it means our project is stuck at version 5.3.5. Moving to any later editor version causes the audio to bug out. Our project is a VR audio creation tool that absolutely depends on low latency - doing things like recording drumming against a metronome is impossible at any setting but best latency.

    I request that the issue tracker case be reopened - preferably with the original wording of my bug report intact, since the revised wording creates the impression that it's an editor problem only and fails to mention that it also occurs in built projects.

    Thanks again for your help."

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