Fiio Products Causing BSoD?

Does anyone else out there have problems with Fiio products connected to Windows 10 PCs via USB causing the Blue Screen of Death? I’ve been having issues with this combination. Below is more complete information. It might get long. But any thoughts anyone has will be appreciated. My home desktop computer uses Windows 10 Home (the PC has an optical out on the mobo which I now use almost exclusively) and my office/traveling computer is a Surface Pro 4 (which only has a single USB 3.0 port).

My first DAC/Amp was a Fiio E10K. It improved sound so much that I also bought an E18 for mobile use on my Android phone, and to take with me when I travel for work. I also bought the K3 because it was described as the grown up version of the E10(K) so I wanted to try it out. They are all fine sounding products for IEMs and low-impedance headphones.

The issues: the E10K stayed in my office connected to my Surface through a USB hub and worked great for a few months before I started to notice some very light - but still distracting - static in the sound. I removed the hub and plugged the E10K in directly, static didn’t go away. Usually a computer restart cleared it up, until it didn’t. I had been using the built in Windows driver and installed Fiio’s drivers. That was a mistake. That caused several crashes and blue screens with the vague “Memory Management” warning. Removing the Fiio drivers cleared up the blue screens for awhile. But they eventually came back when using just the Windows drivers with the E10K. I tried the E10K on my home desktop to see if it was a problem with the unit or if it was that particular computer. It f’d my desktop up so bad I had to reinstall Windows. So, I moved to an FX DAC-X6 with Windows drivers and it’s never caused a problem.

While the E10K was working well, I also snagged an E18 for mobile use. It too worked great with both my Android phone(s) (had a LG G3 when I first got in then a Galaxy Note 8) and my Surface. After several months again, it started failing to be recognized by any of my Windows computers and put my Note 8 into its visually impaired mode (that’s probably not the right name but you have to hold down each button on the screen until the phone reads out loud what you’re touching, then continue to hold it to select it - took a long time to get that turned off). By this time, I wasn’t going to risk installing Fiio’s Windows drivers again. The E18 has a reset switch which I flipped. It actually works much better now. I don’t plug it into any Windows devices anymore, but I can safely plug it into my Note 8 and nothing disastrous happens…for now.

At this point I should probably mention that I did a full and fresh reinstall of Windows on my Surface back in late January 2019. I’ve also run Memtest and had a couple IRL friends who do computer stuff for a living look at my Surface and all say that the hardware doesn’t appear to be the issue.

I’m starting to notice the pattern again with the K3. I bought it back in February 2019, I believe. It worked really well for awhile. There were no BSoD’s since my reinstall of Windows on my Surface until this past week. I’ve been using either a Schiit Modi 3 or an SMSL SU-8 plugged into my Surface via USB for many months with no issues. But, I pulled out the K3 again about a week ago, plugged it into my Surface, and have now had 2 BSoD’s with the “Memory Management” message in that week.

I know @ZeosPantera has moved on from USB, preferring optical. I can do that on my home desktop but the Surface only has USB. In my office I have a separate monitor and have tried an HDMI audio extractor to pull the audio out of HDMI and turn it into optical. It works, but I think the particular unit I was using degraded the sound a bit. Plus, that’s hard to take with when I travel. Also, the DAC-X6, Modi 3, and SU-8 all seem to work just fine via USB and Windows built-in drivers. So, I don’t think it’s a general USB audio problem, I think it’s a Fiio problem.

Anyone else out there experiencing this and/or have a solution? I might just end up having to ditch the Fiio products and go with other brands.

So you had two different FiiO devices that cause BSOD’s? If it was a driver problem, it’d make sense. But you’re having crashes even when your using the default Windows drivers. That’s a really bizarre issue to have. I would go to Microsoft’s official Windows help forum and make a post there. If they can’t offer a solution (which will likely be the case) then they will probably have you (or them) submit a bug report to Microsoft.

Thanks for the reply. Pretty sure I sent those crash reports to Microsoft when they happened. It looks like 2 Fiio devices caused Windows crashes (1 on 2 machines). A 3rd spent some time failing to be recognized by 2 windows machines and caused a freak out on an android phone. That to me sounds like Fiio has issues with their USB controllers or something similar. But then again, I can find no one else with this issue. At this point, it’s more of a curiosity as my primary setups have now moved on to the Modi and the SU-8 which work fine. I’ll likely shop around for a mobile solution in the coming weeks.

Do you have conflicting drivers? That can cause bsods. Also do you have the stop code for those bsods? Finding out why the system crashed is important to finding the problem

“MEMORY_MANAGEMENT” no numeric code given. A Google search shows that driver issues are a frequent culprit for that code, with “audio drivers” being listed as part of that. Still curious why the Fiio devices trip it and the FX/Schiit/SMSL don’t.

That’s really strange that the two fiio’s are causing that. Are they the correct drivers? Its surprising that both fiio devices cause pretty big errors. I have multiple fiio devices and have not had as severe issues as those. What was your latency set as? Sometimes setting your buffer size too small can cause big issues. You could check by pressing the windows key and typing fiio and see if the fiio aiso control panel comes up (if you still have drivers installed)

Also so you didn’t have any audio device drivers installed before the fiio drivers? sometimes xmos drives can conflict with each other. Did you try a clean install of the devices by uninstalling them through device manager and wiping out the driver files?

Between the E10k and K3 there was a complete Windows reinstall. I haven’t touched Fiio’s drivers, just using default Windows drivers, since that first experience. I have not installed any audio device-specific drivers for the FX, Modi, or SU-8 either.

Well, I wonder if your computer just takes very poorly to drivers then. If you haven’t tried any other audio drivers

I partially agree on that. The Surface has had more issues than my desktop or Android phone. Because of the type of device a Surface is it by nature has a different set of drivers than a classic desktop or laptop, likely increasing the odds of driver conflicts. I just did a full Windows and driver update for the Surface so I’ll see what happens there.

Where I disagree is that all the Fiio devices did weirdness to all the computing devices…which means that said weirdness was happening across platforms too. At that point I have to ask “what is/are the common factor(s)?” The Fiios. It’s unfortunate because when they work their performance/price ratio is very good.

I’ve only seen a mass of e10k issues, not k3 or e18. Now I’m not trying to deny your experience and the information out there, but audio drivers from most companies are a bitch sometimes and can not play well with certain setups. You also have to take into account that fiio devices outsell alot of their competitors regarding numbers and have a larger user base of more average people and not hardcore enthusiasts. That means there are more users with no idea on how audio drivers work and what conflicts with them, and this leads to more reports with issues. I’m not trying to defend fiio here either, sometimes they lag behind the windows updates and stop working or have issues. But I wouldn’t recommend others avoid all fiio products because the e10k had some big driver issues. I know plenty of people who have never had issues with their e10k.

You’re good. I’m taking nothing personally. Your point about the computer weirdness likely has some legs as I mentioned. I’m hoping that updating Windows and system drivers on the Surface lets it play nice with the K3 again. On occasion I like plugging the Surface into my main HT setup and listening to music there. Over HDMI it sounded good. But using the K3’s optical out and connecting the K3 to the Surface through an Audioquest Jitterbug sounded AMAZING. The reduced noise widened the soundstage and really made the imaging pop. So yeah, I’m rooting for a fix here.

I found the official driver for the E10K caused BSoD’s at random times, but often enough to be annoying. uninstalling all the drivers, just plugging it in and letting whatever windows assigns to it works without issues. Aside from the issue that is does sound noticeably better with the Fiio supplied driver.