MacMini, iPad & Screens

I use my MacMini headless (without monitor) and connect to it via iPad using the Screens app. It all works well except for the lag. My Logitech mouse seems to lag on the iPad for some reason.

How are you all controlling Audirvana using your MacMini?


Screen sharing with an 27’’ iMac.
I also have VNC free app on my iPhone 8
with the application also on the mac mini.

Dear Paul,

I have the same setup as you, and use the Screens App on my iPad to occasionally manage and administrate the Mac Mini.

Screen is a good VNC App, but can feel a bit unresponsive for some specific tasks. The sluggishness of VNC solutions can be reduced when you connect your MacMini to your router through Ethernet rather than WiFi. Screens is not really the best to deal with Audirvana on the MacMini. I find it cumbersome when dealing with tracks’ metadata, or multiple selection to include in a playlist or general management of Audirvana. As for access to the slide up keyboard, I shall say no more…

After pairing, the Audirvana App on my iPad works well when just managing a listening session. I understand it is now free, it was paid for initially.

For any advanced management or “transparent” use of Audirvana on the MacMini, I use instead Screen Sharing between my MacBook and the MacMini: Negligible lag and just like working on the MacMini itself thanks to the display, keyboard and trackpad of the MacBook. Both do not need to use the same Mac OS version, so a cheap second hand MacBook may be a way forward.

If you go that way, the MacBook does not need to be powerful at all, as in this type of use, it is mostly a terminal to access your MacMini resources. Just be mindful that the version of Mac OS it comes with allows Screen Sharing.

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Thank you! I shall try screen sharing with my MBP.

Does your Macmini allow USB out to your DAC? Mine (2012) does not (only Toslink) but my MBP does???

I have a Late 2012 i5 2.5 with 16gb of memory, connected with USB, no problem since beginning.

Dear Paul,

Like RunHomeSlow my MacMini 2012 feeds a USB DAC, in turn connected to Amplification.
I do not see a reason why you could not do the same on your system, if you have a USB DAC.

When you connect your USB DAC to your MacMini, it may be useful to check Audirvana’s audio settings “Device” / “For bridge devices connected to DAC” to setup the maximum sampling rate no higher than your USB DAC maximum rate, or 192KHz whichever is the lowest.

For example, my USB DAC is able to deal with 384KHz sample rate files on Windows, but not on Mac. Although I could not tell why, I believe that a Mac is limited to that 192KHz value. If, I select a value above 192KHz, no sound comes out of my USB DAC.

For further help you may consider letting us know what specific DAC you are equipped with.

Hope this helps.


First of all thank you for leading me to Screen Sharing!!! It works fabulously well with no lag. Excellent suggestion and much appreciated.

As far as the USB to DAC goes I use a Bel Canto DAC 2.7. It displays perfectly on my MacBook Pro and I’d use the MBP with it directly, but I am SSD limited on it with only a 256gb drive. The Mac mini has a 1TB drive.

I made the adjustment you suggest in Audirvana and changed it from No Limit to 192k. We’ll see if that makes a difference. Hopefully it’ll allow the use of a USB cable instead of Toslink.

As an aside, Paul McGowen of PS Audio made a point recently in one of his YouTube videos to encourage using USB vs Toslink whenever possible as it is a much more stable path. I don’t have any experience comparing them, but he is a pretty well accomplished audio engineer and I am simply trying to follow his suggestion.


Dear Paul,

I have just checked the Bel Canto website for specifications.
About the USB Input it reads:
“USB Input can be connected to a computer for playback of any audio format up to a 24/192 data rate. The DAC2.7 is enumerated as Bel Canto uLink Audio when using the custom Bel Canto USB2 Windows driver with Windows XP or later and Macintosh OSX 10.6.x or later.”

I suppose you should be fine if you setup the Audio Settings according to specs as suggested earlier.
Keep us posted, All the best

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You Sir are a tremendous resource. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve asked about this including the owner of Bel Canto himself and nobody came up with the solution, until you reached out. I made the adjustment in Audirvana and as you suggested, it shows up perfectly in the Mac mini now. Bravo!!!

You are welcome, it is always gratifying to have helped someone out of a tight corner. :smile:

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