Improve sound quality?

Is there some way to improve the sound quality of audio output?

On both laptop and desktop I get the same **** quality sound output. It sounds generic like a cheap junk boombox radio. I’m using Altec Lansing ADA885 speakers with 20cm (8") dual voice coil subwoofer. It used to sound so life like, loud and thunderous in Windows. There is now very muffled highs and nearly non existent bass.

Simply put, I can hear snare drum no problem but the rest sounds almost as if it’s been edited out.

Subwoofer is tuned down to 28HZ so I know the problem is NOT related to the speakers. Tried the pulse audio equalizer thing on desktop and it’s worthless, every time media player goes to next track it mutes audio. Any adjustment also makes the sound all crackly.

I’m really not at all sure about this but what happens if you change the profile (in the configuration tab) in pavucontrol?

I don’t know for example how things work out if your speakers are set up for 5:1 and the profile is set for stereo.

It will let me set 5.1 or 7.1 there for HDMI output, but I don’t have or use any HDMI devices.

Doesn’t matter what plugs I use to the standard 3.5mm jacks, it will only allow “Analog Stereo Output” option and nothing else.
I have changed the type on the speakers themselves and get the best quality from using Prologic mode. But still the highs and lows are so quiet that I can only hear them by putting the tweeters and subwoofer right next to my ears. Yet the middle frequency (I’m guessing it’s default set to band pass at 1kHz) is so loud it’s unbearable. Then if I try to watch a TV show or movie, speaking is so quiet that I have to turn the volume to max and it still sounds like they are whispering.

What is your sound card?

Have you tried adjusting the volumes for it in Yast?

Is it maybe something to do with gstreamer? Thought I had the same problem a few years ago on an old custom built Pentium 4 machine that was running Ubuntu. Can’t remember for certain, but thought I removed gstreamer and that fixed… or may have been another audio driver/software. I do know it has to be software/program related… the desktop came with Win 8.1 preloaded and the sound was loud, clear, well eq’d and no scratchy/crackling sound with the Realtek Windows driver and Windows Media player.

Desktop uses Realtek ALC887 8 channel but it shows different in lspci

00:00.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h (Models 10h-1fh) Processor Root Complex00:00.2 IOMMU: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h (Models 10h-1fh) I/O Memory Management Unit
00:01.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Richland [Radeon HD 8370D]
00:01.1 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Trinity HDMI Audio Controller
00:11.0 SATA controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 40)
00:12.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB OHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:12.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB EHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:13.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB OHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:13.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB EHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:14.0 SMBus: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH SMBus Controller (rev 16)
00:14.2 Audio device: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH Azalia Controller (rev 01)
00:14.3 ISA bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH LPC Bridge (rev 11)
00:14.4 PCI bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH PCI Bridge (rev 40)
00:14.5 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB OHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:16.0 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB OHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:16.2 USB controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] FCH USB EHCI Controller (rev 11)
00:18.0 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h (Models 10h-1fh) Processor Function 0
00:18.1 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h (Models 10h-1fh) Processor Function 1
00:18.2 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h (Models 10h-1fh) Processor Function 2
00:18.3 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h (Models 10h-1fh) Processor Function 3
00:18.4 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h (Models 10h-1fh) Processor Function 4
00:18.5 Host bridge: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD] Family 15h (Models 10h-1fh) Processor Function 5

The laptop uses one I’ve never heard of, though Dell has Windows drivers for it that say vendor is either Intel or IDT… There is a Ricoh chip… I’d have to boot it up and see what it shows as.

Perhaps this is too obvious but have you installed the codecs from https://forums.opensuse.org/showthread.php/452884-Multimedia-in-One-Click?

I’ve just found this from https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/PulseAudio/Examples#Surround_sound_systems on pulseaudo surround sound setups:

Many people have a surround sound card, but have speakers for just two channels, so PulseAudio cannot really default to a surround sound setup. To enable all of the channels, edit /etc/pulse/daemon.conf: uncomment the default-sample-channels line (i.e. remove the semicolon from the beginning of the line) and set the value to 6. For a 5.1 setup, or 8 for a 7.1 setup etc.

Default

default-sample-channels=2

For 5.1

default-sample-channels=6

For 7.1

default-sample-channels=8

I don’t have any idea which “proprietary” things I’ve installed… there should be no such thing.

I don’t want surround sound, I just want the lower the output of the 1kHz band and boost the highs and lows to sound like full output instead of sounding cut off and muffled. The reason I have a subwoofer is to be able to hear the bass loud enough that I can **** off the neighbours if I wish. Why does it have to be so complicated to have something just work at high quality??

Sorry I’d got the wrong end of things then. When I tried to look you speakers up, I found a multi speaker setup and had jumped to the conclusion that some of the outputs weren’t, hmm, coming out… And was (not that I’ve used such a system) trying to figure out why that might be.

I really don’t know what the problem is. I’d doubt you’ve got 2 different sound cards Linux is having problems with.

I’ve not encountered that sort of problem with the subs here. (Whether that be a small Logitech Z4 or a bi amped PA system with 2 x 15" subs).

Anyway, I hope someone else can come up with something for you.

I did just check and I do have all the codecs installed. Looks like I have the HDMI disabled, since I don’t have or use it.

Yes these speakers are multi-channel, but can also be set up as just 2.1 stereo. I don’t really know, but there’s 3 cables that connect from sound card output jacks to the back of powered subwoofer. One is green for main left/right channels, the other 2 are black but one is RCA type plug for LFE and the other is 3.5mm for rear left/right. No matter if the cables for rear and LFE are plugged or not there is sound to all speakers. Only if the green plug for “main” is unplugged then there’s no sound. The other 2 seem to not do anything at all.

All volume levels are showing at 100% or above and yet the sound is horrible and often too quiet even with volume dial turned up to max.

For the sake of curiosity I even tried connecting sound to my old vintage Sansui 6060 hi-fi receiver with a pair of Sansui floor speakers with 16" woofers… same result.
For the fact that Linux is open source and constantly being updated to such “great modern” levels by millions of people, I’m quite disappointed in the fact of such low quality results.

I don’t pretend to have a good handle on this, but it might be useful to show the output from the following

pacmd list-sinks

I note that there is a PulseAudio Equalizer GUI available

https://software.opensuse.org/package/pulseaudio-equalizer?search_term=pulseaudio-equalizer

That might be worth a shot! :slight_smile:

For dramatically sound improvement take a look at:
http://www.stereotool.com/

2 sink(s) available.    index: 0
        name: <alsa_output.pci-0000_00_14.2.analog-stereo>
        driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
        flags: HARDWARE HW_MUTE_CTRL HW_VOLUME_CTRL DECIBEL_VOLUME LATENCY FLAT_VOLUME DYNAMIC_LATENCY
        state: SUSPENDED
        suspend cause: IDLE 
        priority: 9959
        volume: front-left: 67101 / 102% / 0.61 dB,   front-right: 67101 / 102% / 0.61 dB
                balance 0.00
        base volume: 65536 / 100% / 0.00 dB
        volume steps: 65537
        muted: no
        current latency: 0.00 ms
        max request: 0 KiB
        max rewind: 0 KiB
        monitor source: 0
        sample spec: s16le 2ch 44100Hz
        channel map: front-left,front-right
                     Stereo
        used by: 0
        linked by: 1
        configured latency: 0.00 ms; range is 0.50 .. 1999.82 ms
        card: 1 <alsa_card.pci-0000_00_14.2>
        module: 7
        properties:
                alsa.resolution_bits = "16"
                device.api = "alsa"
                device.class = "sound"
                alsa.class = "generic"
                alsa.subclass = "generic-mix"
                alsa.name = "ALC887-VD Analog"
                alsa.id = "ALC887-VD Analog"
                alsa.subdevice = "0"
                alsa.subdevice_name = "subdevice #0"
                alsa.device = "0"
                alsa.card = "1"
                alsa.card_name = "HD-Audio Generic"
                alsa.long_card_name = "HD-Audio Generic at 0xfeb40000 irq 16"
                alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
                device.bus_path = "pci-0000:00:14.2"
                sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.2/sound/card1"
                device.bus = "pci"
                device.vendor.id = "1022"
                device.vendor.name = "Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD]"
                device.product.id = "780d"
                device.product.name = "FCH Azalia Controller"
                device.form_factor = "internal"
                device.string = "front:1"
                device.buffering.buffer_size = "352768"
                device.buffering.fragment_size = "176384"
                device.access_mode = "mmap+timer"
                device.profile.name = "analog-stereo"
                device.profile.description = "Analog Stereo"
                device.description = "Built-in Audio Analog Stereo"
                alsa.mixer_name = "Realtek ALC887-VD"
                alsa.components = "HDA:10ec0887,1462d721,00100302"
                module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
                device.icon_name = "audio-card-pci"
        ports:
                analog-output-lineout: Line Out (priority 9900, latency offset 0 usec, available: yes)
                        properties:


                analog-output-headphones: Headphones (priority 9000, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
                        properties:
                                device.icon_name = "audio-headphones"
        active port: <analog-output-lineout>
  * index: 2
        name: <ladspa_output.mbeq_1197.mbeq>
        driver: <module-ladspa-sink.c>
        flags: HW_MUTE_CTRL LATENCY DYNAMIC_LATENCY
        state: SUSPENDED
        suspend cause: IDLE 
        priority: 1000
        volume: front-left: 67101 / 102%,   front-right: 67101 / 102%
                balance 0.00
        base volume: 65536 / 100%
        volume steps: 65537
        muted: no
        current latency: 0.00 ms
        max request: 0 KiB
        max rewind: 0 KiB
        monitor source: 2
        sample spec: float32le 2ch 44100Hz
        channel map: front-left,front-right
                     Stereo
        used by: 0
        linked by: 0
        configured latency: 0.00 ms; range is 0.50 .. 1999.82 ms
        module: 32
        properties:
                device.master_device = "alsa_output.pci-0000_00_14.2.analog-stereo"
                device.class = "filter"
                device.ladspa.module = "mbeq_1197"
                device.ladspa.label = "mbeq"
                device.ladspa.name = "Multiband EQ"
                device.ladspa.maker = "Steve Harris <steve@plugin.org.uk>"
                device.ladspa.copyright = "GPL"
                device.ladspa.unique_id = "1197"
                device.description = "LADSPA Plugin Multiband EQ on Built-in Audio Analog Stereo"
                device.icon_name = "audio-card"

I don’t understand a word of that… already have the Pulseaudio EQ and it doesn’t help a bit… keeps muting the sound every time I change tracks, drives the sound into clipping.
I’m so sick and tired of how everything in life is only good for people who have tons of money. Trying to get help with anything is frowned upon… well then just nevermind, I’m done with people and done with life.

If this is how you generally feel, I suggest you find professional help for yourself first. I will be the last one to frown upon such a decision, knowing that takes courage.
If you posted this out of utter frustration, I suggest you rethink before posting, it’s quite something you drop here on other people’s plates.

No, the whole world needs professional help to stop attacking each other over who’s imaginary friend is real… news flash, NONE of them are real.

I’m frustrated at the fact that something isn’t working like it should and asking for help doesn’t solve the problem. I ask kindly and just get ignored. People don’t take me seriously or respond until I finally get pissed off and speak my mind.

All my life I’ve been taught that if there is something I don’t understand to ask for help. So does that mean I’ve been lied to my whole life? In which case, that means everyone from my parents generation and back are all just liars! Do anything you can to get money out it or else it’s not worth the effort. Destroy the whole world just to make another dollar. But to truly educate someone and help them to understand? No that makes them lazy and ask for hand outs. Well this is why we have such a lousy attitude of things, because we are made to believe that we are worthless and lazy. My generation and future generations have nothing because previous generations *******ed us out of a fair chance!!!

So you just simply assume that I’m a bad person or lazy or whatever the hell, even though I took the effort to look for help. What help did I get, some idiots who ask me about stuff that I had already mentioned about from the start. Guess you all are illiterate from being so brainwashed by that **** bible and your lazy ways of “just ask for forgiveness and all is perfect”.