Terrible Sound Quality on Manjaro KDE (ASUS N551JW)

Hello guys,

I'm new to Manjaro and I'm having some trouble with my speakers.

Some high frequency sounds in songs at high volume vibrates (sort of) my notebook and it causes terrible noise.

Although I have improved the quality a bit with Pulseaudio configurations but this problem still remains.

My notebook is ASUS N551JW. There was a subwoofer with it but I was using it occasionally when my primary OS was Windows 10. Manjaro doesn't recognize that subwoofer. The sound quality was pretty good when using Windows 10.

Has anyone run into the same problem? Thanks.

I shared this issue also in reddit. Here is the link:

System Info:

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the default audio settings dont really sound that great, a simple and really good EQ makes a big difference. pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa has a bunch of presets, there are other more complex ones but im never able to match the sound i get with the ladspa eq.

for your 2.1 speaker setup (2 speakers and a tiny sub) to work, open pavucontrol go to the configuration tab and select "2.1 analog stereo" (something like that)

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Thanks for your reply.
Tweaking settings with pulseaudio-equalizer-ladspa just makes sound even worse.

does this happen with other distro's/DE's/windoze?


nice hint, it worked for my laptop's crappy speakers. I tried playing some stuff on youtube and found the better option for my setup is the Perfect EQ setting. The other bass and treble options make it either too tinny or blown out with distortion. I'll still use headphones (I have BOSE QC25 so may try the QC35 profile and see if there's any difference) for some stuff but being able to hear the odd video now and again and system sounds better will be nice.

@erbilcan - compared to windows my laptop also suffers a lack of amplification and range. reason being they are configured to work with windows specific drivers which are tuned to them and provide the level of sound and range the speakers can handle. with linux you won't get that profile information so it's a case of experimenting and getting the best you can with the tools available out of what you have.

i use a great set of earbuds and i usually stick to "rock" or the bose qc presets. turning off the EQ makes me wonder how i ever used them without it. no depth of sound whatsoever.

i very rarely use my laptop speakers because, well.... they are laptop speakers and they never sounded great in the first place, mine are actually decent as far as laptop speakers go but thats not exactly a high mark to reach.

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I had an hp compaq nx9105 notebook for about 13 years with forward firing JBL speakers in the base. I kept that for as long as possible until some cooling components that failed for it were no longer obtainable and what I had in stock did not fit. It had a very comfortable layout and keyboard. The screen was good and the speakers were exceptional.

The way compal (not a typo) designed the heatpipe assembly for the CPU and GPU meant the two fans were specifically made for it, one of which ran clockwise, the other smaller one counter-clockwise. I've not come across laptops designed like that internally since fortunately. I get parts at trade prices since my business services a lot of laptops, otherwise it would have been recycled far sooner.

It was a chunky notebook so there was enough room for proper speaker drivers, not these paper ones used nowadays and therefore had near desktop speaker sound quality regardless of operating system or sound output method.



yup, theres not much room in newer laptops to fit proper speakers, a bluetooth speaker is an easy workaround for this but i will always prefer headphones or earbuds because of the quality of sound being much much better without having to disturb the whole neighborhood. i think they had enough of me anyhow back when i had 3 12" eclipse titanium subwoofers in my car :face_with_symbols_over_mouth::angry::hear_no_evil:

I have JBL speakers on my Lenovo Y580 but I experience same poor sound as OP.

13+ years ago, there was no need for software optimised sound output because laptops were big enough to fit proper speaker components. laptops are simply getting too thin and chassis are stripped back as much as possible to be the lightest and thinnest possible to please people who buy for what a laptop looks like more than what it will do. the same thing happened with the televisions people predominantly want wall mounted now so manufacturers started selling ridiculously expensive sound bars to go with them.

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