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I have a Toshiba r835 running Lubuntu 11.10. Turning the volume slider up all the way doesn't give very loud sound. I've tried typing alsamixer in a terminal and turning up all the levels there to maximum, but the speakers are still fairly quiet. Is there a simple way to increase maximum volume in software?

I understand that there are physical limits to the sound the laptop's speakers can produce, but I suspect my maximum volume is limited by software.


This is exactly the type of solution I'm looking for. However, it doesn't work for me. What I did:

sudo pico /etc/asound.conf

This file does not exist, so I create a new one, containing:

pcm.!default {
      type plug
      slave.pcm "softvol"

  pcm.softvol {
      type softvol
      slave {
          pcm "dmix"
      control {
          name "Pre-Amp"
          card 0
      min_dB -5.0
      max_dB 20.0
      resolution 6

I reboot the machine, and type alsamixer. I use my left/right arrow keys to inspect the various volume options. I expect to see a new option, called Pre-Amp, but I don't see one. This fix seems to work for other people. Why doesn't this fix work for me?

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Most of the applications have a volume control as well as alasmixer. – bodhi.zazen Feb 28 '12 at 6:51
I think it is unnecessary to reboot after changing configuration. Just run sudo alsa force-reload, instead. – jarno Dec 22 '13 at 19:46

You could try using PulseAudio. Simply install pavucontrol package and then play with volume levels through the settings menu of the regular volume control in the panel.

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I am not sure it answers your question, however, when the sound on my laptop is not loud enough I generally go into the sound properties (there is a speaker icon on the upper right corner) and slides the pre-amplification to a higher value (over 100%). It can be convenient but it remains pre-amp (as VLC does for example) so depending on the situation in can deteriorates the sound.

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Quick Volume Changes PageUp increases volume by 5.

PageDown decreases volume by 5.

End sets volume to 0.

You can also control left & right levels for the current channel independently, as follows:

   [Q | W | E ]  -- turn UP [ left | both | right ]

   [Z | X | C ] -- turn DOWN [ left | both | right ]

If the currently selected mixer channel is not a stereo channel, then all UP keys will work like W, and all DOWN keys will work like X.

The number keys from 0 to 9 are to change the absolute volume quickly. They correspond to 0 to 90% volume.

for more information open terminal:

man alsamixer
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I may be misinterpreting your answer, but I think you're telling me to use alsamixer to control my volume? I have already tried setting all volume levels to maximum with alsamixer. – Andrew Mar 3 '12 at 22:50

a good way to increase volume is through vlc

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Can you edit this answer to provide more information about how to do this, why you believe this is a particularly good way, how high VLC will let you increase the volume, and/or under what circumstances (if any) the increase applies to applications running outside of (or after) VLC? – Eliah Kagan Sep 8 '12 at 7:10
increasing the volume only works in vlc, and is therefor only good for files that you have and work for vlc. So this wont work for sound in general in Ubuntu. – Alvar Jul 30 '13 at 9:52

Try looking in the man pages in Terminal. Open Terminal from the Dash or Menu, It can most of the time be found under 'Accessories'. Type in 'man alsamixer'. You could also open the Help application, if it exists.

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Instead asking the user to look into the man page, make the man page come to us! Also, he's asking how to make his speaker louder, not where he can find the manual... – Braiam Sep 16 '13 at 3:00

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