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I have a problem with my sound on my Dell XPS 15. First, when I had Windows 7, my sound was pretty good (I have a JBL 2.1 speaker system with Waves Maxx audio), but since I installed Ubuntu 12.04 it sounded very cheap and as if I put my laptop in a tin can. I've already tried installing alsa-hda-dkms from the alsa-daily ppa (http://ppa.launchpad.net/ubuntu-audio-dev/alsa-daily)

This is my audio controller:

laura@laura-XPS-L502X:~$ lspci -v | grep -A7 -i audio
    00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 6 Series/C200 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 05)
    Subsystem: Dell Device 04b6
    Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 51
    Memory at f1c00000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=16K]
    Capabilities: <access denied>
    Kernel driver in use: snd_hda_intel
    Kernel modules: snd-hda-intel

I hope you can help me, and you can always ask me for more information.

Result of aplay -l:

    **** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
    card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC665 Analog [ALC665 Analog]
    Subdevices: 0/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 1: ALC665 Digital [ALC665 Digital]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
    card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
    Subdevices: 1/1
    Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

Result of aplay -L:

default
Playback/recording through the PulseAudio sound server
sysdefault:CARD=PCH
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
Default Audio Device
front:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
Front speakers
surround40:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers
surround41:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
4.1 Surround output to Front, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround50:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
5.0 Surround output to Front, Center and Rear speakers
surround51:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
5.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Rear and Subwoofer speakers
surround71:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
7.1 Surround output to Front, Center, Side, Rear and Woofer speakers
iec958:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Digital
IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output
hdmi:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, HDMI 0
HDMI Audio Output
dmix:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
Direct sample mixing device
dmix:CARD=PCH,DEV=1
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Digital
Direct sample mixing device
dmix:CARD=PCH,DEV=3
HDA Intel PCH, HDMI 0
Direct sample mixing device
dsnoop:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
Direct sample snooping device
dsnoop:CARD=PCH,DEV=1
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Digital
Direct sample snooping device
dsnoop:CARD=PCH,DEV=3
HDA Intel PCH, HDMI 0
Direct sample snooping device
hw:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
Direct hardware device without any conversions
hw:CARD=PCH,DEV=1
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Digital
Direct hardware device without any conversions
hw:CARD=PCH,DEV=3
HDA Intel PCH, HDMI 0
Direct hardware device without any conversions
plughw:CARD=PCH,DEV=0
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Analog
Hardware device with all software conversions
plughw:CARD=PCH,DEV=1
HDA Intel PCH, ALC665 Digital
Hardware device with all software conversions
plughw:CARD=PCH,DEV=3
HDA Intel PCH, HDMI 0
Hardware device with all software conversions
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You told that you have tried installing alsa-hda-dkms. What is the result? –  Anwar Shah Jun 22 '12 at 2:28
    
Not sure whether these comments will help but here goes:- I have Ub 12.10 64 bit installed on an ASUS M5A78L-M USB3 board with AMD3+ processor. The sound quality jumps from great to truly nasty with a kid of "ripping" sound of echoes and aliasing, in Skype, CD playback and .mp3 and .wav file playback. My feeling is that it's not specific to the applications software or the device, but has to do with the PulseAudio setup or sound drivers. One feature of this problem is that opening another application, like OpenOffice or even the PulseAudio control itself can provoke a jump either way, from –  user97868 Oct 15 '12 at 17:34
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2 Answers

I'm new to this, so you might have to bear with me. I want to try to help, though, as I am using the exact same computer (Dell XPS L502x) and installed Ubuntu 12.04 LTS last week. I miss the Waves MaxxAudio program, but I don't feel like I'm experiencing loss in audio quality with Ubuntu.

lspci -v | grep -A7 -i audio gives me the same output as you, except Subsystem: Dell Device 050e. I'm assuming one of us just has a sound device with minor differences, and I don't think this is related to your problem.

Have you looked at the information found at this link, specifically question 5? Piping the find command to wc -l gives me 220 results, what does yours return? Since the device is detected with lspci I'm not sure if this is the issue, but worth a check.

Can you paste (paste.ubuntu.com) the output of aplay -l and aplay -L?

Also, in Synaptic Package Manager, make sure you have libportaudio2, libaudio, libasound2, and libsndfile1 installed. If it's a particular type of file that you're playing make sure the proper codecs are installed.

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If you solved this issue yourself could you please post the solution? A lot of people have this kind of laptop, we need to document well! –  Jacob Ensor May 11 '12 at 19:06
    
Whom you are asking this question?. I far as I know, no one will hear your question if you comment below your own answer where there is no comment before you –  Anwar Shah Jun 21 '12 at 1:24
    
The find command gives 'No such file or directory'... Am I doing something wrong? –  lauramolenaar Jun 21 '12 at 21:16
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That is becuase Waves MaxxAudio is causing your device to sound awesome in Windows. It is an audio processing suite, each and every Dell machine was tuned by audio engineers to sound as good as possible. MaxxAudio is not supported in Linux, so when you are listening to your internal speakers in Unbuntu, that is how they REALLY sounds like.

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