Is there any build in Equalizer in Ubuntu 18.04 or a third party program that works with this version best?


PulseEffects application has a system-wide equalizer that you can control on a per-application basis. The application also provides various sound effects / enhancements, like limiter, compressor, reverberation, equalizer and auto volume effects.

A tweak is needed for PulseEffects to work correctly in Ubuntu, see here.

Oh, here's a screenshot:

enter image description here

Edit: to install PulseEffects follow the setup Flatpak and Flathub using this quick guide. Then visit the PulseEffects FlatHub page and click install. You can also search for PulseEffects in Ubuntu Software (after setting up Flatpak and Flathub like I mentioned).

  • Question. How do I install this? I don't know where to begin and there doesn't appear to be any clear instructions? Sep 3 '18 at 1:01
  • @PaulBenson I updated my answer to include installation instructions.
    – Logix
    Sep 4 '18 at 9:00
  • Thnx. But I have a zip file that was downloaded from Github, (used the download button there). But there is nothing to tell me how to install from that - eg there is no install file and no read-me instructions included, so I'm still none the wiser. Sep 4 '18 at 16:11
  • @PaulBenson use the Flatpak like I mentioned, not the zip. The zip needs building from source and that's quite complicated.
    – Logix
    Sep 10 '18 at 11:19
  • 1
    No, I didn't. I installed using the ppa:mikhailnov repo and it worked fine then. Some months ago I also did the the same on Linux Mint and again it worked OK. I will uninstall it over the next 24 hours then re-install to see if I get this segmentation error that some have mentioned. Aug 17 '20 at 17:05

This is a follow-up (and maybe a bit of a rant) for fans of PulseAudio-Equalizer (PAE) and PulseEffects (PE). As most users have found out by now with Ubuntu 18.04, PAE is no longer supported, having been available for years. For audio fans like myself, this was a very annoying setback as I found the use of PAE noticeably enhanced the sound in Ubuntu giving a really pleasant listening experience. But so far nobody seems to have come up with a workable means of installing PAE with 18.04. However thanks to the info from user Logix we now have PE, so the loss of PAE doesn't seem that important any longer.


PE has a lot more bells and whistles than PAE although I have little idea what most of them do. I have no instructions or manual that guide me or explain what the various applications within mean. Except we do have an equalizer, the main reason why I installed PE. And that one works in a very similar way to PAE, where you can set your own frequencies or presets and name-save them. I see you can even import them from a file of presets which I saved from PAE, but haven't tried this out yet.

As for downloading and installing PE, until recently this was a real PITA. There is Github, but as so often is the case with them, no instructions on how to install that I've come across. So unless you have a degree in Computer Science, good luck with that. There's also a Tarball, but having never been able to install anything successfully in Ubuntu from one of those, I now leave well alone. Tarballs seem a waste of time IMO. There's also Flatpak, which I always thought was packaged furniture waiting to be assembled, which I'm familiar with. But my failures with Github and tarballs put me off trying yet another method of installing computer packages.

Then Eureka! Finally, I discovered there's a repository and the more conventional Debian method of installing packages and which nearly always works out of the box, so here are the commands for PE.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mikhailnov/pulseeffects -y
sudo apt update
sudo apt install pulseeffects

With the apt install command I've seen a suggestion to use these 2 commands together:

sudo apt install pulseeffects pulseaudio --install-recommends, but found the 2nd one unnecessary as 18.04 already comes packaged with PulseAudio.

By the way if anyone can tell me how to install PE from Github, just as a learning exercise I'd be curious to know.

  • 3
    I get a segmentation fault when I try to run it : failed to load module-null-sink with argument: sink_name=PulseEffects_mic
    – daw
    Dec 8 '19 at 13:06
  • 1
    Same here on 18.04: (pulseeffects:26966): pulseeffects-CRITICAL **: 18:33:06.052: pulse_manager: failed to load module-null-sink with argument: sink_name=PulseEffects_mic sink_properties=device.description="PulseEffects(mic)"device.class="sound" channels=2 rate=44100 Speicherzugriffsfehler (Speicherabzug geschrieben)
    – MadMike
    Feb 16 '20 at 17:34
  • E: The repository 'http://ppa.launchpad.net/paolorotolo/droidcam/ubuntu bionic Release' does not have a Release file.
    – Karlom
    Jul 19 '20 at 7:10

Pulse effects didn't work in my case. And the new pulseaudio-equalizer (that is called qpaeq in 18.04) has a horrible latency. I spent weeks trying to find the solution, and it looks like there is another option to install pulseaudio-equalizer. Just download the version for 16.04 from here:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-equalizer

Open "pulseaudio-equalizer/usr" folder inside the archive and extract the contents into /usr/. After that, you probably need to install the following packages:

sudo apt-get install swh-plugins ladspa-sdk python-gtk2 python-glade2 python-gobject python-gnome2

When everything is done, you can launch and use it with:

  • Thanks. Is it possible autostart this equalizer with a desired configuration? Aug 17 '18 at 20:13
  • 1
    There is "Keep settings" option: prntscr.com/kjy33v If that doesn't help, you need to find default sink settings file in ~/.config/pulse For example, 2da220061f824ad198fafb706eecc57a-default-sink And save this string there: ladspa_output.mbeq_1197.mbeq
    – gearcoded
    Aug 17 '18 at 21:42
  • You bastard this completely broke my computer
    – raaj
    Jun 13 '21 at 0:14

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