I am running Ubuntu 10.10 on an Acer Aspire 6390G. With its 5.1 embedded sound system, this laptop is good at playing music using in-built speakers. The soundcard is an HDA-Intel ALC888.

When I use Rhythmbox (version 0.13.1) (or Totem) (and the in-built speakers), the sound is deep, warm, great. But with Banshee (version 1.8.0.), it is always crispy and basically of poor quality when the Banshee equalizer is disabled. I know that it is possible to fine tune Banshee sound using the equalizer, but after some time spent trying to properly adjust it without success, I decided to ask this question on askubuntu.com.

Is there a way to get the same sound quality in Banshee as in Rhythmbox (or Totem) or keeping on adjusting Banshee equalizer is the only alternative to try to solve this problem ? (If the answer is the latter, is there anyone who would be kind enough to provide me his equalizer settings ?)

Thanks all for your answers.

  • 1
    Have you tried totally disabling the eq? Both players use gstreamer, it's odd that they would have any kind of difference in sound quality. Feb 8, 2011 at 17:37
  • I disabled the equalizer in Banshee when I had noticed this behaviour. Yesterday I made a test on the same song and with both Rhythmbox and Totem (which also uses gstreamer, if I'm right), the sound from the speakers was exactly the same (as far as my ears could judge) while the sound was flat, without relief and deep-bass with Banshee.(The pulse audio volume control was set-up at 80% for all the three programs when I made this test) Could it be due to the fact that I play a stereo stream using 5 channels ?
    – Alkalyzer
    Feb 10, 2011 at 8:46
  • I'm not sure, maybe try it with 2 speakers and see how that sounds to at least rule that out? Feb 10, 2011 at 13:45
  • I am not able to try to see if the problem was due to the 5.1 speakers output because I managed to solve this issue and can't reproduce this behaviour any longer (see my answer below).
    – Alkalyzer
    Feb 24, 2011 at 0:00

2 Answers 2


It happens that I was able to fix somehow this problem.

I ran gstreamer-properties and noticed that the default output plugin was set on "autodetect". I looked at the available plugins and closed the gstreamer-properties windows while "autodetect" was still chosen as the default output plugin. When I ran Banshee, the sound was then identical to the one produced by either Rhythmbox or Totem.

In order to try to reproduce and understand the previous problem, I successively chose, as default output plugins, ALSA, ESD and PulseAudio Sound Server. In all cases, the sound between the three applications was strictly identical.

Calling gstreamer-properties seems to have fix this problem.


I always install the pulse audio volume control its official name is "pavucontrol", available in the software centre. With banshee playing adjust the playback volume. I find 80% improves the sound as it appears banshee and other players, always set their outputs at 100% and this distorts on my laptop.

  • This is a useful tip, but using 80% playback volume doesn't make Banshee to sound as clear and deep as Rhythmbox on my computer.
    – Alkalyzer
    Feb 6, 2011 at 18:53

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