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I have DOLBY speakers on Lenovo z50. I dont have any real problem with my laptop speaker, there is difference in sound quality on same hardware but differnt OS - windows 8 and Ubuntu. sound quality is good on Ubuntu but it is great with all minute details on Windows 8, is there anything we can do about it?

the difference is:

  1. sound is more louder on Windows 8
  2. background sound is more clear and loud with all minute details playing on Windows 8

Is it because Windows have better driver support?

Update:
Laptop Model: Lenovo Z50 59-429623
Speakers: Integrated stereo speakers with Dolby® Home Theater

lspci
00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 0b)
00:03.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Haswell-ULT HD Audio Controller (rev 0b)
00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP USB xHCI HC (rev 04)
00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP HECI #0 (rev 04)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP HD Audio Controller (rev 04)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev e4)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP PCI Express Root Port 4 (rev e4)
00:1c.4 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP PCI Express Root Port 5 (rev e4)
00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP USB EHCI #1 (rev 04)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP LPC Controller (rev 04)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP SATA Controller 1 [AHCI mode] (rev 04)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation Lynx Point-LP SMBus Controller (rev 04)
01:00.0 Ethernet controller: Realtek Semiconductor Co., Ltd. RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller (rev 10)
02:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros QCA9565 / AR9565 Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)
03:00.0 3D controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF117M [GeForce 610M/710M/820M / GT 620M/625M/630M/720M] (rev a1)

lsusb
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:8000 Intel Corp. 
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 002 Device 006: ID 0cf3:3004 Atheros Communications, Inc. 
Bus 002 Device 004: ID 5986:055e Acer, Inc 
Bus 002 Device 003: ID 0bda:0129 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. RTS5129 Card Reader Controller
Bus 002 Device 002: ID 046d:c05a Logitech, Inc. M90/M100 Optical Mouse
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
5
  • 1
    Do you mind saying what differences do you find on both audio samples? Including things like harmonic distortion perceived, loudness, brightness, mid ranges and other useful things which includes both your sound card details and speakers brand name and model. Additionally please remember that under certain conditions, MS Based Systems uses a sound manager which includes live real time EQ, compression, maximizer, and a few other DSP plugins in order to improve the sound quality whose behaviour can be easily added to the Ubuntu's sound manager but, we need more details. Thank you and Good luck! Mar 17, 2015 at 2:13
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    i dont know the commands to show you the speaker details :/
    – Alex Jones
    Mar 17, 2015 at 2:16
  • lspci will deliver the details of the majority of the internal devices, lsusb will deliver the details of those internal devices recognized as a usb element. For what is about the speaker details you will be in need to check with the exact model of your Lenovo, service tag and serial number will be useful to find that information on the net. Please edit your question in order to add the results of both lspci and lsusb. Mar 17, 2015 at 2:46
  • 1
    @GeppettvsD'Constanzo updated
    – Alex Jones
    Mar 18, 2015 at 11:12
  • I see your comment and raise the bet to... Ups! I mean... I dropped an answer for you. Hope this help. :D Good luck! Mar 19, 2015 at 1:39

3 Answers 3

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I would suggest you to try Direct Sound Processing (DSP) your audio output by using the next pieces of software:

Pulse Audio Volume Control (pavucontrol)

Install it via terminal by simply writing sudo apt-get install pavucontrol, provide your using password and allow the software to get installed, after which you can invoke it by typing pavucontrol & and hit Enter only one time.

Note: The & in the command is used for running the software and leaving the terminal available for other commands. See this: how to run more then one process through terminal

The software will allow to override the volume limit and increase it over 100% as seen in this picture of my pavucontrol in action in which I am topping the volume up to 153%

WARNING: Setting louder volume levels may harm your equipment and/or your health.

enter image description here

Additionally you can enrich your sound experience by using the

Pulse Audio Equalizer (GTK)

Which provides you with a full 15 Bar Equalizer with customizable Sound Presets in which you can manipulate your sound quality. After applying the equalizer configuration you can simply close the EQ in order to continue enjoying the sound quality.

enter image description here

You'll need to add a repository in order to install the EQ by simply writting the next commands in a terminal:

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

Credits to @Orion in the next answer: https://askubuntu.com/a/395553/9598

When installed you can open it via Terminal by using this command pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk &

WARNING: Distortion may occur if you aren't familiar to these controls, that's why YOU SHOULD NEVER EVER use headphones nor high audio levels when manipulating a DSP EQ or any other DSP Plugin.

Remember you can open your favorite software from a Terminal or via whatever you prefer to open your software with, like Unity, Synapse, Dock, etc.

Give this a try and please inform if you feel better with the sound quality after playing with these controls. Oh! Yes, I almost forget to say this is the Professional way to handle audio. Unfortunately most people is used to other Systems in which these settings seems to be automatic for "user comfortability" which in certain cases (like me) doesn't satisfy my needs for audio pleasure.

The obligated question is: Why so? Why on Ubuntu seems to be a lot different? Ok that's a question for Canonical as I see but in my humble opinion, the audio settings seems to follow the rules of providing good sound quality without harming anybody's hears by getting the top level to the 100% but allowing you to manually set a level over that top by DSP'ing your audio.

If you wish to get more toys for audio manipulation you may wish to give a try to Ubuntu Studio in which you can also try Jack Plugins and other components to professionally manipulate your incoming/outgoing audio.

If you need further assistance don't hesitate to drop a comment, open a new question over here or reach the Ubuntu Studio's Community Forums.

Good luck!

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it seems to be a problem with the driver implementation on the linux side. when I use HD sound, e.g. 96KHz/24Bit the output is flawed. it sounds like some kind of simple downsampling so higher frequencies show up in lower bands. normal music is not that clear effected. but test sweeps of the full range to 20.000Hz are. an external sound blaster THX certified usb card plays flawlessly. and sounds much better. so if there is not a cheaper version of lynx point HD sound built into my toshiba satellite S50, there is a problem with the linux driver implementation.

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  • The linux driver interpretation has to try and work with everything possible, it can't really rely on manufacturer supported drivers as most manufacturer's can't be asked.... Do you have a answer to the question?
    – Wilf
    Nov 18, 2015 at 21:06
  • @Wilf exactly, one driver for all devices. Plus manufacturers don't care to contribute to drivers for Linux
    – Alex Jones
    Nov 19, 2015 at 5:23
0

It turns out Lenovo ( or the Dolby Digital speaker manufacturers) has provided good drivers for Windows, on the other hand Linux uses one generic driver for all speakers which cannot give great sound as Windows does.

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  • 1
    Lenovo is very unfriendly to Linux. I love Linux and I bought a Lenovo IdeaPad Y700 and installed Linux on it. It never had Windows on it(only freeDOS), so I didn't know the difference. I thought it was OK. However, I needed Windows to run some apps and noticed one some differences. 1) The sound is much, much, much cleaner and more pleasing on Windows than on Linux(and I completely suspect drivers) 2) Windows didn't have any WiFi driver built in, so I had to plug in LAN wire to install it(doh!) 3) Unity desktop feels kinda buggy, but, um... Windows - it's much worse. Linux is way better!;) Apr 5, 2017 at 19:25
  • are you related to Linus Torvalds?
    – carkod
    Aug 8, 2020 at 10:17
  • @carkod I am not.
    – Alex Jones
    Aug 10, 2020 at 6:52

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