I've tried a lot of things I can find, but nothing helps.

Problem in Ubuntu 14.04:

Audio plays fine through HDMI, but not through s/pdif. When I unlock and raise the left front or right front volume, the audio comes in noticeably louder in the speaker that I raise, but when both are set at the same volume level, I can only hear it if I bring the speaker close to my ear, no matter how high I set the volume -- it almost sounds muffled.

What's really strange is some YouTube videos come through loud and clear and some just like I described the problem. Seems like it depends on the bit-rate or codec the audio stream is encoded in.

I have everything unmuted in alsamixer and raised all the way up and High Definition Audio Controller is set to off. The digital/optical cable is going from computer's headphone jack to my receiver.

How should I proceed?

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