What I am looking for is to have system wide implementation of sound enhancements like bass boosts, echoes, Fidelity, Stereo enhancement and so on.

Audio Video players have their own equalizer but they enhance only the audio / video files they are playing.

So to enhance sounds playing such as: YouTube, Spotify, System Sound, etc. I need a enhancer software. Back in Windows, I used to use SRS HD audio lab to do the same.

P.S. I have a horrible Speaker set.


9 Answers 9


PulseAudio Equalizer is the way to go.

Here’s a blog post about it: http://www.webupd8.org/2013/10/system-wide-pulseaudio-equalizer.html

Since pulseaudio-equalizer is part of Ubuntu 17.04, you can simply enable the universe repository and then issue the installation command:

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-equalizer

For older releases, add the PPA first:

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

After PulseAudio Equalizer is installed, you can launch its GUI with the applications qpaeq or pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk.

PulseAudio Multiband EQ window

  • 3
    This is what i wanted. Sadly i see they have discontinued it.I was hoping to see this expanded and integrated to ubuntu
    – user15873
    Commented Oct 27, 2011 at 7:10
  • 5
    I did this and it had too many quarks with too little improvement to sound quality. Unfortunately, when I removed it via CLI I also did the recommended "autoremove". Now, after a restart, I have no sound menu indicator and don't know how to get it back. I would use this the pulse-audio eq with caution.
    – jwdinkc
    Commented Oct 31, 2012 at 18:15
  • 2
    See webupd8.org/2013/03/… for the latest way of installing a system-wide equalizer.
    – Mark
    Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 21:37
  • 5
    I really hate seeing webupd8 and untrusted repositories being suggested as an answer to an Ubuntu issue :\
    – earthmeLon
    Commented Jul 22, 2013 at 3:56
  • 1
    Confirmed that this works on 14.10 Utopic Unicorn. Commented Apr 15, 2015 at 0:59

Psyke83's on the Ubuntu Forums wrote a 'script' to do this for PulseAudio.

Ubuntu 10.10:

Currently the easiest method is to install from a deb created by WebUp8.

Ubuntu 10.04 and below:

There is a PPA containing the equalizer:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:psyke83/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-equalizer

alt text

  • does is work good for 13.10?
    – 842Mono
    Commented Nov 27, 2013 at 21:48
  • Nope does not work for 13.10, but webupd8 solution accepted here works
    – Benoit
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 12:19

This list is roughly sorted from simple to professional and of course far from being complete.



Alsaequal is an equalizer plugin for the (usually preinstalled) command-line audio mixer alsamixer as well as amixer.


sudo apt install libasound2-plugin-equal 


alsamixer -D equal
amixer -D equal

To change to the equalizer in the running program, press F6, choose enter device name... and enter “equal”.


You can find configuration tipps on wiki.archlinux.org, e. g. how to save and load custom presets.

PulseAudio Equalizer

PulseAudio Equalizer


Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty and 16.04 Xenial

Follow these instructions on webupd8.org.

Ubuntu 18.04 and later

sudo apt install pulseaudio-equalizer



If you encounter an error and are told to make sure you have the pulseaudio dbus module loaded follow the instructions in this answer.




sudo apt install jackeq


JackEQ needs a configured and running JACK Audio Connection Kit, a howto is provided by this article on libremusicproduction.com.



JAMin is the JACK Audio Connection Kit (JACK) Audio Mastering interface (…) designed to perform professional audio mastering of stereo input streams. source


sudo apt install jamin


JAMin needs a configured and running JACK, a howto is provided by this article on libremusicproduction.com.

JACK Rack with LADSPA effects


JACK Rack is a sound studio rack where you can store and combine LADSPA effect plugins. A collection of plugins is contained in the ubuntustudio-audio-plugins package. More on ladspa.org.


sudo apt install jack-rack


JACK Rack needs a configured and running JACK, a howto is provided by this article on libremusicproduction.com.

Advanced audio software – normally using the JACK Audio Connection Kit – of course also comes with equalizing features. As I feel like this goes beyond the scope of this question, here's just a short list with links.

Further information about audio software can be found on the German Ubuntu wiki wiki.ubuntuusers.de.


I was looking for a graphical eq package for Ubuntu 12.04 and found this post. Thanks a lot for this!

Unfortunately the link provided for WebUp8's deb is no longer valid, but there's this one that I found hosted on UbuntuUpdates.org and works perfectly.

I found that the easiest way of installing it is via the deb package. Installs right away w/o hassle. And this little thingy works, eh? Even stays permanently after a reboot! System-wide all the way**.

**Actually, I realized why: the eq application is just a frontend for adjusting the DSP's eq settings in PulseAudio; so mainly it's PulseAudio (ALSA?) retaining the settings - the eq interface is just there to allow accessibility to these settings. (I'm a total Ubuntu noob, hope this makes sense)

Too bad it's no longer supported, I wonder why not. But works on Precise alright.

  • Confirming that this one worked out of the box on Precise, while the accepated answer one 'failed to initialize the PA modules'.
    – alexei
    Commented Dec 27, 2013 at 0:03

If you use Ubuntu >= 18.04 you can try Pulse Effects.


EasyEffects (formerly known as PulseEffects) if the future of equalisation in 2021.

From official documentation, install it with sudo apt install pulseeffects

Or, if you want the latest version install the community packages:

echo "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/mikhailnov/pulseeffects/ubuntu bionic main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mikhailnov-ubuntu-pulseeffects-bionic.list
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys FE3AE55CF74041EAA3F0AD10D5B19A73A8ECB754 
echo -e "Package: * \nPin: release o=LP-PPA-mikhailnov-pulseeffects \nPin-Priority: 1" | sudo tee /etc/apt/preferences.d/mikhailnov-ubuntu-pulseeffects-ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install pulseeffects
  1. Open it, select the speaker Icon in the top-left.

  2. Click onto Applications, this is where you enable the PulseEffects modification for the sound made by specific applications. Flick the switch on the application you want to modify.

  3. On the left, are your options, for an equalizer Tick Equalizer and open its menu for the controls.

PulseEffects Equalizer image

There are many other options which may also be useful, as well as manipulation for input sound as well.


I've recently described it here: Global_equalizer_for_ALSA

  • 9
    Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference, thanks!
    – jrg
    Commented Feb 17, 2012 at 1:07

You can install PulseAudio with system-wide equalizer support. This is basically an update to the old PulseAudio System-Wide Equalizer. There are more details in this blog post.

  • 1
    "this blog post" says what? Remember, this is a database; it is not Google. It does not store the contents of outside links.
    – SDsolar
    Commented Aug 9, 2017 at 2:40

If you want to enhance the sound quality itself you can take a look at https://web.archive.org/web/20190208002329/https://r3dux.org/2013/12/how-to-enable-high-quality-audio-in-linux/.

For convenience I'll summarise it here.

Edit /etc/pulse/daemon.conf and look for the following three lines. They may not be in the same place and they may be commented out.

; resample-method = speex-float-1
; default-sample-format = s16le
; default-sample-rate = 44100

Uncomment and update them to the following

resample-method = src-sink-medium-quality
default-sample-format = s24le
default-sample-rate = 96000

Finally restart pulseaudio (and possibly your music player(s))

pulseaudio -k
pulseaudio --start

For the resample-method you can also try src-sink-best-quality but that uses around twice the CPU time on my machine, with little noticeable difference to the medium setting.

On my machine (Intel Core i5-3210M 2.5GHz 3MB cache) pulseaudio hits around 50% when using the src-sink-best-quality resampling method and around 20% on src-sink-medium-quality while playing FLAC audio.

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