Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Ubuntu Amazing Sound With Mediocre Headphones

I have a pair of Koss UR40 Titanium headphones. I like them because they are fairly portable super light-weight open-air and completely cover my ears which means I can wear them an entire day without them hurting or getting too warm. They cost about $40 and have a lifetime warranty. And, they have a frequency response rating of 15hz-20,000khz. Since they are cheap, the mid-range frequencies are much more pronounced which means that super high and super low frequencies (guitar plucks, cymbals, bass guitar and the bass drum) are lost under a flat equalizer (what your computer normally puts out). But since they have that nice frequency response, we can make them sound acceptable with what's called the smiley face curve equalizer.  This will be the case with most headphones that cost under $150. So, here's how I made the problem a little better:

$ deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/nilarimogard/webupd8/ubuntu precise main
$ deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/nilarimogard/webupd8/ubuntu precise main
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-equalizer 


Now, run pulseaudio-equalizer and set it up like this.  Make sure that nothing goes too far over 1.0 because it will cause saturation noise (it'll sound like crunchiness):

If you want to see what a difference it makes, play your favorite song and check/uncheck "EQ Enabled" to see what it originally sounded like and what it sounds like now.  You'll notice a HUGE difference.

1 comment:

  1. In more recent versions of Ubuntu, the first two steps are combined to just:

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8

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