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#1 2012-12-29 14:16:13

totte
Member
Registered: 2011-08-22
Posts: 58

[SOLVED] How can I improve the sound output of bulk laptops?

I only get Dell laptops for work and the onboard soundcards are bloody awful. If I scroll down a web page a high-pitched screeching/whistling noise occurs, akin to that of a transformer or lights dimmer - very unpleasant. Since I like listening to music while I work I'm looking for something such as an external sound card to alleviate this issue - or hints on what else could be done. I've got a music collection mostly consisting of FLAC and MP3 files which I play in MPD, the alsaequal plugin to get an equalizer (system-wide, I believe) and finally a pair of Sennheiser HD 280 Pro head phones with 3,5 and 6,3 mm plugs.

Would a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD USB do the trick? I recall that manufacturer got a lot of flak previously due to incompatibility with Linux... I can't pry apart the machine, obviously, so it's got to be something that would work on a majority of low-end bulk-ordered laptops without voiding any warranties or the like.

Edit: Marking as solved, using an external soundcard works.

Last edited by totte (2016-02-29 19:33:07)

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#2 2012-12-29 14:20:15

Trilby
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From: Massachusetts, USA
Registered: 2011-11-29
Posts: 13,804
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Re: [SOLVED] How can I improve the sound output of bulk laptops?

I've never been able to notice the sound quality difference perceived by audiophiles between good but affordable hardware and the ridiculously priced stuff on the market - so I go with cheap quality.

I have a usb external 7.1 soundcard that works wonderfully (good sound quality and works OOB with alsa) for $20.  I think Vantec was the brand.

But more to the point:  The alsa wiki has a list of cards and reports of their support on linux.

Edit: to add link.

Last edited by Trilby (2012-12-29 14:24:02)


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#3 2012-12-29 15:01:25

brebs
Member
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,425

Re: [SOLVED] How can I improve the sound output of bulk laptops?

totte wrote:

If I scroll down a web page a high-pitched screeching/whistling noise occurs

Probably interference from the CPU's power-saving. Try e.g.:

processor.max_cstate=2

In grub's boot commandline (as shown by:  cat /proc/cmdline)

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#4 2012-12-29 15:28:07

vacant
Member
From: downstairs
Registered: 2004-11-05
Posts: 801

Re: [SOLVED] How can I improve the sound output of bulk laptops?

Like Trilby I have a 7.1 USB sound card

C-media chipset, works fine with Arch

http://www.ebuyer.com/106540-xenta-exte … rd-a-cm106

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#5 2012-12-31 13:26:24

totte
Member
Registered: 2011-08-22
Posts: 58

Re: [SOLVED] How can I improve the sound output of bulk laptops?

Thanks for the replies, I'll see what USB-connected card I can get ahold of.

brebs wrote:
totte wrote:

If I scroll down a web page a high-pitched screeching/whistling noise occurs

Probably interference from the CPU's power-saving. Try e.g.:

processor.max_cstate=2

In grub's boot commandline (as shown by:  cat /proc/cmdline)

Interesting! I tried both

root=/dev/sda2 ro quiet init=/bin/systemd processor.max_cstate=1 initrd=../initramfs-linux.img BOOT_IMAGE=../vmlinuz-linux

and

root=/dev/sda2 ro quiet init=/bin/systemd processor.max_cstate=2 initrd=../initramfs-linux.img BOOT_IMAGE=../vmlinuz-linux

but it had no effect from what I can tell. Are there any other such settings I could try? I found this page on a search but I'm no wiser from it.

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