System-wide equalizer needed

Hi altogether, :wave:

I´m looking for a system-wide equalizer for Lubuntu 20.04.

When using bionic I was able to get qpaeq to work. At the time I followed the instructions given on
Install Pulseaudio With Built-In System-Wide Equalizer In Ubuntu ~ Web Upd8: Ubuntu / Linux blog .

I was tempted to do the same now, but learned on gnome - pulseaudio-equalizer is not working in Ubuntu 20.04 - Ask Ubuntu
that there might be issues when using focal.

Plus: When I type “qpaeq” in the terminal I get:

Der Befehl 'qpaeq' wurde nicht gefunden, kann aber installiert werden mit # command not found but can be installed with:
sudo apt install pulseaudio-equalizer

Now I´m unsure what to do. :thinking:
Can anybody provide some good advice :question:

Thanks so much in advance.
Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

Okay, first try installing it. Afterwards we can remove the packages if the Equalizer causes problems.

I’m not an experienced user, or a Linux nerd. This could never be a good advice. My recommendation would be, try installing it. Please post the results after using it.

Thank you :slight_smile:

1 Like

Pulse Effects is what I use and it’s come along way.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mikhailnov/pulseeffects
sudo apt update
sudo apt install pulseeffects pulseaudio --install-recommends

Or there is a Flatpak version if you prefer

flatpak install flathub com.github.wwmm.pulseeffects

The PPA version works fine, plus it’s smaller in size


Hi altogether, :wave:

thanks so much for your answers. :heart:


yes, you´re right. I should install it and see if all is well.
I´ll do that.
But, as Mark suggested, I think I will try pulseeffects which seems awesome.
I´ll report back at any rate.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Mark,

thanks for the wonderful suggestions.
I´ve taken a look at the pictures from your link and I must say: I´m impressed.

One question though:

I´ve noticed pulseeffects is in the ubuntu repositories:

    apt-cache policy pulseeffects
          Installiert:           (keine)
          Installationskandidat: 4.7.1-2
             4.7.1-2 500
                500 focal/universe amd64 Packages

I want to install the apt-package. So is there a significant advantage in adding a ppa for that matter?

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Hi all,

in the meantime I managed to install pulseeffects. Seems it´s been a success. :smile:

Doing a bit of research beforehand I found out that there may be issues with Ubuntu 20.04
as far as the availability of the equalizer tab is concerned.
Discussed e.g. here (in German):

Seems there is a certain plugin (lsp-plugins-lv2) needed to make it work.
So I looked up

apt-cache show lsp-plugins-lv2
    This package provide 91 plugins.
     Audio effects: limiters, dynamic processors, expanders, gates,
     graphic equalisers, impulse responses, impulse reverbs, compressors,
     multiband compressors, parametric equalisers, phase detector,
     sidechain multiband compressors, sidechain limiters,
     sidechain dynamic processors, sidechain expanders, sidechain gates,
     sidechain compressors, slapback delays, delay compensators, triggers.
     Synths: samplers, and multisamplers.
     Tools: latency meters, oscillators, profiler, spectrum analyzers,
     and MIDI triggers
     This package provides the LV2 plugins.

Bearing this in mind I first installed that one and after that pulseeffects.

sudo apt-get install lsp-plugins-lv2 pulseeffects

So basically I installed it from the repository and everything works fine. :+1:

Pulseeffects seems to be wonderful in providing really good audio enhancement.

Thanks a lot to all of you for your help. :heart:

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


Yep use it all the time, plus save your settings and have them starting at boot, saving having to set them again.

As Pulse Effects has stuff added to it, the PPA will keep it updated.

1 Like


Hi Mark, :wave:

Ah, I see. Thanks for the clarification.

As I´ve been playing around with pulseffects a bit I noticed one thing though.
Whereas the tabs
Automatische Verstärkungsregelung # automatic gain control
work perfectly well the tab
Lautstärke # volume doesn´t seem to work at all.

Fiddling around with either of the three settings within that tab has no effect whatsoever.
Perhaps I´m doing something wrong. :thinking:

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


I´ve got an additional question regarding pulseeffects:

I noticed when pulseeffects is running CPU usage is definitevely higher. Is that to be expected :question:

My specs referring to CPU are:

inxi -Fz
    CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i3-3240T bits: 64 type: MT MCP 
               L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
               Speed: 1596 MHz min/max: 1600/2900 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1596 2: 1596 3: 1596 
               4: 1596 

And here´s the output of top -i:

Thanks in advance.

Rosika :neutral_face:

The first part of the list of Pulse Effects is for microphone, when recording a video in OBS for instance.
Auto Gain to Multi-band Compressor.

As I only use the Loudness function, to give depth and richness to music. Here are my settings.
Input 4.0 and Output -4.6
Play some music in your music app Spotify or whatever you use? Make sure you have headphones on, not those stupid wireless ear-bud things, but proper over the ear ones, so you can hear everything correctly. Song choice I can’t really tell you, but something lively, not to boomy, as the trick is to make the sound brighter to your hearing without distorting. You cannot really test properly with external speakers, as speakers have their own Equalizer on them.
The headphones I use are these
These are really good for music and playing games through. The sound quality is so good, that you hear every individual instrument. YouTube has never sounded so good either, the clarity of people talking is brilliant.

1 Like

I’ve never really noticed more CPU when running this, but I’m running AMD Ryzen 2600 six cores twelve threads, which is only up to 65watts, you need a dedicated graphic card with it for display. This is on a desktop tower PC. The only time there is more CPU is when Firefox is running.

1 Like


Hi Mark,

thanks for your detailed report. Seems really interesting.

I see. Well, that´s good for you of course. I have a two-core processor as can be seen in post #8 (Intel Core i3-3240T). It´s certainly not as powerful as yours. Perhaps this accounts for the higher cpu-usage when running pulseeffects.

My main objective was to solve the “muffled”-audio-problem when playing back audio produced within my text-to-speech-script which I wrote quite a while ago.

I wanted the output to be a bit clearer and crisper.
Yet I managed to solve this very problem. :smiley:

I found out that mplayer has a native equalizer option which can be used from the command-line (and within the script as well I guess).

It´s the -af equalizer=[...] option.


mplayer -af equalizer=0:0:0:0:0:0:0:0:10:10 home/rosika/Musik/music-file.webm

This basically boosts the high frequency range. (Further info in man-pages).
And that´s exactly what I wanted to achieve. :wink:

Nevertheless when listening to certain types of music pulseeffects will definitively come in handy, even if it means higher cpu-usage for a while.

Thanks again and Happy Easter holidays.
Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face: