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Configuring Linux ALSA/Pulseaudio for best sound
post Mar 18 2012, 21:27
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So I have been listening to a bunch of hokum and voodoo at some other head hifi forum where abx testing is banned and I need some reeducation.

I run linux at home and I use kde. As I understand little about sound and how all the parts of the linux sound system work together, I would like to help to make sure that my sound is being output in the best fidelity possible.

So I used KDE that means I have the phonon sound system on top of the pulseaudio sound server on top of the ALSA sound system (whew!).

My onboard soundcard is an HDA-Intel Realtek ALC275 that does 16/24 bitrate and 44.1-192 sampling.

So most of my music is in 16/44.1 FLAC format, but some is 24/96 FLAC.

I use amarok and deadbeef to play my music.

I just want to make sure that I am not doing any resampling that will introduce any distortion or noise.

Sorry if this a topic that has been answered numerous times, but I searched and couldn't find anything that helped answer this.

Thanks for the input.
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post Apr 12 2012, 06:17
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Posts: 1412
Joined: 4-May 04
From: France
Member No.: 13875

You can't have software mixing without resampling, unless every software uses the same sampling rate (which they don't): a music player will output at 44.1 kHz (if you're listening to CD-DA material) while a movie player will output at 48 kHz. There's no way around that.

If you're gonna use PulseAudio, there will be resampling, by design. With ALSA (and presumably with PulseAudio) you can set the quality of the resampling, though, to something that doesn't suck.

See my profile for measurements, tools and recommendations.
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