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[How to] Fix ‘tinny’ sound quality in Ubuntu on an iMac

So you’ve just installed Ubuntu on your shiny new iMac 2011 model but the sound quality is torturously tinny. What to do?The cause is basic and easy to fix: We simply need to ‘unmute’ the surround speaker, then turn the surround sound up. Doing this in Ubuntu is painless and quick.

Fix iMac sound in Ubuntu

  • Open a Terminal
  • Type ‘alsamixer’ (without quotes) and hit ‘Enter/Return’
  • The following 1980’s style display will appear: -

Tinny sound in Ubuntu on your iMac? Solve it

  • Using the navigation keys on your Keyboard select the fourth pillar from the left called ‘Front Speaker’
  • Increase the volume of the ‘Front Speaker’ by pressing the ‘Up’ navigation key
  • Now navigate to the first ‘Surround Speaker’ entry
  • Un-mute it by pressing the ‘M’ key
  • Nudge across to the second and press the ‘Up’ key to increase its volume
  • Press CTRL+C to exit the ‘alsamixer’

All done – fire-up Banshee, YouTube or any other noise-emitting application to hear the audible difference.