Similar to this question Equalizer for Toshiba Satellite Pro Laptop (Windows 7) (has Realtek sound), due to a certain hearing impairment in one ear I am looking for a software audio equalizer to try to compensate for that.

The software needs to be Windows 7 (or possibly Ubuntu) compatible, and not tied to any specific hardware. For reference, on the Windows 7 system I have Realtek audio, but the driver does not support the equalizer function in the Sound control panel as mentioned here: Is there a way to control bass and treble under Windows 7?

Something like an (at least) 8 band equalizer function between 100Hz to 15kHz should be suitable. And left and right channels need to be independently controllable.

1 Answer 1



You seem to have the same need as https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+spec/equalizer-for-sound-out .

There is a solution that, as requested, is Ubuntu-compatible, not tied to any specific hardware. It has 15 bands, from 50Hz to 20kHz.

Solution is described in System-Wide PulseAudio Equalizer Updated For Ubuntu 14.04 and 14.10:

This tool provides a 15 band equalizer interface for the LADSPA sound processing functionality of PulseAudio. It supports enabling or disabling equalized audio on-the-fly, comes with some built-in presets (based on VLC's built-in equalizer), supports saving your own custom presets for later use, can be used for the current session only or permanently, etc.

To enable the system-wide equalizer for the current session, check the "EQ Enabled" box and click "Apply Settings". If you enable "Keep Settings", PulseAudio remains permanently equalized (and therefore, you won't need to run the PulseAudio Equalizer interface each time you login).

This document (in French) https://doc.ubuntu-fr.org/pulseaudio-equalizer summarizes to:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-equalizer


sudo add-apt-repository ppa:alex-wv/pulseaudio-equalizer-ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-equalizer

Then run pulseaudio-equalizer-gtk, check "EQ Enabled", adjust settings, check "Keep Settings". It will apply to all applications.

I've been using it on Ubuntu 14.04, 14.10 15.04, 15.10, 16.04.

Only, left and right channels are not independently controllable as you requested. Is that last point important? Since program is open-source, that could probably be adjusted for.

  • This is good information. But yes, independent control is required in my situation. One ear has normal response, the other drops off sharply below about 4K. So the idea is to boost output below 4K on that channel compared with the other one. It is surprising to me that modern OS don't seem to accommodate hearing impairments (such as mono output, not possible in Windows 7 at the OS level).
    – user3169
    Apr 21, 2016 at 22:11
  • But I will be able to use this equalizer to see if I can get the desired effect. Possibly I will need to get an external equalizer.
    – user3169
    Apr 22, 2016 at 3:45

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