Adding equalization using alsaeq


Adding equalization using alsaeq

This guide will not only work on a plain Raspbian installation, but also on other Rasbian-based distributions like Volumio. Distributions that are based on other package systems might need a slightly different setup. Check out with the developers of your distribution.
The guide is provided as a help for experienced Linux users. There is no guarantee that it will work on a specific system and there is no support if it doesn’t work for you. Software configurations and features might change without our knowledge. We can’t give individual support on any 3rd party software like alsaeq.

Step 1: Install Rasbian and configure your HiFiBerry card.

For a guide what to configure for your HiFiBerry sound card, check our our configuration guide. You don’t have to create an asound.conf file now, it will be configured after the equalizer installation.

Step 2: Update system

To make sure everything works flawlessly together, we usually recommend updating the packages to the latest version.
sudo apt-get update -y
sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Step 3: Install the alsaeq modules

sudo apt-get install -y libasound2-plugin-equal

Step 4: Configure asound.conf

You now have to make sure that the default sound output isn’t send directly to the HiFiBerry card, but to alsaeq first. The new asound.conf should now look like this:

pcm.!default {
  type plug
  slave.pcm plugequal;
ctl.!default {
  type hw card 0
ctl.equal {
  type equal;
pcm.plugequal {
  type equal;
  slave.pcm "plughw:0,0";
pcm.equal {
  type plug;
  slave.pcm plugequal;

Change equalizer settings

To set the equalizer, you need to start alsamixer on the new “equal” device:
alsamixer -D equal

Specific applications

The equalization works only when the application uses the default output device from asound.conf. Applications that are configured to use the hardware device directly (you might see “hw:0” or similar in the command line options or in the configuration file) won’t use the equalization plugin.


Last updated: October 4, 2019