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Onboard sound hardware is pathetic

1089 Views 12 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  v0id
I'm using an Asus P5GDC-V motherboard with CMI9880 integrated sound. Music (specifically trance, house and progressive) sounds pretty bad through headphones connected directly to the back port but half-decent through external speakers. The problem with headphone sound is the noticeable lack of bass and way too much treble. I've adjusted my equalizer settings to compensate but it's still pretty bad. Low-frequency distortion is also quite apparent.

Is this a problem afflicting integrated audio hardware in general (i.e. do I need to shell out a few $$$ for a dedicated card?), or are my settings awry?
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Sorry for the delay in replying. I've been working on resolving CPU heat issues all day.

I usually use Gentoo Linux (kernel 2.6.17-r4, using ALSA 1.0.13 for the *nix heads) and since Asus doesn't officially support Linux, I'm using the primitive alsamixer configuration tool. The headphone problem isn't limited to Linux though. In Windows, the official driver does allow me to retask each of the 6 rear ports for different things, as Jedi_Master alluded to. I'm currently in Linux, so I'll try using each port and hopefully will figure out the best one.

I recall fiddling with the graphical configuration tool in Windows and setting it to 2:1, retasking the relevant port as well.

TRS-80 vet, I'm playing a 320 kbps mp3 sampled at 44.1 kHz. It sounds excellent when burned onto a CD-R and played in my discman (same headphones; bass is incredible as well, so the headphones aren't the problem).

Addendum: I'm using Panasonic RP-HG20 headphones, kenlee. Cheap but decent and durable.
Also, I take back the "half-decent" comment about external speakers. They sound good - can't really expect much more from $15 Labtec speakers ;-)
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Eureka! Trying each port did the trick. Everything sounds great now.

Thanks for all the help folks!
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