Speaker Test under UbuntuMATE 16.04 on Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 produces broken sounds

I have reported this issue under Launchpad https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-mate/+bug/1571322 but have been advised to refer it this forum.

There have been one or two issues with the sound on the RPi 2 & 3 that have largely been solved by the release of a firmware and kernel update to 4.4.9-v7+. Sound from a YouTube video via Firefox appears to play smoothly.

However, when using the Test Buttons from Sound Preferences > Hardware > Test Speakers, the expected response: Front Left and Front Right is invariably incomplete or is not reproduced at all.

This bug goes back to Ubuntu MATE 15.10 but now that 16.04 is released, it is probably a good time to raise this topic again.

Hi David,

does this help?:

I don’t have one (Raspi) so cannot help you further sorry!. :smiley:

Thank you for the link. However, the problem is not about getting sound through the HDMI channel which works. It is about the quality (or lack of it) of the speaker test signals which are discontinuous (broken up) compared with a good stream from other apps.

Got any missing codecs?. :smiley:

Try installing the ubuntu-restricted-extras package if you haven’t already done so!. :smiley:

I created a Ubuntu MATE 16.04 USB startup disk for a Dell laptop that uses a quad core Intel i7 processor.

When I tried it out, everything worked as expected including the Speaker Test buttons.

I am inclined to think that the fault lies in the Raspberry Pi 2 & 3 implementation of Ubuntu MATE, especially as the sound test panel’s title refers to the bcm2835 which is part of the RPi system on chip.

I would appreciate if other users of the RPi 2 & 3 could carry out the sound test and confirm the fault.

My experience with audio on Raspberry Pi (not just Ubuntu MATE) is the overhead involved in PulseAudio is too much for these systems. I notice this particularly with mplayer. Using the default ‘pulse’ routing I get the broken sounds. But if I add the “-ao alsa” option, it smooths right out.

A post was split to a new topic: Audio sound problems

I’m having the same problem as the original poster. Sound is horribly garbled and distorted when going through PulseAudio, for example when playing a video in a Firefox window. However, if playing a video via omxplayer (which goes directly through ALSA, I believe), sound is just fine.

The same. I am having the problem the sound distorted to play videos in firefox.

Have you both run updates?:

Hello wolfman. I’ve run “sudo apt-get install update && sudo apt-get install upgrade”, followed by “sudo apt-get dist-upgrade”. After restarting, the broken sound persists.

If there is information that I could provide that might be helpful, please let me know.

Hi @Chuckaluphagus,

try installing the following packages if not already iinstalled via a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + t):

sudo apt-get install paman libsox-fmt-all

Paman is the Pulse Audio Manager:


Apologies in the delay in replying, @wolfman. I’ve installed the Pulse Audio Manager and SoX format libraries as you suggested - is there a next step?

Open Pulse Audio Manager and check the settings there as they often have a setting that the normal sound settings in Ubuntu Mate doesn’t have!. :smiley: