If your PC is connected to an analog 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound system, you probably have these two sound options enabled in Windows 10:

  1. Speaker Fill (to hear stereo music from all the speakers and not only from two)
  2. Bass Management (with a crossover frequency set to the value recommended by your subwoofer manufacturer)

Achieving the same thing on Ubuntu 18.04

  1. Enable surround sound in Ubuntu’s settings GUI and make sure you hear sound from all channels when you click the test button
  2. Open pulseaudio’s configuration file daemon.conf. If the file
    ~/.config/pulse/daemon.conf
    does not exist then just edit
    /etc/pulse/daemon.conf
  3. Find the following configuration variables, uncomment them and change their values as shown below:

    enable-remixing = yes
    remixing-use-all-sink-channels = yes
    enable-lfe-remixing = yes
    lfe-crossover-freq = 150

  4. Stop and restart pulseaudio to apply your changes by executing these two commands:

    pulseaudio -k
    pulseaudio -D

    If you get an error on the second command you probably can ignore it. At least in my case the daemon was restarted although I got some error.

And here is what the configuration variables do:

  • Enabling the variable „remixing-use-all-sink-channels“ has the same effect as enabling „Speaker Fill“ on Windows.
  • Enabling the variable „enable-lfe-remixing“ has the same effect as enabling „Bass Management“ on Windows.
  • Assigning a value different from 0 to „lfe-crossover-freq“ lets you specify the proper crossover frequency recommended for your subwoofer. So you should probably NOT use 150 Hz as I did in the example above and instead use a value that is recommended by your subwoofer manufacturer!

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