The Dell XPS 9510 includes four speakers, two of them acting as subwoofers. In my machine, the subwoofers seem to be detected, however, they are not playing any audio. This is bugging me quite a bit, since a patch included in the kernel a few months ago seemed to fix the issue for some users (this one: https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/stable/linux.git/commit/?h=v5.15.6&id=da94692001ea45ffa1f5e9f17ecdef7aecd90c27).
I tested the audio output by playing different frequencies with `aplay`, and found out that all frequencies below ~150Hz are capped. I then confirmed that this was not a hardware issue by going into Windows and testing the same frequencies, from where I concluded that probably more changes are needed in the device driver to enable the use of the subwoofers.
I believe the subwoofers are detected because the sound settings are showing as an option a surround 4.0 format for the internal speakers, and `alsamixer` also shows a `Bass speaker` control, although this one shows only a mute/unmute button only, without a volume bar.
I reached a point where I didn't know what else to do, so I decided to ask for help here. Please let me know about any information I can provide that could help. I am more than happy to test and keep debugging this issue, I might only need a bit of guidance, since I have 0 experience with driver software development.
Please let me know if you think this bug belongs somewhere else, I ended up here, but I'm not sure whether this is the right channel for reporting it either.
Last night, watching a movie while running Windows, I noticed something: The subwoofers stopped when Windows noticed that there was only 10% battery left, then they went back on as soon as I connected the computer to the power. This made me think that maybe there is a power-saving option on the driver that I can use to turn on the subwoofers. I'll be looking for documentation on this and see if anything changes when I change the power settings on the machine.
If anyone has any idea about whether this kind of feature for power saving exists, or how to manage it, please let me know :)
Created attachment 300171 [details]
Attaching a new alsa-info report, now with kernel version 5.15.7 and firmware version 1.6.2.
Please let me know if there is anything I could try to test here. I'm learning more about how audio works, but I feel a bit lost when it comes to narrowing down and identifying the problem here. In any case, I'll keep updating the issue as I learn more about it.
Created attachment 300286 [details]
alsa-info for xps 9510 running kernel 5.16
I have the same problem. Made several tests disabling all sound daemons (pulseaudio, in particular) and using
speaker-test -t sine -f80 -c 2
and similar. No sound up to around 110hz
Attached my alsa-info obtained running kernel 5.16 and with all daemons disabled.
I've been trying to improve the sound on the 9510, for a while I thought the main speakers were not working, but after some testing the 4 speakers do seem to be working, though perhaps not quite as they are supposed to. For example, in hdajackretask, I assigned the 0x17 pin to "Not Connected" (which I think reverses the kernel fix). After that I was only getting a very thin sounding audio from the tweeters. Is it possible there is some crossover setting somewhere which is rolling off the lower frequencies? Or maybe the bass speakers need the volume boosted somehow (since not only is the sound fuller in Windows, but is also louder, even when all the maxxaudio stuff is disabled)
(In reply to David Turner from comment #4)
> I've been trying to improve the sound on the 9510, for a while I thought the
> main speakers were not working, but after some testing the 4 speakers do
> seem to be working, though perhaps not quite as they are supposed to. For
> example, in hdajackretask, I assigned the 0x17 pin to "Not Connected" (which
> I think reverses the kernel fix). After that I was only getting a very thin
> sounding audio from the tweeters. Is it possible there is some crossover
> setting somewhere which is rolling off the lower frequencies? Or maybe the
> bass speakers need the volume boosted somehow (since not only is the sound
> fuller in Windows, but is also louder, even when all the maxxaudio stuff is
This was also my last suspicion, although I haven't been able to get myself together to debug further. I had a day when I could reproduce the issue on Windows: The laptop was running out of battery and all of a sudden I had the same audio as in Linux.
I wanted to see if I could manage to sniff the verbs used in Windows and see if there is a fix there (other laptops have needed that to get all the needed configuration going), but I didn't manage to gather the time to do it yet.
There is also an issue that is bugging me, and it is that the output profiles available after the kernel fix are surround 4.0 and stereo, but no surround 2.1, which I would guess is what we need. I am wondering if the driver is somehow cutting off the low frequencies or sending them on the wrong device, making the subwoofers play only the high frequencies. I tried to test this by setting the low-frequency thresholds to 0 (making all frequencies go to the speakers) but I still got the same results.
Then, I also realised not long ago that a fix was potentially made for the Precision 5560, since it has been certified for Ubuntu and if I'm not wrong they have the same hardware as the XPS 9510 (excepting the graphics card). It would be interesting to get a hand on the ubuntu image they ship with and see if things work there.
I hope we can figure this out! I'm happy to see that others are looking into the issue :) Thanks for sharing your results!
So, following some guides I managed to get a VM with windows running and to sniff some verbs. However, even though audio through the VM was flawless, applying different subsets of the provided verbs has not given any results in fixing the frequency issue yet.. The sound does not really change after applying the verbs, which makes me think that it might be a problem at a higher level... I'll keep playing with the verbs to see if I can get some better results, but I'm thinking that the issue might be elsewhere.
I'm attaching the logs I got from the VM and cleaned up verbs sent to the audio card during the sniffing session.
I followed the steps here https://github.com/ryanprescott/realtek-verb-tools/wiki/How-to-sniff-verbs-from-a-Windows-sound-driver to get the verbs.
Let me know if anyone has any idea of where can I look next!
Created attachment 300423 [details]
Created attachment 300424 [details]
Please note that these are all verbs from the session, the last few verbs are actually shutting down the audio card, so if you apply all of them you won't hear anything.
I'm attaching them all because I'm still not sure which are the ones that we can get rid of for sure.
For anyone else still wondering about this issue, seems like either Dell or Realtek included a high-pass filter at 250Hz for this device as a measure to protect the speakers.
See the conversation at:
There seems to be no solution other than adjusting the filter.
I guess it won't be easy to get the sound working properly on this one...
Hello Aitor, I am still wondering:
how windows drivers are disabling the filter? And what makes us giving up to get it working in linux?
I don't get why there are safety implications.
Also last questions, I am running 6.2.0-20-generic and I wanted to confirm that actually the woofer speakers are receving sound, have you confirmed this? if yes, how?
The same problem on the kernel 6.1.0-12, tried everything I found, the speakers do not work
(In reply to simo from comment #10)
> Hello Aitor, I am still wondering:
> how windows drivers are disabling the filter? And what makes us giving up to
> get it working in linux?
> I don't get why there are safety implications.
> Also last questions, I am running 6.2.0-20-generic and I wanted to confirm
> that actually the woofer speakers are receving sound, have you confirmed
> this? if yes, how?
Sorry it took so long to get back to you, it's been a few intense months and I kept delaying writing back.
I gave up because I could not find any info/documentation/help anywhere about this problem. From what I can recall, I don't think I tried much after I reported the issue I mentioned in #9. In that conversation, it became clear that I would not get any help or orientation on how to fix it and I got a bit discouraged..
I can confirm that this issue is still happening. I just tested it on 6.5.5-200.fc38, and is still an issue.
There is an easy way to test that all speakers are giving out some sound. If you revert the change made in this patch https://github.com/kristinpaget/xps-15-9510-audio (you can just disable the right pin using hdajackretask, so you don't need to rebuild the kernel I think, I just can't remember what pin it was that this patch activated). If you enable/disable this and play something you can hear the difference.
The next test is going to any frequency test in youtube and play it. You will instantly notice that no matter what configuration you use, you will not be able to play any low frequencies. Those lower frequencies are somehow enabled on windows but looks like it's impossible to get them to work on linux.
I might give it another go next week if I get the chance, but I honestly have little hope for this to ever be fixed, unless dell decides that they will start playing with the kernel and fixing older models of their laptops anyways..
Thanks for the info. I will do the test just to confirm that I am getting the best experience we can get at the moment!
I can also confirm you that when in windows it's going out of charge, it indeed switch the audio cutting off low frequencies. As you reported.
Keep us posted, I will do the same here.
I can confirm Dells current line of xps 15 9530 (2023) seems to use the same audio device, resulting in the same issue (6.5.5-arch1-1)
Class: Multimedia audio controller 
Vendor: Intel Corporation 
Device: Raptor Lake-P/U/H cAVS [51ca]
SVendor: Dell 
SDevice: Device [0beb]