Why is my audio (sound) output not working?

  • I can't get the audio running. I don't hear anything and can not play anything.

    Is there a solution to enable audio?

    Please add more information to make this a more useful question for the future, even if it has already been answered.

    Distro tag required. As well as what audio output you are trying to use.

    Guidelines: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/how-to-ask Luckily the current best answer is broad enough to cover your question. However, it's better for future users of the site if you give your specific setup to allow for a specific answer.

    My problem was low volume for master output.

  • Itay Grudev

    Itay Grudev Correct answer

    8 years ago

    Sound does not work with an HDMI monitor

    This is caused by some computer monitors which select DVI mode even if an HDMI cable is connected. This fix may be necessary even if other HDMI devices work perfectly on the same monitor (or TV)! Edit the configuration file - see the instructions at Raspberry-Pi Configuration File.
    Add the following line to the configuration file:


    Sound does not work at all, or in some applications

    Sound is disabled by default because the ALSA sound driver is still "alpha" (not fully tested) on the R-Pi. To try out sound, from the command prompt before "startx", type

     sudo apt-get install alsa-utils
     sudo modprobe snd_bcm2835
     sudo aplay /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav

    By default output will be automatic (hdmi if hdmi supports audio, otherwise analogue). You can force it with:

    sudo amixer -c 0 cset numid=3 <n>

    where n is 0=auto, 1=headphones, 2=hdmi. (source) If you are running Debian, try

    cd /opt/vc/src/hello_pi
     make -C libs/ilclient
     make -C libs/vgfont
    cd hello_audio

    to test analogue output. And to test HDMI.

    ./hello_audio.bin 1

    Also note that you may have to add your user to the 'audio' group to get permission to access the sound card.

    Making the changes permanent

    sudo apt-get install alsa-utils is permanent, but sudo modprobe snd_bcm2835 only initialises the driver for the current session. To ensure the module is initialised on boot, add snd_bcm2835 to /etc/modules (source).

    aplay -l is also a useful command for enumerating if any ALSA devices exist.

    This is outdated information as of Jan 2013. alsa-utils is installed by default, and lsmod shows snd_bcm2835 is there without having to do anything.

    Maybe so, but the problem might still occur on old devices and some distros

    I had `snd-bcm2835` in `/etc/modules` when it should have been `snd_bcm2835`. Once I changed that, it worked.

    You may also need to change the mixer volume if not running in a desktop environment with a GUI control for it. I don't know whether it was just my pi, or if it's a common issue, but my volume was set to -25dB, which is virtually inaudible. `amixer cset numid=1 0` sets it back to a reasonable level.

    With my Raspberry Pi 3 Model B running `Linux raspberrypi 4.9.41-v7+` (`uname -a` output) all I had to do was to use the command `sudo amixer -c 0 cset numid=3 1` in an xterminal window. Started listening to a YouTube video and it was very low level of sound. Checked the volume control from the Speaker icon on the desktop menu bar and the volume setting was low there so changed to 53 and it is working fine. I have a Logitech 2.1 (two desktop satellites and one powered subwoofer) and I plugged the lead of the speakers into the headphone jack.

    For me `amixer cset numid=3 100%` worked on my RPi 4.

  • I think I have a way for solving your problem, try to type omxplayer -o local xxx.mp3(for mp3 file) or omxplayer -o local xxx.mp4(for mp4 file) to hear sound from raspi over your headphone. And you can also type omxplayer --help for more usage about omxplayer.

  • I also ran into the same problem with my Raspberry Pi 2. I connected my Pi to my HD TV via an HDMI cable. My solution:

    Set the audio output using the following command:

    amixer cset numid=3 2

    I tested the sound output using the following command, but no sound was heard:

    speaker-test -c2 -t wav

    To enable HDMI sound, I followed the directions found here

    sudo [your favourite editor] /boot/config.txt

    Uncomment line #hdmi_drive=2

    Reboot Pi using the following command:

    sudo shutdown -r 0

    I didn't need to do the first two steps, and I'm not sure they even need to be in the answer, but the rest worked for me with a Raspberry Pi 2.

  • This is a common bug. I think what's breaking ALSA is PulseAudio. If you want to use ALSA (Default, recommend by Tux) use sudo apt-get remove PulseAudio

    For other fixes, try the wiki. It all depends. Try this first (as this is the most common)

    What bug are you referring to? Do you have a reference?

    This fixed it for me. I use PuleAudio to play sound to a bluetooth headset. When I tried to use the analog audio port, I could not get it to work, and everything in my config was correct. I removed PulseAudio, and the analog audio port works. Too bad I have to unistall and reinstall a package to switch between bluetooth and the 3.5 mm jack.

  • I'm running OSMC, which runs Debian, and I got sound to play through my TV speakers, which is connected by HDMI. https://youtu.be/p2ljmTE67gs

    If this is what you're trying to do, try adding dtparam=audio=on to /boot/config.txt

    Original solution posted here: https://discourse.osmc.tv/t/alsa-doesnt-work-after-last-update/10600

    This answer is going to be particularly appropriate for people upgrading older installs to something more modern.

  • I ran into a problem where sound did not work or static played instead of my recording. But it was a problem with my approach, not the Pi itself. I'm using Raspbian 3.6.11 (2013-02-09-wheezy-raspbian).

    Primarily, I tried to play an MP3 file with aplay, which only seems to support WAVs. Also, some of the MP3 files I used may not have been created with a compatible codec. To test the sound output on your Pi, I found it best to the sample audio files that come with the Raspbian OS. Also ensure that you use a player appropriate for the audio format. For example:

    • Use aplay for .wav files. For example: aplay /usr/share/scratch/Media/Sounds/Vocals/Singer2.wav (there are lots of sample audio files in /usr/share/scratch/Media/Sounds).
    • Use omxplayer or mpg123 for .mp3 files. For example: use omxplayer /usr/share/scratch/Media/Sounds/Effects/WaterDrop.mp3 or alternatively mpg123 /usr/share/scratch/Media/Sounds/Effects/WaterDrop.mp3 (If you don't already have mpg123, you should be able to install it with the command sudo apt-get install mpg123).
    • Use amixer to control the volume output. For example: amixer cset numid=1 50% sets the headphone jack volume output to fifty percent.

    For more information on audio out commands, I found the following web site useful: http://blog.scphillips.com/2013/01/sound-configuration-on-raspberry-pi-with-alsa

    For what it's worth, I was also experiencing a popping sound caused by a voltage jump when the audio starts and stops. That issue is now fixed in the Pi firmware.

    AFAIK that bug should have been fixed in one of the audio driver updates ...

    You're right. I was probably just doing it wrong, but others may have the same issue, so I've updated my post with my findings. Thanks Itehnological!

  • My current working hypothesis is that, for me at least, the audio depends somehow on the desktop environment. I have a Raspberry Pi 2, running Raspbian, installed from NOOBS. I've wiped it clean and reinstalled Raspbian dozens of times. The sound works when I first install Raspbian. The next thing I habitually do is remove the LXDE desktop environment and replace it with XFCE desktop environment, and sometime after that, I notice that the sound has stopped working. Switching desktop environments must be breaking my audio. I don't know whether it's removing LXDE or installing XFCE that breaks it.

    Perhaps the person is correct who suggested that the culprit is PulseAudio, and installing XFCE installs PulseAudio. Right now, "lxde" is installed, "xfce4" is not installed, "pulseaudio" is not installed, and the sound is working.

  • On my Raspberry Pi the "speaker-test" worked without any extra hardware added. Then I added some webcams. The default device had changed and I found this question How to make Alsa pick a preferred sound device automatically? from which solution #1 worked for me.

    ... create /etc/asound.conf with following: ...

    Replace "card 1" with the number of your card determined above.

  • I was having problems with the analog audio output myself. Came to this thread among others to try to solve. In the end, it turns out I only needed to right-click on the audio icon in my toolbar and change the selection from HDMI to Analog. This probably doesn't solve your problem, but it might help someone else who isn't hearing audio and who missed that easy solution.

  • I ran into this problem while trying to get Amazon Voice Services working on a Raspberry Pi 3/3+. I made sure that analog audio was selected. Also using aplay worked.

    It turns out AVS uses the autoaudiosink element, which in turn was selecting the omxhdmiaudiosink element, which had a higher priority than the alsasink element. In file /etc/xdg/gstomx-rpi.conf there is a section for omxhdmiaudiosink which I simply commented out. After doing so, AVS worked fine (for the most part--the responses were getting cut short by about ~0.25 seconds).

    I suppose I could have changed the priority as well.

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