Unbalanced audio all of a sudden

My audio balance suddenly got biased towards the right. I was listening songs on YouTube a few minutes back. It was all fine. Then a few minutes later, I played a tutorial video on YouTube, And then noticed that the audio is coming mostly from the right speaker.

I opened pavucontrol and under Output devices I saw that the balance was actually off. I manually pulled the slider for left speaker to the same level as right speaker, and the audio was back to normal.
I got two questions:

  1. Why would the audio want to shift to right out of the blue? Is there something wrong with my PC I could have done unknowingly?
  2. How do I make both right and left channels the same sound? I moved sliders with my mouse, they are currently at -30.05db and -29.70db. How do I make them equal. (Not saying that I can distinguish the 0.35db difference; but why not go placebo when I can :upside_down_face: )

Thanks!

Edit: System info

$ inxi -Fxxx
System:
  Host: wired Kernel: 5.4.72-1-lts x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 10.2.0 
  Desktop: i3 4.16.1-186-gf3fffbae info: polybar dm: LightDM 1.30.0 Distro: Arch Linux 
Machine:
  Type: Desktop System: Gigabyte product: N/A v: N/A serial: <superuser/root required> 
  Chassis: type: 3 serial: <superuser/root required> 
  Mobo: Gigabyte model: H61M-S1 v: x.x serial: <superuser/root required> 
  BIOS: American Megatrends v: FC date: 02/25/2013 
CPU:
  Info: Dual Core model: Intel Pentium G2020 bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Ivy Bridge rev: 9 
  L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
  flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 11573 
  Speed: 1596 MHz min/max: 1600/2900 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1596 2: 1596 
Graphics:
  Device-1: NVIDIA GT218 [GeForce 210] vendor: ZOTAC driver: nouveau v: kernel 
  bus ID: 01:00.0 chip ID: 10de:0a65 
  Display: x11 server: X.org 1.20.9 driver: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa 
  alternate: nouveau,nv resolution: <xdpyinfo missing> 
  Message: Unable to show advanced data. Required tool glxinfo missing. 
Audio:
  Device-1: Intel 6 Series/C200 Series Family High Definition Audio vendor: Gigabyte 
  driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 00:1b.0 chip ID: 8086:1c20 
  Device-2: NVIDIA High Definition Audio vendor: ZOTAC driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
  bus ID: 01:00.1 chip ID: 10de:0be3 
  Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.4.72-1-lts 
Network:
  Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet vendor: Gigabyte 
  driver: r8169 v: kernel port: d000 bus ID: 03:00.0 chip ID: 10ec:8168 
  IF: enp3s0 state: down mac: 94:de:80:e5:03:2b 
  Device-2: D-Link DWA-131 Wireless N Nano Adapter (Rev. E1) [Realtek RTL8192EU] 
  type: USB driver: rtl8192eu bus ID: 2-1.2:3 chip ID: 2001:3319 serial: 00e04c000001 
  IF: wlan0 state: up mac: f4:8c:eb:4c:fd:ab 
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 931.49 GiB used: 562.47 GiB (60.4%) 
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Western Digital model: WD5000AZRX-00L4HB0 size: 465.76 GiB 
  speed: 3.0 Gb/s rotation: 5400 rpm serial: WD-WCC4J2877527 rev: 1A01 scheme: MBR 
  ID-2: /dev/sdb type: USB vendor: Western Digital model: WD Elements 10B8 
  size: 465.73 GiB serial: 57584A314541334658524131 rev: 1007 scheme: MBR 
Partition:
  ID-1: / size: 48.97 GiB used: 22.28 GiB (45.5%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda6 
Swap:
  ID-1: swap-1 type: partition size: 2.00 GiB used: 9.0 MiB (0.4%) priority: -2 
  dev: /dev/sda7 
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 29.8 C mobo: 27.8 C gpu: nouveau temp: 48.0 C 
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:
  Processes: 145 Uptime: 50m Memory: 3.81 GiB used: 1.44 GiB (37.7%) Init: systemd 
  v: 246 Compilers: gcc: 10.2.0 clang: 10.0.1 Packages: pacman: 1183 Shell: Zsh v: 5.8 
  running in: alacritty inxi: 3.1.08 

What DE?

It happened to me on Deepin a lot, so if it’s that - then it’s time to change, coz that’s their internal weirdness :laughing:

P.S. thx for the update, it’s i3…Well then i don’t know :upside_down_face:
Maybe @joekamprad will have an idea?

1 Like

Haha lol! :rofl:

I’m using i3wm (i3-gaps-rounded-git from aur). It wasn’t updated recently, so I don’t think it is the culprit.

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They are using polybar so it’s a wm of some sort :crystal_ball:

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I don’t know what is up with Alsa lately but it has been buggy. For a while it was setting volume to 46% in boot :crazy_face:

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Kinda explains

I am usually not panicking, but this time, I was freaked out thinking that my speakers gave up. The first thing I did was to unplug the power, and plug it again.
I can be very dumb at time; or usually

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Same unbalanced audio happened to me a week or two ago. I assumed an update did it, readjusted the balance and it has not happened since. I do update my system every morning so I usually notice update anomalies fairly quickly.

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lots small updates with Alsa … use alsamixer adjust it manual …

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Thanks for the replies everyone :blush:

Looks like other users also faced this problem. I manually adjusted the volumes. :+1:

alsa-card-profiles is updated currently

1 Like