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speaker-test - Man Page

command-line speaker test tone generator for ALSA


speaker-test [-options]


speaker-test generates a tone that can be used to test the speakers of a computer.

speaker-test by default will test the default device. If you want to test another sound device you will have first to get a list of all of the sound cards in your system and the devices associated with those cards. Notice that there might be for example, one device for analog sound, one for digital sound and one for HDMI sound. To get the list of available cards and devices you can run aplay -L.

$ aplay -L
    Discard all samples (playback) or generate zero samples (capture)
    Intel ICH5, Intel ICH5
    Default Audio Device
    Intel ICH5, Intel ICH5
    Front speakers
    Intel ICH5, Intel ICH5
    4.0 Surround output to Front and Rear speakers

in the above example, there are four devices listed: null, default, front and surround40. So, if you want to test the last device you can run speaker-test -Dsurround40:ICH5 -c 6. The -c option will indicate that the six audio channels in the device have to be tested.


-c | --channels NUM

NUM channels in stream

-D | --device NAME

PCM device name NAME

-f | --frequency FREQ

sine wave of FREQ Hz


Print usage help

-b | --buffer TIME

Use buffer size of TIME microseconds. When 0 is given, use the maximal buffer size. The default value is 0.

-p | --period TIME

Use period size of TIME microseconds. When 0 is given, the periods given by -P option is used. The default value is 0.

-P | --nperiods PERIODS

Use number of periods.  The default value is 4.

-r | --rate RATE

stream of RATE Hz

-t | --test pink|st2095|sine|wav

-t pink means use pink noise (default).

Pink noise is perceptually uniform noise -- that is, it sounds like every frequency at once.  If you can hear any tone it may indicate resonances in your speaker system or room.

-t st2095 means use bandlimited pink noise at -18.5dB AES FS, generated according to SMPTE ST-2095:1-2015. In addition to speaker localization it may be used for system calibration, for example 85dB for thater drivers, with an extra +10dB for subwoofers. Per the spec, it is intended "to be used in calibrating the sound pressure level and electroacoustic response of a cinema B-chain system." Note that sampling rates less than 48KHz are outside the scope of the spec, and an attempt will be made to construct a reduced rate filter.

-t sine means to use sine wave.

-t wav means to play WAV files, either pre-defined files or given via -w option.

You can pass the number from 1 to 3 as a backward compatibility.

-l | --nloops COUNT

Specifies the number of loops.  Zero means to run infinitely.

When -s option below with a valid channel is given, speaker-test will perform always a single-shot without looping.

-s | --speaker CHANNEL

Do a single-shot speaker test for the given channel.  The channel number starts from 1. The channel number corresponds to left, right, rear-left, rear-right, center, LFE, side-left, side-right, and so on.

For example, when 1 is passed, it tests the left channel only once rather than both channels with looping.

-w | --wavfile FILE

Use the given WAV file for the playback instead of pre-defined WAV files.

-W | --wavdir DIRECTORY

Specify the directory containing WAV files for playback. The default path is /usr/share/sounds/alsa.

-m | --chmap MAP

Pass the channel map to override. If the playback in a specific channel order or channel positions is required, pass the channel position strings to this option.

-X | --force-frequency

Allow supplied FREQ to be outside the default range of 30-8000Hz. A minimum of 1Hz is still enforced.

Usage Examples

Produce stereo sound from one stereo jack:

  speaker-test -Dplug:front -c2

Produce 4 speaker sound from two stereo jacks:

  speaker-test -Dplug:surround40 -c4

Produce 5.1 speaker sound from three stereo jacks:

  speaker-test -Dplug:surround51 -c6

To send a nice low 75Hz tone to the Woofer and then exit without touching any other speakers:

  speaker-test -Dplug:surround51 -c6 -s1 -f75

To do a 2-speaker test using the spdif (coax or optical) output:

  speaker-test -Dplug:spdif -c2

Play in the order of front-right and front-left from the front PCM

  speaker-test -Dplug:front -c2 -mFR,FL

See Also



The speaker-test program was written by James Courtier-Dutton. Pink noise support was added by Nathan Hurst. Further extensions by Takashi Iwai. SMPTE ST-2095:1 band-limited pink noise added by Rick Sayre.


April 2nd, 2011