Speakers sound quality

I need to adjust my balance to about 40% to the left (50% is centered) to get sound centered on the screen.
Is this typical?

Software fixes notwithstanding I would really like an option to slot in bigger speakers in the future… That’s like the only part of this laptop that doesn’t meet my (very long and picky) list of things I wanted.

@gracefu thanks for the info about your setup. I’m a fellow pipewire + easy effects user considering purchasing a framework.

With some other laptops I’ve had issues with easyeffects detecting the difference between using the laptop speakers and having headphones plugged in, and then loading/unloading plugins based on that.

Do you ever have issues with that? Eg: you have this EQ applied for speakers output but when you plug in headphones it is still applied and you manually need to disable the EQ.

@cameron_lambert I have no issues with preset autoloading, no. EQ is applied on speakers and unapplied on bluetooth earbuds. I haven’t tested aux, which is the only situation I can imagine easyeffects not working correctly, but I’m sure it’s not too hard to bind EQ loading/unloading to something for convenient switching.

@gracefu - Thank you! What a difference that EQ profile makes with these speakers.

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I’m alway using this FX Sound (https://www.fxsound.com/) to improve on the sound of any laptop. Have you tried with the Framework laptop (still waiting for mine)?

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I’ve had my Framework for a couple days now. It hasn’t seen any heavy usage yet, so take my opinion with that in mind.

My initial reaction as that the speakers SUCK. I was actually surprised at how bad they sounded. In that moment, I was sitting in a recliner with the laptop on my lap, so the speaker holes were firing half into my legs, half into the soft fabric of the recliner.

Last night, I was sitting at my kitchen counter and decided to watch a Youtube video (a professionally produced video with good sound characteristics) to give the speakers another try. With the laptop on a hard surface, the sound was definitely better and more clear. However the balance seems way off. Highs seem okay, but the lows seem muddy. The sound also sounds kind of hollow and echo-y overall…almost like the sound is bouncing around the inside of the case before getting to my ears.

I am no audiophile and there is A LOT I don’t understand about sound. What I do know is I’d rather watch a Youtube video or listen to music using the built in speakers on my phone rather than the Framework.

This is the one big thing (really the only thing at this point) that I’m unhappy with on the Framework. I’ve seen people referencing wanting bigger speakers. I guess what I don’t understand is, if a smartphone can have decent sound with little tiny speakers, why can’t a laptop have great sound with even bigger speakers?

Perhaps there are some adjustments I can make somewhere to improve the balance…if there are and someone would be gracious enough to point that out, I would appreciate it.


if you’re on Windows, you could try this:

or this on Linux:


Awesome, thanks. For now I’m just using Windows so I’ll take a look at FX Sound.


I just took a look at it myself. If their free plan doesn’t allow for it, you might want to look at another program to apply the EQ changes mentioned in the linux solution. I’m sure there’s free software for windows for that.

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Here’s my attempt at improving the sound of the speakers. I have a calibrated measurement microphone (miniDSP umik-1) and set the laptop on a table with the mic about a foot back from the palm rest, and about 8 inches off the surface. I created a “semi” anechoic environment by stacking sound absorption panels on the sides, back, and top of the laptop.

I used REW (Room EQ Wizard) to record the frequency sweeps of the both speakers playing together. Based on the measurements, I used the EQ tool in REW to automatically generate corrective EQ. I limited the correction to between 100 Hz and 10 kHz and also applied a low end roll-off starting at 250 Hz. The dark red line is the raw measurement, and the light red line is the “predicted” response after EQ is applied. I did not repeat the measurement after applying the EQ since I created the filters later.

Then I applied the filters in EasyEffects (using pipewire) and set them to autoload the preset when the speakers are playing. NOTE: the leftmost filter at 101 Hz is a low shelf, the rest are “bell”.

This is my first attempt but I think it made a noticeable improvement in the sound. They are much less tinny and sound more natural. I don’t know how much variation in frequency response there is unit to unit, but I’d be curious to see if others think it makes an improvement to their laptop. I will continue to measure and tweak as I have time.

A few notes about the measurement… as you can see the speaker output falls off quickly below 400 Hz which is not surprising given their small size. However I did notice that below 400 Hz is where most of the audible buzzing and rattling came from the case so I essentially chopped off most of the signal below 400 Hz. The rattling is gone but of course when listening to music through the speakers there is no kick drum or bass, but it’s a worthy tradeoff for me.
There is also a rolloff in the high frequency starting around 7 kHz, likely due to them being down firing speakers. I found that boosting the treble to extend the high frequency to 10 kHz helped a lot with making voices sound more intelligible.
I had a big resonance at 450 Hz that I think is really important to tame since it showed up in multiple measurements for me, including using the internal mic, which was also noted by @gracefu.


It was on a wooden dining table. Sound absorber panels were made from ~3 in. thick rockwool insulation.

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I compared my FW to my Fire Tablet from Amazon for audio and the Fire tablet is quite a bit louder. I can’t speak to the sound quality but watching netflix on the FW wasnt working while moving around. I can hear the Fire Tablet much further away while doing chores. The tablet is only 1/4 inch thick…
They could be louder, its my only disappointment with the laptop.

Edit… I just installed FX Sound as suggested earlier…Its Free! and it makes a huge difference.

Thanks for the idea!

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I’ll be honest, not a fan of the Framework speakers. I found the sound very underwhelming out of the box. So I went looking for anything that might help bring music to the “better than stock” level.
FXSound is it! (and maybe others, this is just one I tried and happy with). Unmistakable difference in volume, surround, and overall sound. I can now listen to YouTube and it’s “ok” instead of “ugh” :smiley:
The new version is donationware, not here to promote a purchase.


FYI for anyone who comes across this thread - this is a windows-only app. On linux you can try EasyEffects or PulseEffects, see this thread for more information:

@moderators - maybe this thread could/should be combined with the one linked above?


@lbkNhubert Oh yeah I agree the same Windows software is mentioned there, no problem with moving it!

My speakers sounds ok in Windows but I had some trouble with speaker and mic volume being very weak in Manjaro. I followed the steps shown here and that improved it a bit: Weak, Low volume, Tinny sound under Manjaro compared to Windows - Newbie Corner - Manjaro Linux Forum

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I’ve been underwhelmed by the quality of the audio. Some of it may be due to software, but the loudness and quality of audio is really quite subpar compared to devices with smaller drivers. Galaxy Tab 7, Galaxy S8, Dell 5420. Using Crab Rave as a comparison baseline the Framework sounds hollow, a bit tinny and under-driven when taking into consideration the size that the speakers take up in the unit. IMO The S8 with a single tiny driver beats the framework in loudness and quality by quite a bit. The Dell 5420 beats the Framework considerably in bass and loudness. and the Galaxy Tab 7 blows all of them away in quality and loudness. I would love to see an improved speaker kit to bring the framework up to par. I was able to get a bit more out of it with some equalizer software but it’s still not there.

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‘Aftermarket’ speakers need to happen.


My hypothesis is that the drivers are just not optimized but I am not a computer engineer so my theory is worth very little. However, the free FXSound software completely changes how the speakers sound in quality and loudness. Its a significant improvement! I tweaked the Volume Boost setting like this and it sounds as good or better than any laptop, tablet I have used.

Windows seems like it addresses them like a different set of speakers; is it a different driver, or emulating drivers? I don’t know. But until FrameWork updates the drivers for these speakers or the DAC they changed to**, try the FXsound software. It seems to improve headphone and bluetooth sound quality as well.

** I have NO idea if the change from Realtek ALC295 to the Tempo 92HD95B mentioned in this article has anything to do with the weak speaker performance or not, its just my theory as to why the speakers are driven so weakly.