L5 call audio quality

Given that there was a recent review on German golem.de which complained about the audio quality of calls, I was very curious about it. I have an L5 Evergreen with byzantium flashed onto it.

The easy part first: Incoming sound quality was pretty good right away from the start. No need to tweak anything.

The harder part: Outgoing sound quality. My wife complained I would sound quiet and “somehow muffled” with noise in the background (despite being in a quiet environment). The volume sliders in the graphical settings app seemed turned up, so more fiddling was in order. But I was quite scared to turn the wrong knob and turn the wrong volume up/down, ending up with a dsyfunctional phone of my own doing. (There are quite many of these knobs!)

So the package alsa-utils to the rescue, it contains alsamixer, and alsactl which I needed. First, thanks to a suggestion by Guido Günther, I stored all my values in a file, so I could restore them later to the original ones in case I screwed up. The commands to save all values to a plain text file and to later restore them if needed are:

alsactl store -f alsa.conf 
alsactl restore -f alsa.conf

OK, being on the safe side, I turned to alsamixer which provides a nice interface on the console.

Protip, doing this through ssh from a real computer lets you a) nicely use the keys to navigate, b) provides a large enough screen to see stuff and c) lets you make test calls WHILE you remotely turn up/down the volume on the L5

In the end it turned out that I needed to:

alsamixer
F6 (select soundcard) -> choose "0 Librem 5" (I could have started it with alsamixer -c 0 for the same effect)
F4 (show only Capture devices)
Navigate to "Digital" (the 9th column from the left) which was quite low and boost it up to 100%.

My wife understands me much better now! :heart:

15 Likes

How do you do that, can you choose byzantium already when flashing, or you flash the default way first and upgrade to byzantium afterwards?

This is worth every trouble with the command line! :wink:

7 Likes

https://developer.puri.sm/Librem5/Development_Environment/Phone/Troubleshooting/Reflashing_the_Phone.html

 ./scripts/librem5-flash-image --dist byzantium
2 Likes

L5 developers @dos already fixed the issue “sound quiet and “somehow muffled” with noise in the background” on amber as far i know.

PulseAudio version in Byzantium doesn’t contain the patch needed to adjust the parameters of the echo-cancel module yet, so it’s expected: https://gitlab.freedesktop.org/pulseaudio/pulseaudio/-/merge_requests/400

6 Likes

Did you say “Can you hear me now?”

Don’t you mean she HEARS you much better? Understanding is something completely different…lol

Of course you can’t understand a person well if you can hear them well, so it seems logical to me.

I think the internet/sarcasm filter is on…lol. I was attempting to make a joke.

3 Likes

Obviously he is not married…

1 Like

The classical way to test calling quality is: “Das Pferd frisst keinen Gurkensalat.”

1 Like

Or ZPF1 to 5