speaker-test Man page

SPEAKER-TEST(1) General Commands Manual SPEAKER-TEST(1)


speaker-test – 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


PCM device name


-f | –frequency FREQ
sine wave of FREQ Hz

–help 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|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 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 chan‐
nel 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.

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 touch‐
ing 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




The speaker-test program was written by James Courtier-Dutton. Pink
noise support was added by Nathan Hurst. Further extensions by Takashi

speaker-test April 2nd, 2011 SPEAKER-TEST(1)