40.23 Audio Hum


Olive is a Dell XPS13 9380. See Section 40.19 for details. It suffered Audio Hum on Power Save.

On a upgrading from 20.04 to 22.04 the external speakers (quite old but good quality powered Dell speakers with a woofer) would start humming after a few seconds of inactivity. This seemed to be related to audio power saving.

A workaround was to keep the Pulse Audio Volume Control application running and just minimise the window. The humming would stop whenever an application was using the audio.

Two solutions can be found in AskUbuntu. One is to turn off the power_save parameter of the sound card. Check the current status of power_save with:

cat /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save

A 1 indicates that power_save is enabled. Turn off power_save with:

echo "0" | sudo tee /sys/module/snd_hda_intel/parameters/power_save

If the humming stops then enable this solution as a boot time option:

echo "options snd_hda_intel power_save=0" | sudo tee -a /etc/modprobe.d/audio_disable_powersave.conf

Instead of disabling power saving through the sound card, a PulseAudio configuration is available.

sudo nano /etc/pulse/default.pa

And uncomment (remove the hash from) the line:

#load-module module-suspend-on-idle

Then kill PulseAudio so that it will restart:

pulseaudio --kill

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