I recently upgraded my Pi 400 to the latest Os version that now uses Pulseaudio by default. I have my Pi connected to an AVR (Harman Kardon 151S) that is connected to a 5.1 setup of loudspeakers.

speaker-test -c6 -D hw:0 correctly plays sound from each loudspeaker including the subwoofer.

However, when I try to play a test file in Kodi, MPV or VLC, the surround channels are played trough the front loudspeakers and the subwoofer is silent.

I suspect this is because pulseaudio wrongly offers just a Digital Stereo output (a portion of pacmd list-cards):

            output:digital-stereo: Digital Stereo Output (priority 5100, available: unknown)
            off: Off (priority 0, available: unknown)

How can I make it use a 5.1 profile?


I am facing the same issue but got a little progress: with

pactl load-module module-alsa-sink name=HDMI device=hw:0,0 channels=6 tsched=0

there was coming sound from the right surround speaker instead of the front left (here is the reference). So now only the new module needs to be adjusted to play the correct channels. Thats's only a direction, when I find more about it I will share it.

  • That would be great! I am waiting for the new OS release for my next try!
    – sup
    Oct 4 '21 at 16:16

First, enable the correct number of speakers in daemon.conf (it's eiter in /etc/pulse/ or in ~/.config/pulse/). For 5.1 setup that would be:


Then load the channel mapper module from default.pa (again, it's eiter in /etc/pulse/ or in ~/.config/pulse/). For 5.1 setup that would be:

load-module module-combine channels=6 channel_map=front-left,front-right,rear-left,rear-right,front-center,lfe

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