I have a model B currently running Arch Linux ARM, clocked to 800 MHz. I tried playing a video with omxplayer, and while the video plays flawlessly, the audio is pitched very low, and includes clicking and hissing sounds.

I tried both the analog and HDMI outputs, and the result was the same. Could this be a hardware issue, or am I missing some drivers/kernel modules?

For reference, here is some information about the video:

  • Container: MP4

  • Video codec: h.264

  • Audio codec: AAC (stereo, 44.1 kHz)

EDIT: I tried using omxplayer's -w (hardware audio decoding) option, but it crashes after launching.

  • Audio quality is known to be subpar with the raspberry pi. Check some of the "Related" questions on the right. However, I'm not sure if that should affect the hdmi audio as well. Perhaps you could try a few different audio or video files or a different player program to rule out hardware issues. Also... what are you using for speakers? Is it passive, like headphones, or active, like a stereo system? Hissing and clicking is often the result of overtaxing your audio output.
    – krs013
    Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 22:02
  • @krs013 With HDMI, the device is connected to a surround sound system. When using analog output, I connected headphones. I followed your instructions and mplayer plays back audio normally, albeit slowly, so it's not a hardware issue. I'll do some more experimenting with other video/audio codecs.
    – whjms
    Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 22:08
  • I wouldn't be surprised if it sounds terrible with headphones. You might try reading this post.
    – krs013
    Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 22:23
  • @krs013 I read that thread before posting here, but I was not sure if they were having the same issue that I am. One of the posters seemed to imply that audio quality is acceptable with HDMI output. With HDMI output for me, audio is so distorted that even voices are indescernible.
    – whjms
    Commented Apr 27, 2013 at 22:38
  • That's pretty strange. Are you sure it's not your movie file? Try omxplayer with some other audio or video, maybe...
    – krs013
    Commented Apr 28, 2013 at 1:25

1 Answer 1


It appears that the audio distortion was a software issue with omxplayer, as XBMC is capable of playing files without it. For now, I guess I'll just use XBMC.

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