Improving MateBook X Pro’s Speakers

PSA: Please take this MXP user survey about issues and mods!

The MateBook X Pro has some of the best speakers on any ultrabook. Unlike most laptops, it has 4 speakers instead of 2: there are a pair of up-facing tweeters under the speaker grill and a pair of down-facing woofers on the laptop’s bottom corners. The crisp up-firing tweeters greatly enhance soundstage and imaging. Nevertheless, these speakers are not perfect, and here’s some ways we can improve them.

Analysis in Stock Form

You can refer to this graph to adjust your equalizer setting in the Dolby app, but to get much better sound, read on.

Problem

Update: Huawei included the following fix in later-model MateBook X Pros.

The MateBook X Pro's speakers have a pretty awful distortion at around 511Hz. Both my unit and another at a Huawei store have this problem, so it's most likely a design flaw instead of a defective unit. The cause appears to be the bottom of the speaker enclosure vibrating against the laptop's unibody shell, and the speaker's screws vibrating as well.

Solution

Peal off the foam seal around the speaker drivers. Now, the bottom lid no longer presses the speaker against the unibody.

Put a thin strip of sponge or similar soft material under the speaker to separate the resonating components.

Results

Per my ear, this mod successfully eliminated the distortion except at absurdly high volumes.

Other than a reduction in low treble, the frequency response stays intact. Very fortunately, this mod doesn't reduce bass.

  1. Install Equalizer APO. Apply this fix while you're at it.
  2. Search for Configuration Editor in the Start menu and open it.
  3. You are now editing the main config.txt for EAPO. Delete the default example filters in there.
  4. Right click and download this EQ correction profile (MXPro.txt) and put it in %ProgramFiles%\EqualizerAPO\config.
  5. Include MXPro.txt.
  6. Install DynamiQ. This will give you the frequency response you want AND the volume you need.

Note: remember to turn this EQ off when using external sound equipment such as headphones.

Inner Workings

I used Room EQ Wizard to generate a set of equalizer parameters that flatten (±2dB) the frequency response down to about 110Hz, which is the point beyond which the total harmonic distortion exceeds 10%. I used a high-pass to filter out the distortion-heavy frequencies below that. I refrained from boosting the top treble too much and gave it a smooth roll-off instead.

This is how the correction filters look in Equalizer APO. Notice that correcting the frequency response (especially extending the bass) requires some sacrifice of maximum volume. So, I created the DynamiQ algorithm to minimize this trade-off, to get excellent frequency response AND very loud maximum volume without switching between different EQ profiles. Go install it (and read about how it works) from Github. I swear this is gonna sound unbelievable compared to what MXPro normally sounds like.

Take my REW file if you want to fiddle around. It also includes a pre-modification measurement if you don't want to do the sponge mod.

Note About Audio Drivers

Blue is Microsoft driver, purple is Realtek driver.

Switching to generic Microsoft audio drivers in Device Manager disables the tweeters and makes the sound fecal. Don’t do it. Keep the default Realtek drivers.

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Lazardu
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Lazardu

Hey Brad,

Recently I’ve got a problem with headphones buzzing noise. I tried to update driver, reinstall it, but without success. Every time I plug the headphones into jack I get same buzzing frustrating noise.

Do you have any suggestion how to solve this issue?

Many thanks,
Lazar

Lazardu
Guest
Lazardu

Thank you Brad for your prompt reply! I solved the problem after uninstalling Realtek driver and installing it from Huawei website. I got an option to choose (after plugging headphones) headset or headphone in notification panel.

Cheers

Taylor Thomas
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Taylor Thomas

Hey brad! I tried installing APO, then set it to control the speakers, reboot, then fiddled with the EQ and preamp but am not having the sound reflect any of the changes. Any ideas? what are your settings with the configurator?

Seth D. Meyers
Guest

Hi Brad,

First off, thank you for all of the documentation. Super helpful!

Second, could you tell me a bit more about the 3 separate HPF’s in APO? Unless each is addressing one individual speaker, I believe they would be completely redundant.

-Seth

Toni Blue
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Toni Blue

Hey Brad,

do I loose my warranty if I fix the speaker-problem with your method by opening the notebook and so on?

Best wishes,

Toni

Daniel
Guest

Good stuff. On a related note, I’m wondering if you’ve noticed a delay in “spinning up” the drivers to play the audio? I’m using the latest realtek driver. I tried mucking around with all the different drivers I could get working, and they all produced the same or worse results… Read more »

fluffymadness
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fluffymadness

Hi Brad, thx for your guide. Can you please set a download link for your MXPro.txt EQ Correction Profile?
There doesn’t seem to be any.

Quentin
Guest
Quentin

Hello,
Thank you for the tip. Will definitely do that as my left speakers distort strongly. Do you know what torx screwdriver size I need to open the back? Also where did you find that white foam? Is it necessary? Thx and regards,

Quentin