Also, nowadays it's cheaper to mix everything in the cpu than to use costly bandwidth to move dozens of audio streams to a very inflexible piece or hardware just to offload mixing. And even if you are talking about these hardware Equalizer, virtual surround or something you get with cheap HDA drivers in windows, they are pretty terrible in terms of quality and implementation. I would rather use a good pulseaudio plugin for system-wide equalizer and virtual surround, but alas, nobody is doing that right now and your best bet is to dump pulseaudio into jack and put your favorite EQ and other DSP in the path. This is actually a really good solution with very low latency even for games and high sound quality, BUT, it's not user friendly to fiddle with jack and make pulseaudio cooperate(as of right now).
No announcement yet.
Linux Audio Driver Improvements On The Horizon