In this letter, a symmetric double-feedback configuration, to improve the beam quality of broad-area diode lasers is demonstrated. With this configuration, a symmetric double-lobed far field can be obtained, and this configuration leads to good beam quality. The beam quality factor M-2 of a diode laser with the emitting area 1 mumx200 mum is improved by using both the asymmetric single feedback and the symmetric double feedback. M-2 values of 4.3 for the asymmetric single-feedback laser system and 3.3 for the symmetric double-feedback laser system are obtained, whereas the M-2 value of the freely running laser is 42. The far and the near fields are also measured and compared for the three conditions. (C) 2004 American Institute of Physics.