Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (880 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Problem with USB headset microphone volume
On 23/08/13 20:11, Jim Sabatke wrote:
SUSE 12.2
Plantronics Audio 478 USB Headset
Volume Control Programs
- pavucontrol
- kmix
HP G72 Laptop

I can't seem to get any volume out of my headset microphone. If I max the volume on either control program, I can hear if I scratch my fingernail on the mic, or if I stick the microphone in my mouth and yell, I get a very low volume, highly distorted sound through the headset. The sound level bars pavucontrol show high responsiveness to sound, but it doesn't come through the headset.

Skype doesn't work, including the test site. No programs seem to work for recording or hearing microphone input.

A fairly exhaustive search online shows this seems to be, and has been, a pretty common problem for some time, over multiple distro's, and versions. There aren't a whole lot of suggested fixes, and the most common one is to run pavucontrol, which certainly gives me more options than kmix. In fact, when I started with only kmix, I couldn't see any input sources until I installed pavucontrol, which then caused the microphone to be recognized on both programs.

I need this because I am disabled, but volunteer time and expertise to a couple of highly visible and important state task forces that report to the Secretary of Health Services and I serve, as a volunteer on the board of directors of a very large and influential advocacy agency serving others with the same disability as I deal with. It's not important you know that, except that I am not paid and am trying to make a difference, and can't afford to acquire and dispose of technologies that may or may not work, and from what I read online anyway, this is a pretty common problem. I also do NOT want to be forced into the Windows world, and in fact, I am trying to advocate for others in my situation to use Linux where I would help them (and I have been supporting Linux users for a very long time. I just run into new things every so often that I need help with). This is all to say this is important to more people than me, and any help is doing work for the public good. Enough said.

So, any help on this would be very much appreciated.



Pulse/pavucontrol are sitting on top of alsa. Have you configured alsa? If no then-

on a comman line run


and press F6 to first select your audio card then press F5 to see all available channels. Look at the one re the microphone and see if its output level is high enough - use the up/down arrows to raise/lower the volume. And use the key "m" to switch on/off the channels (get to them by using the left/right arrows)--the 'mm' will be highlighted if the channels is active.

When you do the above it would be helpful if you have something producing sound running in the background so that you can gauge how your adjustments in alsamixer are working.

Once you have this right then pavucontrol will work.


Using openSUSE 12.3, KDE 4.11.0 & kernel 3.10.9-1 on a system with-
AMD FX 8-core 3.6/4.2GHz processor
16GB PC14900/1866MHz Quad Channel Corsair "Vengeance" RAM
Gigabyte AMD3+ m/board; Gigabyte nVidia GTX550Ti 1GB DDR5 GPU

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