Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (880 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Problem with USB headset microphone volume
On 24/08/13 07:30, Jim Sabatke wrote:
On 08/23/2013 05:42 AM, Basil Chupin wrote:
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.



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.


Configuring alsamixer was the most common fix I found on the internet and it was the first thing I tried. I've been trying to find a configuration that works, but no luck. I can get it configured so that the sound level bars show appropriate levels, but only very faint sound through the headphones. BTW, mm on my system turns off the input / output and 00 turns them on. Alsamixer v1.0.25, if that makes a difference.


The version I have is 1.0.26 but that is neither here not there.

Re the "oo" and the "mm": yep, I was working from memory and what you state is correct- "oo" ON and "mm" is OFF.

Puzzling problem. Did you have some sound being generated when you were fiddling with the channels? While I don't use a headset with a mic I found that I couldn't get sound out of the speakers because of a certain combination of channels being active at the same time; I happened to turn off some channels and suddenly had sound from the speakers.

The other thing is with pavucontrol.

I have a 5-1 sound system and have all 5 of the speakers operating OK. However, when I watch a DVD I use headphones and when I do I lose most of the sound in the movie. Reason? The headphones are stereo of course and therefore lose sound from anything except the left and right channels. To get full sound I have to go into pavucontrol and select the stereo output which combines all sound and I can then hear the movie perfectly.

I wonder if this is what may be causing your problem (the headset is 'stereo' afterall)?


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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