[pulseaudio-discuss] usb headset microphone will not work with pulseaudio

John Frankish j-frankish at slb.com
Wed Oct 24 03:34:41 PDT 2012

 > On Sat, 2012-10-20 at 09:44 +0000, John Frankish wrote:
> > I've been trying to get a Logitech usb headset to work on two different
> > machines both running the same software:
> >
> > pulseaudio-2.0, kernel-3.0.21, alsa-1.0.25
> >
> > Bus 002 Device 006: ID 046d:0a0b Logitech, Inc. ClearChat Pro USB
> >
> > mac mini:
> > Things appear as normal, I can use pavucontrol to direct output to the
> > headset speakers, but there appears to be no way to record sound from
> > the headset microphone using gnome-sound-recorder or skype-,
> > the headset microphone appears in the "record" tab of pavucontrol,
> Do you mean the "Input Devices" tab?

The usb headset microphone appears both in the "input devices" tab and, when an application tries to use it, in the "recording tab"

> > but nothing is recorded.
> Is even silence recorded? On the "Recording" tab of pavucontrol, do you see
> the gnome-sound-recorder or skype stream, and does the UI say that it's
> connected to the usb headset microphone?

No silence recorded, the "ping" marking the start of the skype playback is followed immediately by the "ping" marking the end of the skype playback, even though there was an attempt to record "testing, testing, 1, 2, 3". The skype stream shows the usb headset microphone.

Note that the "link channels" icon is shown as depressed, but as the microphone is correctly shown as mono, I cannot unlink it. Note also that I cannot test the internal card as I don't (as yet) have a powered microphone for the mac mini line in.

> > No pulseaudio error messages appear and the usb microphone will not
> > work even when the internal sound card is completely disabled.
> >
> > dell latitude e6220:
> > When the usb headset is plugged in, it appears for a few seconds in
> > pavucontrol then disappears for a few seconds and then reappears
> > again. This continues for as long as the headset is plugged in - see
> > attached log. Note that it is not possible to disable the internal
> > sound from pavucontrol, it is re-enabled as soon as the usb headset
> > appears again.
> The log shows that udev reports the device getting repeatedly removed and
> added, so that problem is at a lower level than pulseaudio.
> It's certainly possible to disable the internal sound card in pavucontrol. Go to
> the Configuration tab and select the "Off" profile for the internal card.

I tried disabling the internal card, but the next time the usb headset reappears, the internal card is re-enabled. Note that the internal card microphone works fine with skype if the usb headset is not connected (after first unlinking channels due to the "fake stereo channel for mono microphone" bug)

I would use a Bluetooth headset, but it doesn't even last 15 seconds on either machine before pulseaudio disconnects it :P

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