Ubuntu (Linux) Microphone Settings

Learn how to check if your microphone is correctly configured, fix the settings if it isn’t.

If your microphone doesn’t work in any program, or if you checked it using our microphone test and it failed, the problem is likely with your operating system’s microphone settings.

Follow these steps to set the settings right:

  1. Click on the speaker icon on the menu bar and select Sound Settings as shown in the image below:
    sound-settings-ubuntu-1
  2. Select Input tab.
    input-tab-ubuntu-2
  3. Select the applicable device under Record sound from.
    select-device-ubuntu-3
  4. Make sure that the device is not in mute.
    mute-ubuntu-4
  5. Try speaking into your microphone and look for orange bars rising while you talk (see screenshot).
    input-level-ubuntu-5
  6. If the orange bars are rising while you are speaking that means your microphone is properly configured (what to do if my microphone still isn’t working, even though you say it’s properly configured?)
  7. If the orange bars are not rising while you are speaking into the mic, keep following the instructions.
  8. Drag the slider all the way to the right to increase the input volume (see screenshot).
    input-volume-ubuntu-6
  9. Now check again if you see orange bars rising when you talk into the microphone: if you do, your mic is now properly configured. If it still does not work please keep reading.

 

Set default device

Make sure that the correct sound device is set as the default by following the steps below:

  1. Open a terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T) and then run the gstreamer-properties.
  2. ~$ gstreamer-properties
  3. Change the settings under Default input to fit the correct microphone.
    default-device-ubuntu-7

 

What to do if you did see orange bars moving but your microphone still isn’t working in some program

Well, sorry, we can’t help here. If that’s the case then the problem is probably with the specific program you’re working with. You should try changing the program’s settings: make sure it is listening to the correct microphone and that its volume is high enough.

The good news are, you’ve now verified that the problem is not with the operating system settings.
 
If you’re sure that your actual microphone is the problem, check out our recommendations page to buy a new one.