How I got my usb headset to work

I got a new headset primarily to use on my ps3 for COD4 but I thought it would be fun to test it on Ubuntu.

It didn’t run straight out-of-the-box, but was pretty easy to get working.

This method will not work for everyone, but it can’t hurt to try.

I began by switching everything to ALSA (advanced linux sound architecture) in “system -> preferences -> sound”.

Then removed PulseAudio from my system by doing

sudo apt-get autoremove pulseaudio – -purge

in a terminal

(note: there should be no space between the two – before purge)

Then I selected the “usb headset” in the sound window.

By now your sound window should look like this:

Then I downloaded “asoundconf-gtk” by using the following command.

“sudo apt-get install asoundconf-gtk”

Once it was installed, I opened it by pressing “alt + f2” and typing the name again.

Then I selected “headset” from the dropdown menu.

After that’s done, install “gnome-alsamixer” the same way you installed “asoundconf-gtk”.

Open up gnome-alsamixer.

Unmute everything and turn them up. There should be a tab on the top (mine was called “usb mixer”), switch to that and do the same again.

And voila, everyhing worked.

If you don’t understand something I’ve written down, feel free to ask.

If these steps aren’t working after following this guide, well I’m sorry, I can’t help you.

You can get help on or on the on #ubuntu or #alsa.

If you don’t know how to use irc, click here.

  1. Thanks for this. It worked for me. I’m not sure what Pulse Audio is good for, except breaking things.

      • BroWigglesworth
      • May 5th, 2009

      Thanks man this worked for me also, Appreciate the effort to help other people man keep up the good work dude

    • linuxowns
    • July 15th, 2008

    I hear you.

    It seems PulseAudio has more potential than ALSA, but it just isn’t there yet.

  2. You know, I have to disagree with myself. ALSA worked great and first, but then the headphones stopped working, then audio stopped working at all, etc. I went back followed all the instructions at (including hosing my existing alsa.conf) and now Pulse works just fine. It’s much more complicated than it needs to be, but it does seem it can walk and chew gum at the same time.

    • xukun
    • September 21st, 2008

    Thanks you very much, this worked for me too. You are supper.

    • etful
    • February 10th, 2009

    hey mate, think u did it great!!! thank u so much for this tips!

    • GABTEK
    • February 10th, 2009

    THANKS SO MUCH! I browse the net for days!!! you are the best!!!

    • Slyman
    • February 21st, 2009

    Many Thanks! gotta love the ubuntu/linux community, the answers are always out there!!!

    • Achim Schmitz
    • February 22nd, 2009

    A tip for people who don’t like the command line stuff (using Ubuntu 8.04): out of curiosity I checked the installed packages with Synaptic. I was able to quickly mark all the packages to be installed and the one to be removed. In a single step I applied the changes. In the sound preferences I then switched to ALSA. The audio applications had to be restarted to detect the new settings. IWFM (it works for me)!

    • Lullu
    • March 11th, 2009

    For some reason, I cant do this.

    When I type “sudo apt-get autoremove pulseaudio – -purge”

    I get an error returned: “E: Command line option ‘p’ [from -purge] is not known.”

    I Quadruple checked and I am typing it right…so I have absolutely no idea what is going on.

    Ubuntu 8.10

    any help appreciated.

    • Francois
    • March 16th, 2009

    I think there is a mistake.
    you wrote : sudo apt-get autoremove pulseaudio – -purge
    It seems to be : sudo apt-get autoremove pulseaudio –purge

    • bded
    • April 15th, 2009

    thank you so much for this, i was having many problems with my volume control built into my headset and thissolved it.

    • mubb
    • May 11th, 2009

    Thank you for the guidelines, it worked for my Logitech ClearChat Comfort USB Headset. The sound quality is great and microphone is working fine too.
    Thanks again

    • RGFL
    • May 16th, 2009

    Thank you so much… simple, it all make sens and its easy to follow.

    Appreciate it very much!!

    Merci encore!

    • Mo
    • August 7th, 2009

    Thanks for this great manual. It just worked fine for my HS-1200!

    I just have one quick question. How do I best switch back to the internal speakers (Laptop) or speakers connected to the line-out, if needed?


  3. This works for our system too. Thanks.

    • Jonathan
    • October 8th, 2009

    Top Man! I used a USB 5.1 surround adapter to connect a headset with 2 standard 3.5mm mini-jack type connectors. Worked a treat! πŸ™‚

    • Steve
    • October 12th, 2009

    Thanks a lot – this worked – I’m using Ubuntu Jaunty – and I have a logitech headset/microphone – now I can listen to music on Ubuntu with it…

    • tonyM
    • January 15th, 2010

    many thanx…
    now my usb headset is working, thanx again

    • bean
    • February 3rd, 2010

    it worked on mine as well. Thanks a lot

    • Ric Moore
    • March 14th, 2010

    Just recently, with Jaunty and kubuntu, my USB headset stutters, especially with DVD playback using Xine. Anyone else experience this?? Thanx, Ric

    • dernacht
    • June 13th, 2010

    all that did was break my sound now i dont have anything:(

  4. Dude, you rock! I don’t know how it worked, because I didn’t have everything the exact same as you, but all I know is I’m listening to music on my USB headphones right now under Ubuntu Linux 9.10.

    I think the ‘gnome-alsamixer’ application may have helped out.

    -= The Space Cowboy =-

    • francisco
    • January 19th, 2011

    it worked like a charm.. thank you so much!!

  5. I wish youwould update the instructions for Ubuntu 11.04. I have so many problems with mine and i need help!

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    • Nicholas Tomlin
    • June 3rd, 2016

    First time I hooked up a usb headphone to Linux box running mageia 5.. not working.. so, started pulse audio [was using kmix at first] then ended up finding the issue was fixed by going to the ‘playback’ tab, checking ‘all streams’ then the Logitech H540 headphones popped up.. set them for digital stereo in the ‘configuration’ tab and they worked..

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