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I've just buyed this headphones: http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD-429-Headphones-Smartphones/dp/B009HQTORS

They have a mic button so you can talk when attached to a mobile.

If I use the headphones in a mobile (I've just tested Samsung S3 and S1) it works like a charm.

But if I use them in my Sony Laptop with Ubuntu, sound quality is really bad. If the player is flash, sound is not good. If it is not, sound is just horrible. But if I press mic button, sound is perfect!!

What can I do?

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closed as off-topic by Braiam, Avinash Raj, BuZZ-dEE, falconer, Lucio Feb 4 at 20:24

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3 Answers

It is very simple. The headphones with mic aren't compatible with the only head phone jack.

The headphones with mic used with phone has 4 step. The standard configuration is either CTIA or OMTP. The tip is audio L, next step is audio right, 3rd step is ground (or may be mic) and 4th step is mic (or ground).

On the other hand the headphone jack only compatible with 3 pin, audio L, audio R and ground.

The reason you get horrible sound because of those last two steps. When you press the mic button, it shorts the ground with mic which intern makes your headset act like earphone without mic.

This is not related anything to ubuntu. Pure hardware issue. You need to get a 4pin to 3 pin spliter like below

enter image description here

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I would suggest going to Sound Settings and try adjusting them. The bad sound might be an issue that can be fixed through the laptops' settings... If you have tried this, please let me know for further details.

Regards, Anthie G.

enter image description here

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I cannot resolve the issue using Sound Settings (or I don't know how to do it) –  xavi Jul 12 '13 at 12:32
    
Plug your headphones in and go to sound settings. Go to the "Output" tab click on your headphones and try adjusting the settings. * See the picture above :) (I edited my answer) :) –  Anthie Georgiadi Jul 12 '13 at 18:07
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For the laptop, I just put a small binder clip over the microphone button, keeping it permanently pressed. Problem is most new ear bud come with the microphone, so you may have to shop around.

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