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I am having trouble to get USB speakers (Harman/Kardon soundsticks) working on my ASUS Zenbook running Ubuntu 13.04. When I plug them in, they briefly appear in the sound settings:

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But after about ten seconds they vanish for no reason, and I see this stuff in the dmesg.

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[  261.694063] usb 2-1: new full-speed USB device number 2 using xhci_hcd
[  261.715712] usb 2-1: New USB device found, idVendor=05fc, idProduct=7849
[  261.715724] usb 2-1: New USB device strings: Mfr=3, Product=1, SerialNumber=0
[  261.715730] usb 2-1: Product: SoundSticks
[  261.715735] usb 2-1: Manufacturer: harman/kardon
[  261.768281] usbcore: registered new interface driver usbhid
[  261.768290] usbhid: USB HID core driver
[  261.773897] usb_audio: Warning! Unlikely big volume range (=656), cval->res is probably wrong.
[  261.773903] usb_audio: [2] FU [PCM Playback Volume] ch = 2, val = -10496/0/16<6>
[  261.776375] input: harman/kardon SoundSticks as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1c.3/0000:03:00.0/usb2/2-1/2-1:1.2/input/input11
[  261.776646] hid-generic 0003:05FC:7849.0001: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.00 Device [harman/kardon SoundSticks] on usb-0000:03:00.0-1/input2
[  261.779866] usbcore: registered new interface driver snd-usb-audio
[  267.807602] timeout: still 3 active urbs on EP #1
[  268.805848] timeout: still 3 active urbs on EP #1
[  269.804214] timeout: still 3 active urbs on EP #1
[  271.804867] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: xHCI host not responding to stop endpoint command.
[  271.804884] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: Assuming host is dying, halting host.
[  271.804924] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: HC died; cleaning up
[  271.805011] usb 2-1: USB disconnect, device number 2
[  274.795747] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: Timeout while waiting for configure endpoint command
[  274.795756] xhci_hcd 0000:03:00.0: Abort the command ring, but the xHCI is dead.
[  274.795765] usb 2-1: Not enough bandwidth for altsetting 0

Repeated plug and unplugs then do nothing. A fresh reboot will cause the behaviour to reoccur.

My Kernel version:

wim@wim-zenbook:~$ uname -a
Linux wim-zenbook 3.8.0-27-generic #40-Ubuntu SMP Tue Jul 9 00:17:05 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

It's a USB 3.0 port on the zenbook.

What do the messages in dmesg mean, and how can I get the speakers to just work properly?

share|improve this question
This appears to be a problem related to the USB 3.0 controller. Try using another USB port, or updating the kernel. –  CL. Aug 3 '13 at 20:50
Unfortunately I only have the 1 working USB port on my laptop. Which kernel version should I try? 3.8.0-27 is not a very old one .. –  wim Aug 4 '13 at 10:04
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