When I connect my headset to my laptop running on Ubuntu 18.04.1, sound can only be heard from the right side. I have tried testing the speaker in the sound settings, which shows the same result. The headset works correctly when connected to other devices. I also checked with another headphone, which also had the same issue.

I have tried suggestions from other answers, such as this and this, but they did not work. The following is the output from alsamixer:

enter image description here

So it appears that the bars for both channels are set to full. I also checked in the sound settings that the sound balance is at the centre.

How can I find the source of the problem, and resolve it?

Thank you.

  • Are you using a headset with a headphone only, or one combined with a microphone? And are you sure the input jack on your laptop fits the jack on your headset? There are 2-channel and 3-channel jacks, often laptops have combined 3-channel jacks. – Sebastian Jan 13 '19 at 15:04
  • Did you by any chance try this – Elder Geek Jan 14 '19 at 22:29

I recommend trying pavucontrol click the lock icon and confirm that both channels are up.


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Please correct me if my assumptions are wrong, but these are the available facts:

  1. Headphone jack doesn't provide output on one channel
  2. Speaker also doesn't provide output on the same channel
  3. All the tweaking hasn't resolved the issue.

If all these things are correct, you might be having a hardware fault.
So, the question is, how do we verify if it's a hardware fault or not?

First, see if there is a HDMI output on your laptop. Connect to a TV using the the HDMI cable.

Next, start playing a movie (or anything with audio), and route the audio to HDMI. (use pavucontrol to do so; set HDMI out as default, and be sure that the stream (when being played) is routed to the HDMI output). Also ensure that that TV is unmuted.

If the audio plays correctly on that, then there is a high chance that this is a hardware issue.

Also check using one of these devices: USB Soundcards. These are cheap and a hardware fault would be easy to diagnose that way.

tl;dr: It might be a hardware fault; not a software issue.

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I had the same problem. I opened Alsa Mixer and slid the balance all the way to the side that wasn't working. It started working. Then I moved it back to the middle and both channels are working fine again.

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I had the same problem and tried all suggested solutions here, none worked. It was triggered by using chrome browser to cast to my chromecast. A reebot fixed it. Running

killall chrome

did nothing to help this, so assume it's something different - someone better at linux than me, might add to this.

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