Top right, I click the sound icon, select sound settings, and connect my USB-headset. I can them see the headset being detected as it pops up in the menu. I click it, and expect the currently played audio to get sent to the headset instead. My problem is that it does not. The audio keeps playing through the built-in speakers.

More info: The icon for my built-in card in the sound settings is a circuit with a note symbol on top. The symbol for the headset is just black background with a "No" symbol on it. Might mean it doesn't work somehow.

I installed pavucontrol, and notice that no second sound card shows up in there.

When connecting, the syslog says

Jun 20 09:38:46 yuna kernel: [40144.553431] usb 2-1.2: new full-speed USB device number 11 using ehci_hcd

Jun 20 09:38:46 yuna kernel: [40144.650609] input: C-Media USB Headphone Set as /devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb2/2-1/2-1.2/2-1.2:1.3/input/input20

Jun 20 09:38:46 yuna kernel: [40144.650895] generic-usb 0003:0D8C:000C.000B: input,hidraw0: USB HID v1.00 Device [C-Media USB Headphone Set ] on usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.2/input3

Jun 20 09:38:46 yuna mtp-probe: checking bus 2, device 11: "/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:1d.0/usb2/2-1/2-1.2" Jun 20 09:38:46 yuna mtp-probe: bus: 2, device: 11 was not an MTP device


To make an external device available as audio sink and to switch to a playing stream on plugging in we may need to add the following to our /etc/pulse/default.pa (for pulseaudio >= 1.0):

load-module module-switch-on-connect

This needs a restart of the pulseaudio server to take effect. If daemonized to auto-spawn (this is the default) we can easily perform this with the following command:

pulseaudio -k
  • Thanks! That's great to know, and something I've been wondering about, but it seems to be unrelated to my question? It's not that I require PA to switch automatically, it's that I can't even manually switch it over, which I assume is a prerequisite for it to work automatically. – user50849 Jun 20 '12 at 8:33
  • Ok, my comment was incorrect, your suggestion did solve my problem. Perhaps the answer could be re-phrased a bit anyway though, to address my first comment? :) – user50849 Jun 20 '12 at 8:37
  • This worked for me too. However, after pulseaudio -k I was unable to open the sound settings from the menu bar. I then rebooted and everything started working correctly. – Martin Eden Aug 20 '17 at 14:25
  • @MartinEden: in a default Ubuntu installation pulseaudio respawns after it was terminated. You may have disabled this. You then should be able to restart the daemon in a terminal with pulseaudio -D – Takkat Aug 20 '17 at 14:29
  • @Takkat: This is a clean Ubuntu 16.04 install, only a few hours old! I've changed very little – Martin Eden Aug 21 '17 at 7:09

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