I cannot control volume using Apple EarPods's buttons. Is there any way to do so?

My system: Ubuntu 14.04 64bit.

  • Same here. :( I am using earpod of iphone 6. – Afzal Masood Dec 30 '14 at 8:02
  • Possible duplicate of: askubuntu.com/questions/148550/… – benjamin button Jun 27 '16 at 21:59
  • @bensen The fact is, when I connect it to my MacBook, everything works as expected. So it's without any doubt lack of proper driver. However how to get one? It's the scope of my question. – enedil Jun 28 '16 at 12:12

Apple EarPods use a special/different type of connector layout called CTIA.

Your Macbook works perfectly with CTIA headphones because they are both Apple products and implement CTIA. Your ubuntu setup most likely uses OMTP.

Here is an image depicting the mismatch:

enter image description here

This incompatibility will prevent you from using your Apple EarPods

  • You might be able to buy a CTIA to OMTP adapter, but I don't know if it will solve your problem. I am not affiliated with Amazon or Honsky and will not vouch for this product but this might work for you. – Commanderjsoc Jul 4 '16 at 4:37

You headphone has a TRRS (tip-ring-ring-sleeve) connector. Which can be seen below.

enter image description here

Black rings separates the signal contacts. Here we have 3 black rings and 4 signal lines (contacts). These contacts are used for;

  1. Ground
  2. Stereo Signal-1
  3. Stereo Signal-2
  4. Button control

So, we must have 4 different contacts in the host device's connector (for example you laptops audio jack) to be able to use all of those signals.

You are telling that "I can not control volume via using the headphone's buttons". In this case we have to ask these questions;

  1. Does audio connector of our computer has 4 contacts in it (hardware thing)?
  2. If it does, does the machine has a DAC converter to understand button signals (still hardware thing)?
  3. If above questions are both yes, do we have proper drivers in OS to run this DAC component?

If you can say "yes" to all of the questions mentioned above but still Pc is not understanding the buttons, then;

  1. You may have a problem with your earpods.
  2. You have to dig more into to automatize capturing keypressed events and associating these events to an action (like volume up/ open web browser or anything else).

You don't say what device you are using but most modern laptops with one socket of that type will , when correctly setup, prompt you to select what type of device you have plugged in and configure the port appropriately.

That this is not happening suggests that you have not got the right profile loaded for your computer's (laptop ?) particular chip layout.

Possible options are listed here


A tool to help find the right options is avilabile here


  • 1
    The main question is about the 'volume buttons and the main button' of earpod, not about the headphone vs headset vs mic selector – morhook Jul 11 '16 at 15:50

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