Versions: Ubuntu 15.10, Skype

In Skype->Options->Sound Devices I want Ringing=rear speakers and Speakers=headphones, for, I think, obvious reasons.

However, there is only one device permitted for all three, Microphone, Speakers and Ringing:

PulseAudio server (local)

Unity's sound "indicator" at the upper right of the desktop has a dropdown to "Sound Settings" that I can use to redirect PulseAudio's audio streams for various devices, but that doesn't let me direct one output stream (Skype's "Ringing") to one device and another output stream (Skype's "Speaker") to another device.

1 Answer 1


This is an inherent limitation of Skype since the first release after Microsoft bought Skype, and I suspect it was done to limit the number of things they had to program for a competing operating system (or possibly to make Windows more attractive to Skype users than Linux). PulseAudio is the only sound device Linux Skype supports, and that's that. I solved this problem on my own system by installing an extension wire on the speaker jack; I plug in the speakers most of the time, and switch to the headphones when I'm on Skype. You could do this more smoothly with a small A/B switch box with suitable jacks and plugs -- but there isn't any way to do it in software.

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