Microphone volume automatically becomes low even if I set it to a higher level

Whenever I attend a webinar in Google Meet or Zoom and turn on my mic, the mic audio volume suddenly goes down to ~10% though I always set it back to 50%. [I am using a Sony ZX310AP Wired headphones]
I’ve already tried this post’s solution but in vain -

The output of inxi -Fazy is -

  Kernel: 5.10.70-1-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 11.1.0
  parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/@/boot/vmlinuz-5.10-x86_64
  root=UUID=d98af780-1fcd-4800-b354-8a978783586a rw rootflags=subvol=@ quiet
  apparmor=1 security=apparmor
  resume=UUID=eb26b8ba-7515-405a-8a72-ce404502c589 udev.log_priority=3
  Desktop: KDE Plasma 5.22.5 tk: Qt 5.15.2 wm: kwin_x11 vt: 1 dm: SDDM
  Distro: Manjaro Linux base: Arch Linux
  Type: Laptop System: HP product: HP 250 G6 Notebook PC
  v: Type1ProductConfigId serial: <filter> Chassis: type: 10 serial: <filter>
  Mobo: HP model: 8328 v: 23.70 serial: <filter> UEFI: Insyde v: F.52
  date: 03/04/2019
  ID-1: BAT1 charge: 40.0 Wh (100.0%) condition: 40.0/41.6 Wh (96.1%)
  volts: 16.6 min: 14.6 model: Hewlett-Packard PABAS0241231 type: Li-ion
  serial: <filter> status: Full
  Info: Dual Core model: Intel Core i3-6006U bits: 64 type: MT MCP
  arch: Skylake family: 6 model-id: 4E (78) stepping: 3 microcode: EA cache:
  L2: 3 MiB
  flags: avx avx2 lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx
  bogomips: 16006
  Speed: 2000 MHz min/max: 400/2000 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 2000 2: 2000
  3: 2000 4: 2000
  Vulnerabilities: Type: itlb_multihit status: KVM: VMX disabled
  Type: l1tf
  mitigation: PTE Inversion; VMX: conditional cache flushes, SMT vulnerable
  Type: mds mitigation: Clear CPU buffers; SMT vulnerable
  Type: meltdown mitigation: PTI
  Type: spec_store_bypass
  mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl and seccomp
  Type: spectre_v1
  mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization
  Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Full generic retpoline, IBPB: conditional,
  IBRS_FW, STIBP: conditional, RSB filling
  Type: srbds mitigation: Microcode
  Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected
  Device-1: Intel Skylake GT2 [HD Graphics 520] vendor: Hewlett-Packard
  driver: i915 v: kernel bus-ID: 00:02.0 chip-ID: 8086:1916 class-ID: 0300
  Device-2: Sunplus Innovation HP TrueVision HD Camera type: USB
  driver: uvcvideo bus-ID: 1-5:3 chip-ID: 1bcf:2c9b class-ID: 0e02
  Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.13 compositor: kwin_x11 driver:
  loaded: modesetting alternate: fbdev,vesa display-ID: :0 screens: 1
  Screen-1: 0 s-res: 1366x768 s-dpi: 96 s-size: 361x203mm (14.2x8.0")
  s-diag: 414mm (16.3")
  Monitor-1: eDP-1 res: 1366x768 hz: 60 dpi: 101 size: 344x194mm (13.5x7.6")
  diag: 395mm (15.5")
  OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel HD Graphics 520 (SKL GT2) v: 4.6 Mesa 21.2.3
  direct render: Yes
  Device-1: Intel Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio vendor: Hewlett-Packard
  driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel alternate: snd_soc_skl bus-ID: 00:1f.3
  chip-ID: 8086:9d70 class-ID: 0403
  Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.10.70-1-MANJARO running: yes
  Sound Server-2: JACK v: 1.9.19 running: no
  Sound Server-3: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: yes
  Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.38 running: yes
  Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet
  vendor: Hewlett-Packard driver: r8169 v: kernel port: 3000 bus-ID: 01:00.0
  chip-ID: 10ec:8168 class-ID: 0200
  IF: eno1 state: down mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 3168NGW [Stone Peak] driver: iwlwifi
  v: kernel bus-ID: 02:00.0 chip-ID: 8086:24fb class-ID: 0280
  IF: wlo1 state: up mac: <filter>
  Device-1: Intel Wireless-AC 3168 Bluetooth type: USB driver: btusb v: 0.8
  bus-ID: 1-4:2 chip-ID: 8087:0aa7 class-ID: e001
  Report: rfkill ID: hci0 rfk-id: 1 state: down bt-service: enabled,running
  rfk-block: hardware: no software: yes address: see --recommends
  Local Storage: total: 1.13 TiB used: 18.48 GiB (1.6%)
  SMART Message: Unable to run smartctl. Root privileges required.
  ID-1: /dev/sda maj-min: 8:0 vendor: A-Data model: SU630 size: 223.57 GiB
  block-size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B speed: 6.0 Gb/s type: SSD
  serial: <filter> rev: 3R17 scheme: GPT
  ID-2: /dev/sdb maj-min: 8:16 vendor: Western Digital model: WD10JPVX-60JC3T1
  size: 931.51 GiB block-size: physical: 4096 B logical: 512 B speed: 6.0 Gb/s
  type: HDD rpm: 5400 serial: <filter> rev: 1A02 scheme: GPT
  ID-1: / raw-size: 214.47 GiB size: 214.47 GiB (100.00%)
  used: 18.48 GiB (8.6%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2
  ID-2: /boot/efi raw-size: 300 MiB size: 299.4 MiB (99.80%)
  used: 572 KiB (0.2%) fs: vfat dev: /dev/sda1 maj-min: 8:1
  ID-3: /home raw-size: 214.47 GiB size: 214.47 GiB (100.00%)
  used: 18.48 GiB (8.6%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2
  ID-4: /var/log raw-size: 214.47 GiB size: 214.47 GiB (100.00%)
  used: 18.48 GiB (8.6%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2
  Kernel: swappiness: 10 (default 60) cache-pressure: 100 (default)
  ID-1: swap-1 type: partition size: 8.8 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%) priority: -2
  dev: /dev/sda3 maj-min: 8:3
  System Temperatures: cpu: 46.5 C mobo: 29.8 C
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
  Processes: 234 Uptime: 4h 13m wakeups: 1 Memory: 7.69 GiB
  used: 2.83 GiB (36.8%) Init: systemd v: 249 tool: systemctl Compilers:
  gcc: 11.1.0 Packages: pacman: 1503 lib: 383 flatpak: 0 Shell: Zsh v: 5.8
  default: Bash v: 5.1.8 running-in: yakuake inxi: 3.3.08

Just a gentle reminder, in case everyone missed the post.

Post#1 was not missed by everyone but it took some time to work through potential problems in the data and research information for responses.

Kernel v5.12 is no longer supported on Manjaro and is no longer available from Manjaro repositories
I suggest you install latest supported kernel v5.14 using Manjaro Settings Manager GUI (manjaro-settings-manager -m msm_kernel ) and uninstall kernel v5.12

OR use these terminal commands

sudo mhwd-kernel -i linux514
sudo mhwd-kernel -r linux512

HP website for this laptop is showing latest BIOS firmware version F.67 Rev.A released on 27 Aug 2021. You should consider updating BIOS firmware.

Instructions for the Sony headset suggest they may not be suitable for use with a laptop

MDR-ZX310AP Operating Instructions
Compatible products
Use this unit with smartphones.
* If you connect to an unsupported smartphone, the microphone of this unit may not function, or the volume level may be low.
* This unit is not guaranteed to operate digital music players

The instructions also explain how the remote control button on the headset cable can control Android
phones and iPhones.

I suspect that the headset jack is using a CTIA wiring standard, but the jack socket on the laptop is likely using OMTP wiring standard
Phone connector (audio) - TRRS standards | Wikipedia

The diagram in this post shows the different audio connections used by the two different jack wiring standards

It might be possible to get the headset to work with an audio adapter to change the audio connections, but the remote control button on the headset cable might be capable of muting or reducing the microphone volume even if all the audio connections are correct

See this blog post that explains there is an Apple CTIA standard that includes additional remote control signalling from their headsets that is not compatible with the AHJ/CTIA wiring standard on other Brands of mobile phone

Audio levels might also be changing because there are 2 incompatible sound servers running

 Sound Server-3: PulseAudio v: 15.0 running: yes
 Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.38 running: yes

See this post for how to either disable PipeWire services or replace PulseAudio

1 Like

Thanks a lot for such a detailed and comprehensive reply.

I am already using 5.10 LTS Kernel.

Can that be done in Manjaro or I must open Windows?

I think BIOS update for this system does require Windows OS
HP 250 G6 Notebook PC Software and Driver Downloads | HP® Customer Support

Thanks a lot, updating the BIOS and installing PipeWire fixed the issue.
Having a minor issue -

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