USB Mixer: low microphone output

Hey everyone,

I’m having trouble with the mic output of my Behringer Xenyx 302usb audio mixer (shows up as “USB Audio CODEC”). I’ve been using it for years with Windows paired with a HyperX Cloud headset (the 1st gen analog one) and it works flawlessly.

However on Linux (had the same issue with Ubuntu) the microphone output level is unusably low. I’ve tried different settings in the pavucontrol tool with no success so far.

I hope someone can point me the right way. For now I’ll run the mic through onboard audio.

Here’s some system information for good measure:

~ >>> inxi -Fazy                                                                                                                                                                                                    
System:
  Kernel: 5.8.16-2-MANJARO x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: N/A 
  parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-5.8-x86_64 
  root=UUID=25674c6a-7406-416e-a08d-f2217dcdef8e rw quiet apparmor=1 
  security=apparmor udev.log_priority=3 
  Desktop: GNOME 3.36.6 tk: GTK 3.24.23 wm: gnome-shell dm: GDM 3.36.3 
  Distro: Manjaro Linux 
Machine:
  Type: Desktop Mobo: ASUSTeK model: PRIME B350-PLUS v: Rev X.0x 
  serial: <filter> UEFI: American Megatrends v: 4023 date: 08/20/2018 
CPU:
  Topology: 8-Core model: AMD Ryzen 7 1700 bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Zen 
  family: 17 (23) model-id: 1 stepping: 1 microcode: 8001137 
  L2 cache: 4096 KiB 
  flags: avx avx2 lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 sse4a ssse3 svm 
  bogomips: 95850 
  Speed: 2392 MHz min/max: 1550/3000 MHz boost: enabled Core speeds (MHz): 
  1: 1556 2: 1964 3: 1422 4: 1419 5: 3203 6: 3193 7: 1277 8: 1278 9: 3178 
  10: 2830 11: 1420 12: 1423 13: 2334 14: 1894 15: 3193 16: 3193 
  Vulnerabilities: Type: itlb_multihit status: Not affected 
  Type: l1tf status: Not affected 
  Type: mds status: Not affected 
  Type: meltdown status: Not affected 
  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 AMD retpoline, IBPB: conditional, STIBP: 
  disabled, RSB filling 
  Type: srbds status: Not affected 
  Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected 
Graphics:
  Device-1: AMD Ellesmere [Radeon RX 470/480/570/570X/580/580X/590] 
  vendor: Micro-Star MSI driver: amdgpu v: kernel bus ID: 08:00.0 
  chip ID: 1002:67df 
  Display: wayland server: X.org 1.20.9 compositor: gnome-shell driver: amdgpu 
  note: display driver n/a - try sudo/root display ID: 0 
  resolution: <xdpyinfo missing> 
  OpenGL: renderer: AMD Radeon RX 480 Graphics (POLARIS10 DRM 3.38.0 
  5.8.16-2-MANJARO LLVM 10.0.1) 
  v: 4.6 Mesa 20.1.8 direct render: Yes 
Audio:
  Device-1: AMD Ellesmere HDMI Audio [Radeon RX 470/480 / 570/580/590] 
  vendor: Micro-Star MSI driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus ID: 08:00.1 
  chip ID: 1002:aaf0 
  Device-2: AMD Family 17h HD Audio vendor: ASUSTeK driver: snd_hda_intel 
  v: kernel bus ID: 0a:00.3 chip ID: 1022:1457 
  Device-3: Texas Instruments PCM2902 Audio Codec type: USB 
  driver: hid-generic,snd-usb-audio,usbhid bus ID: 3-1:2 chip ID: 08bb:2902 
  Sound Server: ALSA v: k5.8.16-2-MANJARO 
Network:
  Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet 
  vendor: ASUSTeK driver: r8169 v: kernel port: f000 bus ID: 04:00.0 
  chip ID: 10ec:8168 
  IF: enp4s0 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 5.06 TiB used: 2.81 TiB (55.4%) 
  SMART Message: Required tool smartctl not installed. Check --recommends 
  ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 vendor: Samsung model: SSD 960 EVO 500GB size: 465.76 GiB 
  block size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B speed: 31.6 Gb/s lanes: 4 
  serial: <filter> rev: 2B7QCXE7 scheme: GPT 
  ID-2: /dev/sda vendor: Crucial model: CT1000MX500SSD1 size: 931.51 GiB 
  block size: physical: 4096 B logical: 512 B speed: 6.0 Gb/s serial: <filter> 
  rev: 023 scheme: GPT 
  ID-3: /dev/sdb type: USB vendor: Seagate model: Expansion Desk 
  size: 3.64 TiB block size: physical: 4096 B logical: 512 B serial: <filter> 
  rev: 9401 scheme: GPT 
  ID-4: /dev/sdc type: USB vendor: Kingston model: DataTraveler 3.0 
  size: 57.62 GiB block size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B serial: <filter> 
  scheme: MBR 
  ID-5: /dev/sdd type: USB vendor: Generic model: Flash Disk size: 1.91 GiB 
  block size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B serial: <filter> rev: 8.07 
  scheme: MBR 
Partition:
  ID-1: / raw size: 180.00 GiB size: 176.17 GiB (97.88%) 
  used: 17.82 GiB (10.1%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/nvme0n1p2 
Swap:
  Alert: No Swap data was found. 
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 26.9 C mobo: N/A gpu: amdgpu temp: 36 C 
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A gpu: amdgpu fan: 894 
Info:
  Processes: 377 Uptime: 23m Memory: 31.36 GiB used: 3.17 GiB (10.1%) 
  Init: systemd v: 246 Compilers: gcc: 10.2.0 Packages: 1285 pacman: 1274 
  lib: 340 flatpak: 11 Shell: Zsh v: 5.8 running in: tilix inxi: 3.1.05 



~ >>> pacmd list-cards                                                                                                                                                                                            
3 card(s) available.
	index: 0
	name: <alsa_card.pci-0000_08_00.1>
	driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
	owner module: 6
	properties:
		alsa.card = "0"
		alsa.card_name = "HDA ATI HDMI"
		alsa.long_card_name = "HDA ATI HDMI at 0xfe860000 irq 58"
		alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
		device.bus_path = "pci-0000:08:00.1"
		sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:03.1/0000:08:00.1/sound/card0"
		device.bus = "pci"
		device.vendor.id = "1002"
		device.vendor.name = "Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI]"
		device.product.id = "aaf0"
		device.product.name = "Ellesmere HDMI Audio [Radeon RX 470/480 / 570/580/590]"
		device.string = "0"
		device.description = "Ellesmere HDMI Audio [Radeon RX 470/480 / 570/580/590]"
		module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
		device.icon_name = "audio-card-pci"
	profiles:
		output:hdmi-stereo: Digital Stereo (HDMI) Output (priority 5900, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI) Output (priority 800, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround71: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI) Output (priority 800, available: no)
		output:hdmi-stereo-extra1: Digital Stereo (HDMI 2) Output (priority 5700, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround-extra1: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 2) Output (priority 600, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround71-extra1: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 2) Output (priority 600, available: no)
		output:hdmi-stereo-extra2: Digital Stereo (HDMI 3) Output (priority 5700, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround-extra2: Digital Surround 5.1 (HDMI 3) Output (priority 600, available: no)
		output:hdmi-surround71-extra2: Digital Surround 7.1 (HDMI 3) Output (priority 600, available: no)
		output:hdmi-stereo-extra3: Digital Stereo (HDMI 4) Output (priority 5700, available: unknown)
		off: Off (priority 0, available: unknown)
	active profile: <output:hdmi-stereo-extra3>
	sinks:
		alsa_output.pci-0000_08_00.1.hdmi-stereo-extra3/#0: Ellesmere HDMI Audio [Radeon RX 470/480 / 570/580/590] Digital Stereo (HDMI 4)
	sources:
		alsa_output.pci-0000_08_00.1.hdmi-stereo-extra3.monitor/#0: Monitor of Ellesmere HDMI Audio [Radeon RX 470/480 / 570/580/590] Digital Stereo (HDMI 4)
	ports:
		hdmi-output-0: HDMI / DisplayPort (priority 5900, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "video-display"
		hdmi-output-1: HDMI / DisplayPort 2 (priority 5800, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "video-display"
		hdmi-output-2: HDMI / DisplayPort 3 (priority 5700, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "video-display"
		hdmi-output-3: HDMI / DisplayPort 4 (priority 5600, latency offset 0 usec, available: yes)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "video-display"
				device.product.name = "W2261"
	index: 1
	name: <alsa_card.usb-Burr-Brown_from_TI_USB_Audio_CODEC-00>
	driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
	owner module: 7
	properties:
		alsa.card = "2"
		alsa.card_name = "USB Audio CODEC"
		alsa.long_card_name = "Burr-Brown from TI USB Audio CODEC at usb-0000:09:00.3-1, full speed"
		alsa.driver_name = "snd_usb_audio"
		device.bus_path = "pci-0000:09:00.3-usb-0:1:1.0"
		sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:07.1/0000:09:00.3/usb3/3-1/3-1:1.0/sound/card2"
		udev.id = "usb-Burr-Brown_from_TI_USB_Audio_CODEC-00"
		device.bus = "usb"
		device.vendor.id = "08bb"
		device.vendor.name = "Texas Instruments"
		device.product.id = "2902"
		device.product.name = "PCM2902 Audio Codec"
		device.serial = "Burr-Brown_from_TI_USB_Audio_CODEC"
		device.string = "2"
		device.description = "PCM2902 Audio Codec"
		module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
		device.icon_name = "audio-card-usb"
	profiles:
		input:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Input (priority 65, available: unknown)
		input:iec958-stereo: Digital Stereo (IEC958) Input (priority 55, available: unknown)
		output:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Output (priority 6500, available: unknown)
		output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Duplex (priority 6565, available: unknown)
		output:analog-stereo+input:iec958-stereo: Analog Stereo Output + Digital Stereo (IEC958) Input (priority 6555, available: unknown)
		output:iec958-stereo: Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output (priority 5500, available: unknown)
		output:iec958-stereo+input:analog-stereo: Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 5565, available: unknown)
		output:iec958-stereo+input:iec958-stereo: Digital Stereo Duplex (IEC958) (priority 5555, available: unknown)
		off: Off (priority 0, available: unknown)
	active profile: <output:iec958-stereo+input:iec958-stereo>
	sinks:
		alsa_output.usb-Burr-Brown_from_TI_USB_Audio_CODEC-00.iec958-stereo/#3: PCM2902 Audio Codec Digital Stereo (IEC958)
	sources:
		alsa_output.usb-Burr-Brown_from_TI_USB_Audio_CODEC-00.iec958-stereo.monitor/#4: Monitor of PCM2902 Audio Codec Digital Stereo (IEC958)
		alsa_input.usb-Burr-Brown_from_TI_USB_Audio_CODEC-00.iec958-stereo/#5: PCM2902 Audio Codec Digital Stereo (IEC958)
	ports:
		analog-input: Analog Input (priority 10000, latency offset 0 usec, available: unknown)
			properties:
				
		iec958-stereo-input: Digital Input (S/PDIF) (priority 0, latency offset 0 usec, available: unknown)
			properties:
				
		analog-output: Analog Output (priority 9900, latency offset 0 usec, available: unknown)
			properties:
				
		iec958-stereo-output: Digital Output (S/PDIF) (priority 0, latency offset 0 usec, available: unknown)
			properties:
				
	index: 2
	name: <alsa_card.pci-0000_0a_00.3>
	driver: <module-alsa-card.c>
	owner module: 8
	properties:
		alsa.card = "1"
		alsa.card_name = "HD-Audio Generic"
		alsa.long_card_name = "HD-Audio Generic at 0xfe700000 irq 60"
		alsa.driver_name = "snd_hda_intel"
		device.bus_path = "pci-0000:0a:00.3"
		sysfs.path = "/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:08.1/0000:0a:00.3/sound/card1"
		device.bus = "pci"
		device.vendor.id = "1022"
		device.vendor.name = "Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD]"
		device.product.id = "1457"
		device.product.name = "Family 17h (Models 00h-0fh) HD Audio Controller"
		device.string = "1"
		device.description = "Family 17h (Models 00h-0fh) HD Audio Controller"
		module-udev-detect.discovered = "1"
		device.icon_name = "audio-card-pci"
	profiles:
		input:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Input (priority 65, available: no)
		output:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Output (priority 6500, available: no)
		output:analog-stereo+input:analog-stereo: Analog Stereo Duplex (priority 6565, available: no)
		output:iec958-stereo: Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output (priority 5500, available: unknown)
		output:iec958-stereo+input:analog-stereo: Digital Stereo (IEC958) Output + Analog Stereo Input (priority 5565, available: no)
		off: Off (priority 0, available: unknown)
	active profile: <output:iec958-stereo>
	sinks:
		alsa_output.pci-0000_0a_00.3.iec958-stereo/#2: Family 17h (Models 00h-0fh) HD Audio Controller Digital Stereo (IEC958)
	sources:
		alsa_output.pci-0000_0a_00.3.iec958-stereo.monitor/#2: Monitor of Family 17h (Models 00h-0fh) HD Audio Controller Digital Stereo (IEC958)
	ports:
		analog-input-front-mic: Front Microphone (priority 8500, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "audio-input-microphone"
		analog-input-rear-mic: Rear Microphone (priority 8200, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "audio-input-microphone"
		analog-input-linein: Line In (priority 8100, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				
		analog-output-lineout: Line Out (priority 9000, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				
		analog-output-headphones: Headphones (priority 9900, latency offset 0 usec, available: no)
			properties:
				device.icon_name = "audio-headphones"
		iec958-stereo-output: Digital Output (S/PDIF) (priority 0, latency offset 0 usec, available: unknown)
			properties:

I believe you can increase the microphone input volume over 100% in other sound applications. You could try downloading the mate or cinnamon sound settings program that should let you increase the microphone volume. I hope this helps.

Thanks for your suggestions. I’ve already tried PulseEffects over the weekend and got some acceptable results. Sadly it’s just a software workaround. I was hoping for a proper fix.

It seems I’m going to have to go full Windows VM anyway. I’ll have to use my employers windows-only conferencing software and that won’t work with wine.

I assume the HyperX headset is connected to the 3.5mm jack sockets using a splitter cable

The headset appears to have an electret type microphone that requires some dc power from the microphone socket to work correctly (usually between 3.5v - 5v)

‘output level is unusably low’ would suggest that the microphone may not be getting power to the microphone when used in Linux
the only way to confirm this would be to use a multimeter to see if any dc voltage is present

the headset microphone may work better if it is plugged in to a microphone socket on the motherboard using the onboard audio
I suggest you try that to confirm the mic can work normally under Linux

there are battery power packs available that could power the microphone,
but it may be cheaper to get another USB device that can supply power to the microphone
or get a microphone with an XLR connection that can use the phantom power from the XLR socket