How to work with a headset and speakers

Gary Meltzer gary.meltzer at
Mon Nov 22 06:22:02 GMT 2010

On 22 November 2010 13:12, Paul Whipp <paul.whipp at> wrote:
> I use my Ubuntu desktop for work and for good quality VOIP I use a Logitech
> wireless headset that works very well. I also have the usual sound
> card/speakers connected.
> If I get a skype call and I am not using the headset, I turn the headset on
> and then have to set it as the default device in System | Preferences |
> Volume Control. This is a pain and if I forget to set it back again when I
> take the headset off I don't hear the incoming ringing sound.
> I'm not sure how best to solve this problem. One option might be to create a
> second PulseAudio server which uses just the headset so I can assign that
> server to the microphone/speaker settings in the Sound Devices Options in
> skype (this would then be like the way it used to work for me in windows). I
> have not been able to find any documentation on this to help me do it
> though.
> A second option might be to have the default device change when the headset
> is turned on - to somehow change the sound output device in the Sound
> preferences automatically when the headset power switch is turned on. This
> would ideally have some Panel icon to warn me the headset is on too (just in
> case I forget to turn it off and don't notice the light on the headset).
> Again I am not sure how to do this but it must be possible.

If this is a USB headset, there is an open Ubuntu bug report for this:

The comments there mention the earcandy package as a solution for
switching output at least.

-- Gary M

More information about the ubuntu-au mailing list