USB microphone fails in 18.04

Asked by Bruce MacAlister on 2020-07-20

I just returned a very nice microphone because 18.04 "saw it" (in settings) but showed no input. I need a USB microphone that will work with 18.04. I have not found any list of supported microphones in "AskUbuntu" or elsewhere on the web. Where can I get a list of supported USB microphones?

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With the mic disconnected, reboot, login and run:

lsusb; lsb_release -a; uname -a

Plug in the microphone and wait a few seconds and run:

dmesg | tail; lsusb

Copy all of the output and paste as an update on


Bruce MacAlister (w4bru) said : #2

Thank you for responding. This morning I put the microphone in an Amazon return bin so I cannot run the test you suggest. I did run physical and data tests for myself and those results are below.

Interestingly the microphone works fine on Lubuntu 18.04 (5.3.0-62-generic #56-18.04-Ubuntu SMP....) but not on the Ubuntu 16.04 computer nor 18.04 machine. It works on an old XP machine I use for one old app. The old, slow machine with Lubuntu 18.04 lacks the hardware and speed to serve as my remote teaching machine.

Before I buy yet another USB microphone only to find it isn't supported, I would like a list of USB mics that actually work in 18.04.
Neewer NW-8000-USB test

Ubuntu 18.04
uname -a
Linux Video2-Latitude-E6510 5.3.0-62-generic #56~18.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Wed Jun 24 16:17:03 UTC 2020 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

With microphone plugged in USB meter shows 5.08v, 0.0a

OS sound settings shows "Microphone - SB MIC-SH01" but no output in meter

Audacity 2.3.1

No signal detected
ln: failed to create symbolic link '/home/video2/snap/audacity/675/.config/gtk-2.0/gtkfilechooser.ini': File exists
Cannot connect to server socket err = No such file or directory
Cannot connect to server request channel
jack server is not running or cannot be started
JackShmReadWritePtr::~JackShmReadWritePtr - Init not done for -1, skipping unlock
JackShmReadWritePtr::~JackShmReadWritePtr - Init not done for -1, skipping unlock
ALSA lib seq.c:935:(snd_seq_open_noupdate) Unknown SEQ default
ALSA lib control.c:1373:(snd_ctl_open_noupdate) Invalid CTL hw:0
ALSA lib control.c:1373:(snd_ctl_open_noupdate) Invalid CTL hw:0
Expression 'stream->capture.pcm' failed in '/build/audacity/parts/audacity/src/lib-src/portaudio-v19/src/hostapi/alsa/pa_linux_alsa.c', line: 4611
ALSA lib control.c:1373:(snd_ctl_open_noupdate) Invalid CTL hw:0
ALSA lib control.c:1373:(snd_ctl_open_noupdate) Invalid CTL hw:0"

Personally I prefer to read the reviews and see what works. Alternatively go to companies selling Linux preinstalled systems and see if they see USB microphones.

If your sound card is fully operational then any microphone you connect to mic jack will work

Bruce MacAlister (w4bru) said : #4

Thanks. So far I've found no reviews and the vendors mostly ignore Linux. However, the mic I bought said it would work in Linux, it did in Lubuntu but not in any other version I could find. What's weird is the kernel seems to be the same! I've had similar support issues with cameras. I have the sense that audio and video support by Linux is very poor and of a low priority.

Yeah Lubuntu and Ubuntu only differ by the default desktop environment. The stuff under the hood is identical

Bruce MacAlister (w4bru) said : #6

I need to continue this since if the desktop and not the kernel is the culprit, then there's some hope of a solution. I don't really understanding the Linux structure so I've assumed there are drivers that attach to the kernel for functions such as webcam and microphone support. But if it's part of the desktop, I need to understand this. What is the best venue to dig into this?

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask Bruce MacAlister for more information if necessary.

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