How to Change Microphone in Ubuntu Linux

This post describes steps one can take to choose the default mic or input device in Ubuntu Linux.

You can use your microphone (internal or external) to chat with friends and family, make voice recordings, or use with other multimedia applications.

When you have multiple input devices connected to Ubuntu Linux, you may often have to switch between these different connected devices to choose the most suitable one for a particular case.

With Ubuntu Linux, you can set the default input device and forget it. When it’s set, it will always be used by all apps on the system.

While it’s easy to set the default Mic for every apps across the system, some apps allow you to choose your preferred mic which overrides the systems’ default.

When you need to choose a different microphone, use the steps below to learn how to do that in Ubuntu Linux.

How to set default microphone in Ubuntu Linux

As described above, you can set the default input device and forget it in Ubuntu Linux. When it’s set, it will always be used by all apps on the system.

Ubuntu Linux will try to identity and select best input device. You can control the device’s volume from the system menu, but only one device can appear in the system menu at a time.

Ubuntu Linux has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating, all can be done from the System Settings panel.

ubuntu linux activities overview jpg

Alternatively, click on the System menu at the top-right corner of the top bar on your desktop.

On the System menu, select Settings as highlighted below.

ubuntu linux system menu top bar settings jpg

In the Settings app, click on Sound tile to open the panel.

ubuntu linux sound tile in system menu jpg

In the System Settings -> Sound panel, under Input, select the device that you want to use.

The input level indicator should respond when you speak.

ubuntu change input device jpg

If you don’t see the connected mic device on the list, it maybe that the device is not recognized in Ubuntu Linux.

You can adjust the volume and switch the microphone off or mute it from this panel.

ubuntu input device from system menu jpg

That should do it! You can now close the Settings app.


This post showed you how to set the default microphone in Ubuntu Linux. If you find an error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below to report.

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