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Device: HP EliteBook 2760p
Distro: elementary OS Loki (based on Ubuntu 16.04)
Linux kernel: 4.4.0-112-generic

tl;dr No matter what I've tried, I can't make sound come out of my headphones and only my headphones. However, I can make sound come out of my headphones and speakers at the same time.

When no headphones are plugged in, sound plays out of the speakers fine. Below are screenshots of my system when no headphones are plugged in and sound is playing out of the speakers. Everything is bueno.

System Settings > Sound: enter image description here

pavucontrol: enter image description here

alsamixer: enter image description here


When I plug in headphones, all sound cuts off. No audio comes out of the headphones or speakers.

Below are screenshots of the same areas, except all I do is plug in headphones. I change no other configuration, and the screens automatically look this way.

System Settings > Sound: enter image description here When headphones are plugged in, the output device changes from "Speakers" to "Headphones" under Settings > Sound. No sound plays through the headphones.

pavucontrol: enter image description here The port switched to "Headphones (plugged in)".

alsamixer: enter image description here


If I open pavucontrol and go under Output Devices, Headphones (plugged-in) is selected. If I change that dropdown to Speakers (unavailable) sounds starts playing out of the headphones, but the same audio simultaneously plays out of the computer's internal speakers. I cannot figure out how to make sound play out of the headphones and not the internal speakers.

enter image description here

In the screen above, sound comes out of both my headphones and the internal speaker at the same time.

I don't recall having this issue on this device in the past. I left the device in a closet without a hard drive for a year. Then I cloned a hard drive from another laptop and put it in (ie the OS was installed on a different device). I'm wondering if reinstalling the OS will fix it, but I'd rather not do that if I can fix it another way.

  • As a short-term solution, I purchased a $10 USB soundcard that lets you plug my headphones into it and that works fine. – Alex Mar 12 '18 at 21:54
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If I open pavucontrol and go under Output Devices, Headphones (plugged-in) is selected. If I change that dropdown to Speakers (unavailable) sounds starts playing out of the headphones, but the same audio simultaneously plays out of the computer's internal speakers. I cannot figure out how to make sound play out of the headphones and not the internal speakers.

Do that and then open alsamixer and mute the Speakers line. You can do this by moving right with the arrows and pressing m.


Anyway your issue sounds like a bug with your soundcard. I'd highly recommend to reinstall elementary, update it and try again.

Also you could try with another headset, just to be sure.

  • When I select "Speakers (unavailable)" and sound plays from both my speakers and headphones, then I go into alsamixer, my headphones volume is at 0% and the speaker volume is in the middle. If I turn my headphone volume up, nothing happens. If I turn the speaker volume down, it decreases the volume of both my internal speakers and my headphones. I've tried using several different pairs of headphones (some with mics, some without) and all of them have the same issue. – Alex Mar 12 '18 at 21:58
  • It's probably a driver bug, that's something they need to fix upstream. If this issue also happens with other OS it may be that some pins of your jack input are broken, but it's probably a bug. – Maccer Mar 13 '18 at 9:52

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