Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want the volume to change when I plug in headphones, because my netbook's speakers are really quiet but the earbuds I have are really loud when I plug them in. I'm running Ubuntu Lucid Netbook Edition on an Asus eeePC 1005HA, if that's important.

share|improve this question
hmmm, this is an interesting problem. My first line of attack would be to see if there is a file in /sys or /proc that changes when you plug in headphones, and then monitor that. Or you could bind a volume-lowering script to a hotkey and run it whenever you plug in your headphones. – Babu Aug 18 '10 at 2:03
+1. If someone knows for Windows, too, I'd be grateful. – Robert Fraser Aug 18 '10 at 2:27
@Robert, it's built in to Windows 7 automatically. Windows remembers the volume level for when you have an external device plugged in and when you don't separately, so plug in your headphones, and tada, there you are. – nhinkle Aug 18 '10 at 3:57
@nhinkle: No, not every set-up has that behavior. Some just rewire the output just by hardware and still show Speakers in the OS... – Tom Wijsman Aug 18 '10 at 12:11
Interesting. Does that depend on the manufacturer's drivers then or what? Have you actually seen a system running windows 7 where the behavior I described doesn't happen? All the ones I've seen have done it. – nhinkle Aug 18 '10 at 18:37
up vote 2 down vote accepted

I think this is why headphones is often its own separate volume control from Front. As far as I know, the only way to make speakers and headphones use different volume levels is to simply set the volume controls that way. Have a look at the full mixer instead of just the single slider shown in the notification area. I think you can reach a mixer from that slider, but if not:

share|improve this answer
Not quite exactly what I wanted, but the end result's the same. – digitxp Aug 18 '10 at 14:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.