I would like to hear the microphone output during Skype calls. I have tried fiddling with alsamixer settings and made sure that the mike is unmuted but still cannot get to hear the mike in either headphones or speakers.

Is this achievable with alsa?

  • just to clarify, is it recording at an acceptable volume ? (i.e: can skype loop back pick it up correctly?)
    – Sirex
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 22:47
  • @Sirex: The microphone appears to work ok, at least people at the other end can hear me without problems. On a windows system I managed to force the mike input to serve as a source for the output device (i.e. headphones) by simply ticking the 'Listen to this device' checkbox in device properties. There probably should be something similar with alsa but so far reading the man-pages for alsamixer and amixer did not reveal a solution. The linux sound volume gui's don't seem to contain anything in this regard.
    – ccpizza
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 22:54
  • ok, I was wondernig if the mic boost was off or similar. If the playback is up, and the recording is up, and it's not muted. I'm out of ideas !
    – Sirex
    Commented Aug 12, 2012 at 23:05

3 Answers 3


Look for Microphone in the playback controls, it may be muted by default. Set it's lever to high, and if your microphone configured properly you will hear sound from it in your speakers.

  • Thank you! All I had to do (in xfce4-mixer) was to (1) select the USB Headset in the Sound Card combo-box, (2) click Select Controls and check the Microphone and Microphone Capture checkboxes, and, the part that I missed initially, (3) in the Capture > Microphone Capture tab click the small red dot.
    – ccpizza
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 20:58

start audio microphone speaker loopback with:

pacmd load-module module-loopback latency_msec=1

add a second:

pacmd load-module module-loopback latency_msec=3000

add a third:

pacmd load-module module-loopback latency_msec=5000

stop the fun afterwards:

pacmd unload-module module-loopback

if the software is missing: apt install pavucontrol (for Debian Linuxes)


You can redirect your audio input to the output using the PulseAudio loopback module:

pactl load-module module-loopback


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