How to test your microphone in Debian

If you are using your system’s built-in microphone, or even an external one, it is very important to check if your voice is reaching your system. Only when your system reads your microphone’s sound as input can it process it and use it in any of your applications.

In this article, we will show you how to test your microphone on a Debian system. We’ll also explain how to change your microphone settings so that it works optimally.

We have followed the commands and procedures mentioned in this article on a Debian 10 Buster system.

How do I test my microphone on Debian?

If you prefer to use a graphical interface to perform simple hardware configuration tasks, you can use the Debian Settings utility.

To access the settings, click the down arrow located in the upper right corner of the Debian desktop, and then click the settings icon like this:

Alternatively, you can type “settings” in the search bar in the Application Launcher (accessible via the Super / Windows key) to directly open the Settings utility.

The “Settings” utility opens in the form in which you were last. You need to click the Sounds tab to test and set up your microphone.

This is what the sound representation looks like:

Since the microphone is an audio input device, click the Input tab in the Sound view to test it:



If you have multiple audio input devices, select the one you want to configure from the Select a device for audio input list box.

Then speak into the microphone and notice the vertical bars next to the input level. If some or all of the bars turn blue during a call, your microphone is working properly.

What if you don’t see blue stripes?

If you don’t see the blue bar, it means your voice is not being read by your system. This is what you can do to make the system recognize your voice.

  • You can increase the sensitivity of the microphone by increasing the input volume. When this volume is increased, your microphone becomes more sensitive to external sounds.
  • Make sure the microphone slider is on.
  • Make sure the correct audio input device is selected.

What if you see blue bars but can’t record your voice?

It may also happen that you see blue bars, but cannot record audio in a specific application. For example, you won’t be able to get a voice on Skype. This will mean that the problem is not with your microphone or its driver, but with the application in which you are using it. You will need to configure your app’s audio input settings to detect and use incoming audio.

This is how you test your microphone on a Debian system. Now you also know how to fix several glitches that can occur when using a microphone.

How to test your microphone in Debian

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