Headphone mania
April 20, 2010 5:46 PM   Subscribe

Help me find USB headphones for Ubuntu.

My laptop's headphone jack is operating oddly, and if I want to hear anything, I have to plug in my headphones halfway, which results in sound in only one ear.

I'm thinking of getting new USB headphones (to avoid use of the broken jack entirely), but I also happen to be running Ubuntu 9.04, so I'd like recommendations of USB headphones that have worked with Ubuntu before I buy something that is impossibly difficult to configure.

Any suggestions are appreciated!
posted by movicont to Technology (5 answers total)
There's a uber-cheap Chinese USB audio adapter which I have used with great success under Ubuntu and other Linux distros. They're sold all over, usually for under $10. I got mine from DealExtreme for under $3: http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.9723
posted by signalnine at 5:59 PM on April 20, 2010

Most USB audio devices comply with the USB audio device class specification, and will work fine in Ubuntu without any extra software or configuration.

If you want more control, you can apt-get install padevchooser (and launch it via Applications -> Sound & Video -> PulseAudio Device Chooser) which will let you send different programs' audio to different outputs and control their volumes independently.
posted by finite at 6:04 PM on April 20, 2010

In my 2-years of Ubuntu use I haven't any problem with anything USB-related. Its definitely been one of the steady, reliable aspects of adjusting to the Linux Life. Plus since you mentioned its a laptop, why not just take your computer along and ask to try it out first?
posted by mannequito at 6:57 PM on April 20, 2010

Thanks everyone--I guess I'll look for some USB headphones that I like and hope it works (I would bring in my laptop but I prefer buying online since transportation is a hassle without a car).

Or I could get that audio adapter, since it looks like it could be very useful in the future.
posted by movicont at 11:07 PM on April 20, 2010

I have a USB DAC on this Debian box. The only problem I've had is other audio devices (like the crap built-in sound card) grabbing a lower ALSA ID (and thereby becoming the default device). I've dealt with this by either disabling the offending device in the BIOS, or adding an entry in /etc/modprobe.d/alsa-base-blacklist.conf.
posted by paulg at 7:12 AM on April 21, 2010

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