Ubuntu 16.04 Volume and Mute at Low Levels

Ubuntu 16.04 works with most systems by default, however there are some errors that require manual fixes. This example solves the issue of USB audio only producing sound above the 50% threshold and muting at low volumes. This was adapted from another blog so I don’t take credit for the solution. The steps and explanations are as follows:

Use a text editor to open the pulseaudio configuration files:

sudo vim /usr/share/pulseaudio/alsa-mixer/paths/analog-output.conf.common

Locate the section labeled “[Element PCM]”

Change the section from:

switch = mute
volume = merge

to:

switch = mute
volume = ignore
volume-limit = 0.05

This number will be your maximum volume level. It can be increased, but it’s best to start at a lower volume.

Kill the pulseaudio process:

pulseaudio -k

Ubuntu will kill all sound and restart pulseaudio automatically. You will have to restart any audio applications (like Spotify, etc.).

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