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How to fix microphone including system sounds on Linux

🔎 The Problem

Recently, I have been on voice calls with my friends, and I have been noticing that my system sounds are being included in my microphone playback. An example of this would be if I listen to music whilst talking to friends, my friends can hear the music too. This isn't ideal, so I decided I would try and fix it. Luckily, I found it to be quite an easy fix.

💡 The Solution

To fix this, open up a terminal and type alsamixer.

Next, make sure the correct sound card is selected. If you aren't sure, the default one is probably correct. You can press F6 to view your options and switch to a different card.

The field we're interested in is the one called Loopback.

Using the arrow keys, navigate to right until you have it selected. Then press the down arrow key to set it to disabled.

⚙️ Testing

Hopefully this is all you'll need to do to fix your microphone issues. You can now press Esc to exit Alsamixer.

If you want to make sure that this has worked, then navigate to a folder somewhere in your home directory and type arecord test.wav. Now talk a bit, and play some music or audio in the background. When you're done, press Ctrl+C to stop the recording.

To play the audio file, run aplay test.wav to playback the recording. If this sounds good, then you should have solved your problems.

The last thing you should do is delete the file you created to test your microphone, you can do this with rm test.wav.

🤔 Not working?

If this didn't solve your problem, then don't panic. In my experience this is the most common cause of the issue, but there are definitely others out there.

This forum post goes into quite a bit more detail and solves a more complex instance of the issue.

And if that still doesn't help you, feel free to tag me on Twitter and I'll do my best to help you figure it out.

For the original version of this article, with images for guidance, see:

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