How to Change Headphone in Ubuntu Linux

This describes steps to choose the default speaker or headphone in Ubuntu Linux.

When you have multiple output devices connected to Ubuntu Linux, you may often have to switch between these different devices to the most suitable one for a particular case.

While it’s easy to set the default speakers for every apps across the system, some apps allow you to choose your preferred speaker which overrides the systems’ default.

Speakers or headphones plugged into a TRS (tip, ring, sleeve) plug are usually used by default in Ubuntu Linux.

Below is how to choose a different speaker in Ubuntu Linux if it chooses a different speaker than you preferred device.

How to choose default speaker in Ubuntu Linux

As described above, you can set the default out device and forget it in Ubuntu Linux. When it’s set, it will always be used by all apps on the system.

Ubuntu Linux will try to identity and select best out device. You can control the device’s volume from the system menu, but only one device can appear in the system menu at a time.

Ubuntu Linux has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating, all can be done from the System Settings panel.

Alternatively, click on the System menu at the top-right corner of the top bar on your desktop.

On the System menu, select Settings as highlighted below.

In the Settings app, click on Sound tile to open the panel.

In the System Settings -> Sound panel, under Input, select the device that you want to use.

Use the Test button to check that all speakers are working and are connected to the correct socket.

If you don’t see the connected mic device on the list, it maybe that the device is not recognized in Ubuntu Linux.

You can adjust the volume and switch the microphone off or mute it from this panel.

That should do it! You can now close the Settings app.


This post showed you how to set the default microphone in Ubuntu Linux. If you find an error above or have something to add, please use the comment form below to report.