[meta-bug] Invalid extra "Digital output S/PDIF" device for USB cards

Reported by David Henningsson on 2012-05-22
This bug affects 15 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
alsa-lib (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

=== Read me first ===

= Symptom =

If you have a USB headset, or other USB device that does not have any S/PDIF output, but yet sometimes there is an extra device called "Digital Output (S/PDIF)" for that device, you're suffering from this bug.

This bug is only for USB devices - if you have an invalid digital output for some other type of device, please file a separate bug instead.

= Workaround =

If you're affected, please try this workaround:

first check the output of "aplay -l" (lowercase L), or "arecord -l" if it's an input device, and grab the first of two name in brackets:

card 3: Headset [Sennheiser USB Headset], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
here grab the name "Sennheiser USB Headset". Now edit the file /usr/share/alsa/cards/USB-Audio.conf (requires root permissions)
Around line 40, you will find a line saying "Logitech USB Headset" 999
Add a new line after this line, so that there is now a new line called
"Sennheiser USB Headset" 999
(including quotes, and replace "Sennheiser USB Headset" with whatever your particular card was named.)

Save the file and reboot your computer for the changes to take effect.

= Already known devices =

These card names are already in 12.04:

"Blue Snowball"
"Logitech USB Headset"
"Logitech Web Camera"

These card names are on their way into 12.04:

"Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700"
"Logitech Wireless Headset"
"Plantronics USB Headset"
"Sennheiser USB headset"

If you have one of the above four, please help out by testing the proposed repository and report back in bug 987163.

If your name is not listed above, please add a comment to this bug, including your alsa-info: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Audio/AlsaInfo - they will be collected for a SRU later on, or at least make it into the next release of Ubuntu.


Robert Hooker (sarvatt) wrote :

This is also happening with my headset


Josh Holland (jshholland) wrote :

I was seeing this until the workaround worked, and adding "Plantronics GameCom 780" to USB-Audio.conf worked. alsa-info: http://www.alsa-project.org/db/?f=8a11d4256bdba3defb7e014f7f39b51506dd0cd8.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in alsa-lib (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Randall Ross (randall) wrote :

I'm apparently affected by this bug.
My USB device is a Mackie ProFX12 mixer.

randall@machine:/$ lsusb
Bus 003 Device 006: ID 08bb:29b3 Texas Instruments Japan PCM2903B Audio CODEC

I have submitted the ALSA info here:

Thank you for alerting me to this bug, and for your help.

Vadim Peretokin (vperetokin) wrote :

I have a USB wireless headset that I use, and I do have "Digital Output (S/PDIF) Built-in Audio" showing, even when headset receiver is not plugged in. When I plug it in, I get two of those entries, except it says "Plantronics Wireless Audio" instead of built-in. It has worked for playing sound through it. I also have an "Analogue Output" from Plantronics Wireless Audio listed. The headset does have a mic.

$ aplay -l
**** List of PLAYBACK Hardware Devices ****
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC889 Analog [ALC889 Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 1: ALC889 Digital [ALC889 Digital]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 3: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 7: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 8: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 1: NVidia [HDA NVidia], device 9: HDMI 0 [HDMI 0]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 2: Audio [Plantronics Wireless Audio], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

$ arecord -l
**** List of CAPTURE Hardware Devices ****
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 0: ALC889 Analog [ALC889 Analog]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
card 0: PCH [HDA Intel PCH], device 2: ALC889 Analog [ALC889 Analog]
  Subdevices: 2/2
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0
  Subdevice #1: subdevice #1
card 2: Audio [Plantronics Wireless Audio], device 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
  Subdevices: 1/1
  Subdevice #0: subdevice #0

I'm not sure about applying the workaround because the digital output does work for me, and I don't want to break it.

David Henningsson (diwic) wrote :

"USB Audio CODEC" sounded a little too generic to add to that list (maybe the same name is used in other contexts where digital in/out exists), but I've picked up the other three and sent to upstream. I'll wait some more (for more devices to show up in this bug) before trying to push it into Ubuntu through an SRU.

Randall Ross (randall) wrote :

I recall seeing the device properly identified at/around 12.04 LTS release time, though I don't have the means to revert to check it again. Evidently between now and then something changed.

David Henningsson (diwic) wrote :

@Randall, the nature of the bug is such that the S/PDIF device does not always appear. But with the fix/workaround I'm proposing, you get rid of it all the time.

Chris (chris-secondfoundation) wrote :

The same is needed for the Jabra / GN Netcom DECT Phone + USB Sound Headset series:


"GN 9350" 999

to /usr/share/alsa/cards/USB-Audio.conf

to the "USB-Audio.pcm.iec958_device { ... }" section and reboot.

I had wired mouse behaviour. No left click anymore ....

~$ cat /proc/asound/cards
 0 [NVidia ]: HDA-Intel - HDA NVidia
                      HDA NVidia at 0xf7080000 irq 17
 1 [G9350 ]: USB-Audio - GN 9350
                      GN Netcom GN 9350 at usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.1, full speed

~$ aplay -l
Karte 1: G9350 [GN 9350], Gerät 0: USB Audio [USB Audio]
  Sub-Geräte: 1/1
  Sub-Gerät #0: subdevice #0

Chris (chris-secondfoundation) wrote :

Taking back my comment #9 from above. It just takes longer for the problem to appear.

So it must be an additional problem somewhere besides the entry in USB-Audio.conf.


- plugin usb headset
- headset gets listed in lsubs and aplay -l
- after a while (seconds or minutes) left mouse button stops working
- unplug usb headset
- mouse button works again

I have the problems described here exactly, but I have this:

$ cat /proc/asound/cards
 0 [PCH ]: HDA-Intel - HDA Intel PCH
                      HDA Intel PCH at 0xf7620000 irq 61
 1 [P7xx ]: USB-Audio - Plantronics Savi 7xx
                      Plantronics Plantronics Savi 7xx at usb-0000:00:1d.0-1.2, full speed
 2 [NVidia ]: HDA-Intel - HDA NVidia
                      HDA NVidia at 0xf7080000 irq 17

I added the device to /usr/share/alsa/cards/USB-Audio.conf:

USB-Audio.pcm.iec958_device {
        # "NoiseBlaster 3000" 42

        # The below don't have digital in/out, so prevent them from being opened.
        "Blue Snowball" 999
        "Logitech Speaker Lapdesk N700" 999
        "Logitech USB Headset" 999
        "Logitech Web Camera" 999
        "Logitech Wireless Headset" 999
        "Plantronics USB Headset" 999
        "Sennheiser USB headset" 999
        "Plantronics Savi 7xx" 999

restarted, and I have the same problem. I cannot scroll, click windows, etc.


Daniel Castro (castromd) wrote :


I too have a Jabra GN9350e and I also get the weird mouse behavior. Not sure if it has anything to do with this bug at all.

A work-around I found so far is to make sure the base is set to 'PC' mode before you plug it to the USB port.

Miro Collasta (miro-collas) wrote :

I have this issue with a Jabra GN9330. I tried the woraround suggested in the inital post, but it doesn't help, sadly.


In short, if I detach the headset from the base, I immediately lose the left mouse button, and I have found no way of restoring it short of rebooting. Frustrating since I now cannot use the headeset at all.

Miro Collasta (miro-collas) wrote :

If your left mouse button dies when you detach your headset from its base, try the solution here:
That worked for me and one other person:

Alan.Chen (hom691123) wrote :

My usb speaker also has the same problem .

Jon (doogie544) wrote :

I had this problem after the workaround my headset is working as well as the mic.

I am using a" HP Digital Stereo Headset" with Ubuntu 12.04

the alsa info is uploaded to


David Henningsson (diwic) wrote :

@Alan Chen, unfortunately the name "USB AUDIO" is too generic to add. Sorry.

@Jon, thanks, I've upstreamed "HP Digital Stereo Headset".

I have a Jabra GN 9330 like user in comment #14, but adding the line:

    "GN 9330" 999

to the /usr/share/alsa/cards/USB-Audio.conf file did the trick.

A new device not listed in the OP:

"SWTOR Gaming Headset by Razer"


David Sowerby (david-sowerby) wrote :

Added "Andrea PureAudio USB-SA Headset" 999 at line 47, and SPDIF entry has been removed from sound settings inputs, but is still there for outputs

alsa info:


Bug confirmed for Trust 5.1 headphones.

Device is listed as "USB Sound Device" (generic name).

The proposed workaround fixed the issue, please find attached alsa info.


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