Polycom Communicator Low Mic Volume

Dear Lazyweb,


I am having troubles getting my Polycom Communicator for Skype speakerphone working in Ubuntu – the microphone volume is always very low in Skype, and when I try to adjust the mixer volume slider for the mic, there is no luck. This does not appear to be a Skype issue – I tried recording in Audacity and the problem exists there too.

Has anyone found a fix for this, and does this exist on other distros?

UPDATE: Solution

Much thanks to Tom Mann who left a comment to point to his forums post with a possible solution. Well, I did the following, and it worked:

  • sudo alsactl store
  • sudo cp /var/lib/alsa/asound.state /var/lib/alsa/asound.state.old
  • sudo nano /var/lib/alsa/asound.state

I then found the state.Communicator block and the sub-block with name 'Mic Capture Volume' – the value was set to 0, so I set it to the maximum value, which is 64. My block looks like this:

control.2 {

            comment.access 'read write'

            comment.type INTEGER

            comment.count 1

            comment.range '0 - 64'

            iface MIXER

            name 'Mic Capture Volume'

            value 64


Then unplug the Polycom Communicator and plug it back in again. It should now work. :)

  • blindvic

    I don’t know about Ubuntu, but WinXP in such cases i enable mic boost

  • http://www.hoosgot.com/index.php/2008/06/17/polycom-communicator-low-mic-volume/ Polycom Communicator Low Mic Volume

    […] http://www.jonobacon.org/?p=1199 asks Hoosgot, […]

  • Aidan Delaney

    Jono, there’s an input and output slider for the Mic. Are you sure you’re toggling the input slider and not the output (speaker volume) slider?

    Or use Ekiga, it plays nicely with pulseaudio etc…

  • http://web.vee.net/ Mike Gratton

    If you’re using Pulse Audio and have the “Let Skype automatically adjust the volume level” option check, Skype helpfully keeps the microphone level zeroed. Untick that option and readjust the levels manually.


  • Zach

    I have found what mike says to be true on every version of Linux I use, the mic adjust feature in Skype is worthless.

  • Tom Mann

    The EeePC has the same problem with it’s Microphone – I have found the fix for that works quite well for me – I have posted the fix for the EeePC, as something to try, to the Ubuntu Forums.

  • http://sudak.mitsubishiya.ru Quad

    wonderful post))

  • adithya

    thanks for the post, my mic seems to be better now.. although there;s a little bit of lag

  • Kenny

    Jono are you still using the Polycom with a more contemporary version of Ubuntu? I just dusted off my device and wondered whether it would work with 12.04? the speaker works fine out of the box, but the microphone appears to have the same issue…

  • Matt

    Thanks. I had the exact same issue with the same device (Ubuntu 12.04). Fix worked. I wish it was easier than sudo-editing a config file.