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44 Posts

02-28-2021

Isle of Man

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Very low microphone volume on Thinkpad T14 AMD

2021-02-28, 22:59 PM

Hi,

 

I'm running Arch Linux with latest linux-zen kernel (5.11.2). So far no problems with audio on the T14 AMD except for the microphone. Its volume is very low even when raising the level well above 100% with pavucontrol.

 

Not sure if this issue is device related or it happens because of the kernel drivers for such a new model.

 

Anyone else is having the same problem? It's a bit annoying nowadays that we do a lot more video conferences.

 

Thanks.

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94 Posts

12-26-2020

Austria

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Re:Very low microphone volume on Thinkpad T14 AMD

2021-03-01, 6:25 AM

@ theowatt wrote:

 

Anyone else is having the same problem? It' a bit annoying nowadays that we do a lot more video conferences.

 

Same on X13, but without PulseAudio. Pure ALSA. Ended-up adding USB microphone.

 

Do you have an issue with the mic echo in the output?

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44 Posts

02-28-2021

Isle of Man

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Re:Very low microphone volume on Thinkpad T14 AMD

2021-03-01, 14:16 PM
No one noticed that when doing calls, although it could be very possible that Zoom cancels echo by its own mechanisms.
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676 Posts

07-22-2019

Canada

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Re:Very low microphone volume on Thinkpad T14 AMD

2021-03-01, 16:48 PM

I've used my T14 AMD (with Fedora) for some online classes with Zoom and didn't have any issues (at least nobody complained....maybe they were just happy to shut me up...)

I'll give it another go to confirm but do you have any examples of how bad it was? Anything I can measure against and compare?

 

Mark

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44 Posts

02-28-2021

Isle of Man

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390 Page Views

  • Posts: 44
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  • Message 5 of 7

Re:Very low microphone volume on Thinkpad T14 AMD

2021-03-01, 18:18 PM

It's difficult to reproduce exact same situation but I can give you a hint that something should/could work better.

 

If I raise the mic input volume in pavucontrol to 150% (max. allowed by the tool) and I speak 40-50 cm away from the laptop, not super loud, measured level doesn't max out, not even close. Probably somewhere around 50%, sometimes less.

 

Acoustics of the room, environmental noise or my voice didn't change too much, but the volume was clearly louder with a previous laptop I had (ASUS, Windows, also integrated microphone).

 

Thanks for you help!

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94 Posts

12-26-2020

Austria

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Re:Very low microphone volume on Thinkpad T14 AMD

2021-03-02, 0:55 AM

@ MarkRHPearson wrote:

I' used my T14 AMD (with Fedora) for some online classes with Zoom and didn' have any issues (at least nobody complained....maybe they were just happy to shut me up...)

I' give it another go to confirm but do you have any examples of how bad it was? Anything I can measure against and compare?

 

How I have tested it:

 

1. Remove PulseAudio as it might do echo cancellation, apply additional amping, etc. Pure ALSA.

2. Open `alsamixer`, press F4

3. Set both "mic boost" and Capture (left and right channels) to 100%.

4. Try to have a chat via an application that does no volume adjustment or equalisation.

 

Two issues noted:

 

1. Input leaks in the output, so I hear myself talking. This can be reproduced with USB microphone as well, maybe something specific to ALC257?

2. Input signal is weak, I had to speak directly and loudly into the microphone holes next the webcam so that other party can hear me clearly.

 

I should note that "clearly" above refers to the signal level, there were no complains about noise or distortions, it's just simply too silent.

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35 Posts

01-23-2021

Argentina

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Re:Very low microphone volume on Thinkpad T14 AMD

2021-03-05, 0:15 AM

This is something that also happens to me in the Thinkpad T14 AMD.

It's not something really bad, but looks like signal should be stronger. 

 

I've been told in videocalls that they don't hear me well if I don't speak loudly, and using KDE (PulseAudio backend) I need to increase it to ~130% so that I can speak normally.

 

Here's a video recorded in front of the laptop at 30cm.

Notice that you might hear me well at 100% but very low (signal is too weak), while ~130% is definitely better.

 

Is this related to the firmware or the Linux kernel?

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