Sound Output Errors

Hello all!
I recently purchased a Jetson TK1, and after a week of using it without problems, I am now beginning to experience issues with sound output.

I have two separate issues: HDMI sound out no longer works, and the system does not detect headphones when plugged in.

For the first issue: I have been using the TK1 with HDMI sound output to my monitor without issues, but this morning, I was forced to switch to my TV, and I no longer have access to the monitor I was using. With my TV, the system won’t make any sounds. I have gone to sound settings and ensured that HDMI is selected as the sound output device, I have checked that the TV has the volume up and not muted, I have checked that Ubuntu’s sound is up and not muted, and I have checked that the TV sound works with other devices that connect with HDMI. I have also made sure that the connections are solid and I have tried multiple HDMI cables. I checked around for similar issues but I couldn’t find anything :(

For the second issue: I have not tried connecting the headphones before, so it’s not like the first problem where it worked before and now it doesn’t. To see if the first problem was with Ubuntu or with the board itself, I tried connecting my headphones to the board, but for some reason, Ubuntu does not even detect my headphones as an output device. I’m sure it’s just an issue of drivers or something like that, but I couldn’t figure it out on my own.

Thanks in advance

I don’t know exactly what should be set up for HDMI, I typically just use line out which would be somewhat different. But I’m thinking the line out is not strong enough to drive headphones, although it might. Here’s a starting point to list what your audio settings are:

amixer cget name="Stereo ADC MIXL ADC2 Switch"
amixer cget name="Stereo ADC MIXR ADC2 Switch"
amixer cget name="Int Mic Switch"
amixer cget name="ADC Capture Switch"
amixer cget name="RECMIXL BST1 Switch"
amixer cget name="RECMIXR BST1 Switch"
amixer cget name="RECMIXL BST2 Switch"
amixer cget name="RECMIXR BST2 Switch"
amixer cget name="Stereo ADC L1 Mux"
amixer cget name="Stereo ADC R1 Mux"
amixer cget name="Stereo ADC MIXL AD1 Switch"
amixer cget name="Stereo ADC MIXR ADC1 Switch"
amixer cget name="Stereo ADC MIXL ADC2 Switch"
amixer cget name="Stereo ADC MIXR ADC2 Switch"
amixer cget name="IN1 Mode Control"
amixer cget name="IN2 Mode Control"
amixer cget name="Mic Jack Switch"

You can replace the “cget” with “cset” to set this as a value.

Regarding HDMI sound on one monitor or television versus another…sometimes these have different standards from older versus newer, e.g., v1.3, and this may change whether one works versus another. Do you know which version the old/new monitors use? Is the cable new enough to support both variants?

Thanks for your reply! I actually got the headphones to work after playing around with the settings a bit more… Turns out that the sound output device should be set to the device’s internal “speakers” even though it doesn’t have speakers per se. I assume it just had to do with porting it to the device’s native sound output source, i.e. the headphone jack.

As for the HDMI, I don’t have the exact specs on the monitor that worked, but I know that I got it about 7 or 8 years ago, and the TV I’m using now was brand new last year, so definitely a wide gap with the HDMI standards. As for the cable, I’m pretty sure it can handle both types because I’ve used this very cable for other devices in both situations - old and new. Is there anything I can do to change around configuration files or something of the like to make it work, or is this an issue of the physical hardware?


In the case of video, there are queries that the monitor itself can answer. For audio, I don’t think there are any options to query (or at least I don’t know how). Ability to handle different audio bit depths for example would be tied to the HDMI standard which the monitor complies with, and would not be custom for each monitor model existing in the world.

The HDMI does seem to have its own audio CODEC assigned to it, so it is probably just a matter of enabling something in the mixer…what it is I don’t know. Having the line out detected as headphones may automatically mute HDMI audio though, so for testing purposes I’d suggest that while working on HDMI audio you remove headphones or other connections to the 3.5mm audio out.

To see in general what the audio mixer is set to, you can run “amixer” with no arguments. Unfortunately, I don’t know enough about what goes on in the amixer output to know what to look for on the HDMI, but if you post amixer results here someone else may see what is needed (or I may research it to find out…but I have no HDMI audio device to test or experiment with).

Thanks, I’ll play around with it

New problem: With my headphones, the audio on Ubuntu will spontaneously mute at times?? Then once it’s muted, even if I un-mute, the connection somehow gets broken and sound no longer comes out of my headphones… I looked this up as an Ubuntu issue but the solutions I found only seemed to cause more serious problems. For example, one solution was to uninstall then reinstall pulseaudio, but this only caused the sound settings to lose all of the audio out devices, including the native sound output… A problem to which I could find no solution (all solutions had to do with a bad 14.04 update that left you with only a “dummy output” device, but I couldn’t find anything about no devices being found).

Anyways, the spontaneous muting is super annoying and I don’t have the first clue as to how to fix it :(
If it helps, the software I’m always running when it happens is RetroArch, the game emulator as my board is a dedicated system for retro game emulation.

Update: I rebooted the system and just left it on EmulationStation, the front end for RetroArch, and a minute or two later it had automatically muted… My guess is it’s something in the system that causes the audio to always go kaput after a specific amount of time… Still, super annoying, and I have no idea how to fix it

Another Update: I just went to the Ubuntu desktop immediately after boot up, and a few minutes later the sound had auto-muted

There’s so much to audio it’s hard to know what to do without sitting there and experimenting. One thing that might help is to save a log of all amixer settings before and after mute, then running a diff on the files to see what changed. Other layers on top of this (such as pulse) I’m not sure how to save a log of state for comparison. A way to log might be with “tee”, e.g.:

amixer | tee audio_log.txt

One thing I am suspicious of is whether low power mode or some other mode might be shutting devices down. If you look here you’ll see information on performance mode…try setting CPU performance mode to max and see if it still does this…and if there is anything USB audio related, comment on that too (disable USB autosuspend if it might be related):

You may also want to view the tail of dmesg after an audio mute to see if there is a message there about audio.