Librem Laptop Audio Jack (Headphone vs Headset)

So it appears that the current Librem 13 and 15, v1-4 have a headphone jack rather than a headset jack. I didn’t even realize this until I tried jumping on a call and other people complained about the low mic quality, due to it using the built-in mic rather than my headset mic. You can get around this by using a USB mixer, but for a modern laptop this seems like a surprising and unintuitive design choice.

I guess there’s two parts to this post:

  1. Why does the current and previous versions of the Librem Laptop not support headset mics?
  2. Can this be added for the Librem 13v5 / 15v5?

The Librem Mini appears to have a combo headset jack, so I would assume that there aren’t any FOSS / hardware limitations at least.

Update (2020-05-30): I spoke with Purism support, and they are aware of this issue and intend to correct it for future models. One work-around for this problem that should theoretically work even for Qubes users, is to get a small TRRS/combo-jack-to-usb adapter. Obviously this isn’t ideal, but at least it should be workable while we wait for the 13v5/15v5.


I have exactly the same problem. I also cannot use Bluetooth headset, since it does not work on Qubes…

You might be able to use a USB bluetooth dongle and use USB pass-through for Qubes. Obviously not as ideal, but if you’d like to get it working with your current laptop that is one approach.

For example, here’s a low profile bluetooth USB adapter for ~USD$13 - Amazon Link (I realize many people here don’t use Amazon, but you can probably find similar deals with whatever dealer you use. It should be a pretty common device.)

Let me join this request, as I also was very surprised when I discovered this issue.

1 Like

Thank you for the suggestion. Actually I have this adapter, working with purely free software. However, according to this, bluetooth cannot work securely on the current version of Qubes OS (section “Audio Domain”).

Thanks for the Qubes link, it’s an interesting read. It sounds like they at least have plans for making it secure in the future, using a separate Audio domain.

Moreover, it seems it is almost ready:

1 Like

yep can’t agree more…
was quite astonished when i discovered the fact… (BTW my inbuild mic doesn’t work anymore…)

Looks like the Librem 5 might currently have the same problem:

Sound : 1 earpiece speaker, 3.5mm headphone jack

Hopefully they make the move towards headset jacks across the board now that they can use the Librem Mini’s jack as a base to start from.

The odd thing is that the Librem15rev2 actually has a combo jack (at least mine has), but the 15rev3 doesn’t. But I get along with the built-in mic as long as my fans don’t get too noisy.