Videochatting on the L14 - built-in mic mostly picks up fan and typing noise instead of voice

Good evening,

I’ve tried videochatting via zoom on QubesOS und PureOS. On both OSes my mic is not really picking up my voice but rather my keystrokes and the fans. You almost cannot here me. It seems as the mic is located right next to the fans or under the keyboard.
It was a little bit better under PureOS and chromium (tried also with firefox), however, still not acceptable.

What are your experiences with the microphone and/or videochatting on the L14? Do you have similar issues?
If so maybe Purism can fix it with a firmware update.

As a side-topic:
Does anyone of you have a good video-chatting setup for Qubes and can share it?
I am trying since hours. My webcam gets always detached from my videochat-VM when I am clicking on videobutton in the browser. Do you use a VM with the usb controller directly attached for videochatting or a simple VM and attaching it via sys-usb?


if in a hurry to make it work then just get an external microphone from you local electronics store.

Thanks for your help but that was not the question I was asking.
I wanted to know if it is a standard L14 issue or if it is just mine.

Tried again today. It is still a lot of other noise, especially when I am using my touchpad or keyboard it is way too loud.
Either I am doing something wrong or the internal mic cannot be used for Videoconferencing or basically anything.

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I haven’t done extensive testing but have experienced the same issue the first time I tried to hop onto call in PureOS. Those listening told me it sounded like a huge fan was running and drowning me out.


Same here, plus the camera is super-grainy, but then again I’m not using Pure OS.


Got the same issues you two described. The camera is really grainy.
I tried it on PureOS as well. The same issue.

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I get lots of “fan noise” picked up by the microphone too. I hope this issue can be resolved by Purism in the future software updates and not related to hardware…

The workaround for me was to attached a USB Webcam with builtin microphone and the audio got much better!

I had this issue and easy to fix: sys-usb default RAM is 300 MB that is why the webcam is disconnecting. Increase it to 1024 MB and it will work.

Thanks, figured it as well on my own that the USB-qubes needs more than the RAM initially allocated on install. Also upping VCPUs might help people and, if you are really into it, you can the weight of the USB qube via xl sched-credit command on Qubes. As I understand it, it means that the USB qubes is being favoured for CPU time.

See also:

I’d also like to point to How to reduce annoying fan noise
where it is recommended to minimize the videochat-window as much as possible to reduce CPU usage.

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The best video conferencing setup for me was to go back from Qubes OS to PureOS with CPU Power Manager extension installed and configured to run in “Quiet” mode, to reduce fan noise. To improve audio, I got external USB microphone and use built in web-camera, I must say that the video quality is good (I would not complain its “grainy”), especially in well lit environment. :grinning:

It is my experience that this is not limited to the librem laptops but rather that all laptops with inbuilt microphones do a better job picking up the noise of the laptop than the person speaking whom is further away. Some software combinations handle this better than others, but none, that I’ve ever encountered, are great.

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