Question: muting analog vs digital outputs and hardware muting
I have USB speakers that show up as an Analog and a Digital Output. With the Analog Output:
- Muting the speakers through their hardware switch also mutes them software-wise in GNOME.
- Muting the speakers in GNOME by setting the volume to 0 automatically mutes the speakers (the LED starts blinking).
The reverse also applies: unmuting can happen from both ends and is recognized correctly by the other end; upping the volume in GNOME automatically unmutes the speakers (the LED stops blinking) as expected.
This doesn't work for the Digital Output, however:
- Muting the speakers through their hardware switch also mutes them software-wise in GNOME (i.e. same as above).
- Muting the speakers in GNOME by setting the volume to 0 does not mute the speakers (the LED does not start blinking), but no sound will be produced.
This means that if I mute through hardware, I must also unmute through hardware.
Is this perhaps a limitation for digital outputs?
These speakers become hot and cool down if they recognize being muted. I'd use the Analog Output, but it is supposedly not as lossless as the digital output, but I may be wrong. It is also worth mentioning that the same problem exists in PulseAudio?