When I connect my microphone over USB to my Pop!_OS machine, the OS insists on choosing the microphone both as input device (yes!) and output device (why?!?!). This forces me to switch the output device to my headphones, earbuds, or even merely the built-in speakers. Yes, there are ways to make that easier, but I’d rather not need to do it at all.

A Solution

Use pavucontrol (PulseAudio Volume Control) to configure the device as only an input device.

You might not even have this installed, so you might need to install it.

$ sudo apt-get install pavucontrol
[Evidence that the OS is installing it...]
  1. Run pavucontrol and go to the Configuration tab.
  2. Connect the microphone. See the microphone show up on this tab. It’s probably using the “Analog Stereo Duplex” Profile.
  3. Select the “Analog Stereo Input” Profile.

That’s it! Now, when you connect the microphone next time, only the “Input Device” changes. The “Output Device” stays as it was. Victory!