New Plantronics Blackwire C3210 headset gets "Error opening sound device" message

I’ve read through many instances of sound device errors in this forum and am still stumped.

I am using Audacity 2.3.3 on a MacBookAir mid-2011 with OS High Sierra 10.13.6 (the highest version it will support).

I have a new Plantronics Blackwire C3210 headset (mono/one earpiece) that outputs audio on Garageband, iTunes, and web videos (through YouTube, Amazon Prime) but I get an “Error opening sound device” message when I try to play a recording made by or imported into Audacity 2.3.2. My other headset (Logitech USB Headset with two earpieces) works but I’m not a fan of the two earpieces. (It is brand new and works well, but I have always preferred a mono headset since I can only hear out of my right ear.)

Note that I am selecting the correct USB headset on the Audacity settings, and I’ve checked my Audacity preferences and the Audio MIDI setup app. All seems to be set properly.

I suspect the headset is defective but can’t be sure until I’ve ruled out any Audacity settings that I am missing.

Here is a screenshot of the error message:
Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 9.28.55 PM.png
Here is the preference settings:
Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 9.29.23 PM.png
Finally, note that I can record using the headset but I get the error message when I try to play back the sound with the headset in Audacity.

I have also deleted the Audacity app and the library application support folder and reinstalled. No luck.

What else can I try? :unamused:

Thanks for your help!

I don’t actually think this is it, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s a stereo/mono cross. Mono microphones or sound sources happen every day, but a mono speaker or headphone system is pretty rare. I have had failures from crossing those by accident.


Thanks for your reply, kozikowski. What settings would you use? Note that when I set it to stereo for recording, it does not recognize the device. Note that Garageband does recognize the mono device. This is the item, which I got from Amazon:

The strange thing is that I’ve been using mono headsets by Plantronics for years with Audacity and have never had any problem opening any of those devices for playback. I even went back a version (Audacity 2.3.2) to see if it would work and it didn’t.

Also, the headset does not work on my husband’s MacBook Pro on Audacity either. He’s a step down, OS wise, from Catalina, if that helps.

If you mean that Garageband can’t record from the headset either, then that would suggest there’s a problem with the headset.
Have you tried the headset mic with any other apps? (perhaps Skype)

Hi, Steve

To clarify, the headset DOES work with Garageband, playing back audio and recording.

The headset DOES record sound on Audacity but it gives the “error sound opening device” message when I try to play back the audio on Audacity through the headset.

It’s weird, I know.

In that case, I don’t understand what you mean by; “Note that Garageband does recognize the mono device.”

When I use Garageband, the Plantronics Blackwire C3210 does play audio. However, with Audacity, I get the error message and the app will not play the audio through the headset.

To answer another question you asked, Steve, I’ve used the headset with everything else successfully, including iTunes (playing on my computer), Dragon, Siri/Text-to-speech, Mac Dictation (and Enhanced Dictation), Garageband, website videos, etc., and both input and output works with this headset.

I had a similar problem with my Steelseries Arctis 9x when I bought it for the first time. I could not use it with my laptop as it was showing an error every single time. I figured it was probably because of the sound driver. So I updated it & since then I haven’t faced a problem till now. Really enjoying the sound of my gaming headsets.

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