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Microphone Follies

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So I have this Lenovo Flex2-15D laptop which has always given me some sort of hardware grief. The wifi was bad under Windows, often disconnecting at inconvenient times. Now with Linux installed it is rock stable. But I've never been able to get the internal mic to work under any Linux distro with Skype or Zoom or Google Meet. Nor will it record anything.

It appears to be recognized, and if I futz around with PavuControl I can get it to respond in one of those online mic testing sites, but mostly all I get is static and no sound. It apparently has been a problem for many years and nobody has come up with a workable solution. The camera and speakers are fine.

It might be hardware related because most of the issues are with my ALC233 audio chip. I have an ALC3202 in my Thinkpad and everything is fine there.

I have worked around the problem by putting in an external USB mic/speaker combo. This speaker was fuzzy and muddy when plugged into a USB2 port but sounds fantastic when hooked to a USB3 port. I think it's more a matter of getting the right power than it is speed of the connection. Go figure.

Has anyone else had these sort of microphone issues with Linux on laptops?

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