Skip to content

Microphone plugins

A microhpone plugin allows you to use a specific sound protocol in order to get voice samples from your microphone. Depending the operating system you are running on, you will have to choose the correct plugin.


The microhpone plugins are handled by the ovos_listener container.

The ovos_listener container comes with few pre-installed microphone plugins such as:

  • ovos-microphone-plugin-alsa is using pyalsaaudio Python library (default)
  • ovos-microphone-plugin-sounddevice is using sounddevice Python library

If the existing microphone plugins are not enough then you can install yours by following the same principle as for the STT plugins by adding a listener.list file within the ~/ovos/config/ directory, this file acts as a Python requirements.txt file.

Plugins requirements

These plugins have to be compatible with the pip install method which requires a file.

When the ovos_listener container starts, it will look for this file and install the plugins defined in there.

ovos-microphone-plugin-pyaudio==0.2.0a1 # Specific plugin version on PyPi
ovos-microphone-plugin-arecord # Latest plugin version on PyPi
git+ # Specific branch of a plugin on GitHub

The ovos_listener container must be restarted if a change occurs in the listener.list file.

docker restart ovos_listener
podman restart ovos_listener

Which plugin to choose?

Here are the two main plugins to use per platform.

Plugin Platforms

Choose the correct plugin

If a wrong plugin is used, the listener will not be able to hear you which means that you will not be able to interact with your Open Voice OS instance.