Change Audio Settings Quickly from the Menubar [OS X Tips]

Change Audio Settings Quickly from the Menubar [OS X Tips]

Ever need to quickly change audio input or output settings on your Mac, but don’t want to hop into the System Preferences, find the Sound preference pane, then click around the tabs? Maybe you’re in the middle of a super important presentation and just need the sound to work for that amazing video you’re sharing? Well, todays quick tip will have you blasting the audience’s eardrums in no time.

File this tip under “incredibly simple yet not directly obvious,” as many little operating system features can be.

Typically, when you click on the sound icon in the menubar, you get the volume slider, right? Simple, easy, and effective. Interestingly, though, when you hold the Option key down and then click on that very same icon, you’ll get the Input and Output options for your Mac. You can then easily select the Input or Output option you require for your needs, and be done with it.

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  • Rob Bowers

    Wow, thanks Rob. I have been wondering about this for a while. I am a winders convert (1.5 years now and no turning back!) and have not yet internalized the Options key and it’s many wonders.

  • Ratnasingam Yookarajah

    Amazing tip! Thanks Rob!

  • Kuipo

    Wow…  ok.  I’ve had an app installed on my mac since… what, Leopard that does this exact same thing.  But now that it’s built into the OS, what’s the point of that app?  Can’t believe I didn’t know about this!  Thanks.

    As a sidenote, I see that you have VeeBeam (2ch) and (16ch)… do you have sound flower installed and renamed to that or does VeeBeam do what soundflower used to do?  I’m confused as the support for sound flower these days is pretty weak since Lion since apple redid the underlying sound systems.

  • bcassidy

    When I do this I get mirrored video. Is there a way to do audio only?

  • oangelos

    This is a lifesaver, also, in Mavericks, Apple TV audio streaming is there too! Thanks Rob.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreAnchorage, Alaska-based freelance writer and editor Rob LeFebvre is Cult of Mac's Games and Tips Editor. He has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef

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