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How to replace audio output devices on a Mac



Apple Sound Output Icon

If you do not hear system audio from a specific device connected to your Mac – such as a monitor with built-in speakers, a Bluetooth device, or a USB audio interface – it’s time to check the audio output device settings. Here’s how.

First, click the Apple menu in the upper left corner of the screen and select “System Preferences.”

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Start system settings from the Apple menu on a Mac

Click “Sound” in system settings.

Click the Audio Icon in System Preferences on Mac

Click the “Output” button in the “Sound” settings window.

Click the Output tab in Mac Audio Preferences

In Output settings, you see a list of connected and recognized audio output devices. Click the entry for the device you want to use and the system sound is routed to that device.

Select an audio output device in Mac Audio Preferences

If you have activated “Show volume in the menu bar” in Audio preferences, you can also quickly switch between audio output devices by clicking the speaker icon in the menu bar.

Select an audio output device from the speaker icon in the Mac menu bar

When you change audio output devices, you may notice that some of the devices do not support controlling the output volume via macOS (via the software keys or the volume keys on the keyboard). In this case, you need to adjust the volume of the device using a control element on the device itself – such as a steering wheel, slider or buttons.

Mac audio output troubleshooting

If you have trouble directing audio to a device that connects via Bluetooth (such as AirPods or Bluetooth speakers), open System Preferences, click “Bluetooth”, and make sure the device is currently connected.

RELATED: How to connect Apple AirPods to Mac

If the cumbersome device is a USB audio interface, check the manufacturer’s website for the latest Mac drivers. You may need to install them to get the device recognized on your Mac. You can also try using another USB cable to connect the device to your Mac. Sometimes USB cables go wrong.

And with so many monitors including speakers today, it’s easy to assume that every monitor has them built-in, but many do not. Check the screen specifications to see if the audio output is included. If not, you may need to connect external speakers to your Mac to hear sound at a comfortable level.

If all else fails, try updating your Mac software or restarting the system, both of which can solve a wide range of software-related audio issues. Good luck!

RELATED: How to fix Crackly Audio and other Mac audio issues




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