How to Change the Sound Output Device on a Mac

How to Change the Sound Output Device on a Mac

If you don’t hear the sound system from a specific device connected to your Mac – such as a monitor with internal speakers, a Bluetooth device, or a USB audio interface – it’s time to check your sound output device settings. This is how you do it.

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


In System Preferences, click “Sound.”


In the “Sound” preference window, click the “Output” button.


In the Output preferences, you will see a list of connected and recognized audio output devices. Click the entry for the device you want to use, and the sound system will be transferred to that device.


Also, if you have activated “Show volume in the menu bar” in Sound preferences, you can also quickly switch between audio output devices by clicking on the speaker icon in your menu bar.


When you replace the audio output device, you might notice that some devices do not support controlling the output volume through macOS (via the software bar or volume keys on the keyboard). In this case, you have to adjust the volume of the device using control elements on the device itself – such as knobs, sliders, or buttons.

Troubleshooting Mac Sound Output

If you experience problems routing audio to a device connected via Bluetooth (such as AirPods or Bluetooth speakers), open System Preferences, click “Bluetooth,” and make sure the device is currently connected.

If the problematic device is a USB audio interface, check the manufacturer’s website for the latest Mac drivers. You might need to install it so that the device is recognized on your Mac. You can also try using a different USB cable to connect the device to your Mac. The USB cable sometimes becomes damaged.

And with so many monitors including speakers today, it’s easy to assume that every monitor has a built-in, but many don’t. Check the specifications of your monitor to see if audio output is included. If not, you might need to plug an external speaker into your Mac to hear sound at a comfortable level.

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