How to quickly switch between audio input and output devices on the Mac

By , Dec 6, 2013

Audio Switcher

As someone who records podcasts and records videos, I constantly find myself switching between the various audio input and output devices on my Mac. You can do this by venturing into the System Preferences and clicking on the Sound option, but that can really slow down your workflow when you need to switch between audio devices many times each day.

I’ve found a tool that runs in the menu bar that makes switching between the different audio devices on the Mac a cinch; in fact, doing so is just a mere two clicks away. The utility is called Audio Switcher—a free tool available for anyone who wishes to switch between audio devices more efficiently.

Preferences Sound

This is how you’d normally have to go about switching audio input or output

Here is developer SpikeSoft’s description of its handy menu bar utility:

Audio Switcher is a MacOS X utility that allows you to quickly switch your audio input/output between different components. It’s designed to work with a device such as Griffin Technology’s Powermate. Audio Switcher sits in the Status Bar, making it conveniently accessible from any application.

I find that Audio Switcher works wonderfully with my Apogee One USB audio interface. It also allows you to switch your audio output to an AirPlay device like an Apple TV. The tool includes preferences for setting default audio inputs and outputs as well.

Audio Switcher Preferences

Audio Switcher’s preferences

The bottom line is that I could not see myself living without this lifesaver of a tool. I know I might sound spoiled, but for someone who switches between audio devices multiple times a day, it saves me a lot of time by always being available in my menu bar.

Again, you can download Audio Switcher free of charge from SpikeSoft’s website. Please share your methods for switching between the various audio input and output devices on your Mac. Do you use a similar tool, and if so, how has it improved your workflow?

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  • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

    cool.

  • Wesley Wilkerson

    Or just hold option then click the volume on the menu bar

    • http://bnjm.org/ Jeff Benjamin

      You know; I’m not even going to pretend I knew you could do that, because I didn’t. Wow, awesome tip. Thanks for sharing. I still like Audio Switcher due to its default switching options, but this is a definite option to keep in mind.

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        Also if you right click on “safari” and other apps on dock. And then press option, it gives you option to force close it without going to apple icon then force close.

        Or hide others. without minimizing one by one

      • AndroidDogHeatandSteelersFan

        wonder why i got a thumbs down?

    • Micaiah Martin

      Dude! thanks for the tip. I knew option worked on the wifi and bluetooth, but I never thought to try on the volume icon.

  • Justin H

    Jeff! Please put out a video explaining all your menu icons! I’m curious to know what they are!

    • Abbas

      on page 3 check out the video in title something like” how to keep our mac awake while lid is closed” during somewhere in that video names of all the menu icons and its names appear. I myself noticed it there and downloaded and tried out everything on what it does. good stuff..

  • ImBakedAf

    I think it’s awesome how we are seeing more and more Mac blogs. I use to come here just for the jailbreak updates now I find myself on the site all day.

  • Abbas

    Jeff, could you please make a video for soundflower on how to correctly configure it to capture sound output from media players to streaming websites.

  • Jhonny Lennon

    What is Soundflower, exactly?

  • chumawumba

    I’ve been looking all over for an app of this sorts, thanks again iDB!