Quick Tip: Easily Change OS X's Audio Sources via the Menu Bar

If you often find yourself using various audio devices on your Mac, whether it’s AirPlay speakers or a USB microphone, then it can be somewhat of a chore to keep opening System Preferences just to switch audio input and output sources.

Sound in System Preferences

I often use a set of AirPlay or Bluetooth speakers when listening to music via my Mac but don’t always want to use them. If I’m making a FaceTime call or listening to a podcast then I might want to use a set of headphones or just the Mac’s built-in speakers and mic.

Rather than visiting the Sound preference pane every time I want to pick the audio device I want to use, I hold down the Alt key and click on the Speaker icon in the menu bar. Instead of bringing up the volume control, OS X displays a list of all available input and output audio devices, including AirPlay devices available on the network.

Holding down the Alt key whilst selecting the Volume Control menu bar item brings up an additional option to select a preferred audio device