If you have multiple audio inputs or outputs connected to your Mac, then you’re probably aware that you can visit System Preferences to manage and switch between interfaces at will. But wouldn’t it be nice if there was a quicker way to switch to a set of speakers or a microphone without venturing all the way into the Sound panel of System Preferences? In this post, we’ll share with you a handy shortcut that we use every day to do just that.

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Switching between audio devices on the fly doesn’t have to be hard. If you have the volume button enabled to show in the menu bar, then you can switch between devices right from the menu bar.

Step 1: The first thing you’re going to need to do is ensure that the “Show volume in menu bar” option is checked in System Preferences → Sound. Once it is, you should notice the speaker icon representing the current volume in the menu bar.

Step 2: Next, it’s just a matter of holding the Option (⌥) key while clicking the menu bar volume icon. Once you do so, you’ll see a listing of all of your Mac’s input and output devices. You can then easily switch between those devices with a mere mouse click.

Video walkthrough

This method certainly beats having to go into System Preferences every time you wish to change your audio output source or input source. You can even use this method to quickly output sound to an AirPlay capable device like an Apple TV.

I use this handy shortcut multiple times a day as I juggle my many sound input and output options on OS X, and it’s something that I find so handy that I felt compelled to share.

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