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Change the audio source for Mac OS X from the command line.
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A command-line utility to switch the audio source on Mac OS X.


This utility switches the audio source for Mac OS X.

You specify the name of the audio source, such as Built-in Digital Output, and the utility switches the source immediately without any GUI interaction.

This is a command-line utility only and has no graphical user interface. Tested on OS 10.7 - 10.10.

Installing from homebrew

$ brew install switchaudio-osx

Installing Xcode Command Line Tools

switchaudio-osx requires command line tools to be installed from OS X. To install command line tools in Xcode 4.4, from the menubar go to Xcode > Preferences and click the Downloads tab. Click "Install" on the line that reads "Command Line Tools".


SwitchAudioSource [-a] [-c] [-t type] [-n] -s device_name

  • -a : shows all devices
  • -c : shows current device
  • -t type : device type (input/output/system). Defaults to output.
  • -n : cycles the audio device to the next one
  • -s device_name : sets the audio device to the given device by name


Thanks to Christian Zuckschwerdt for migrating this to github and adding the next option.


MIT License, see license.txt
Copyright (c) 2008-2011 Devon Weller
Copyright (c) 2011 Christian Zuckschwerdt

Imported from SVN at

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