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Easily Switch Audio Devices on Linux

Those working from home on a Linux machine might have already noticed the pain of switching between input and output audio devices. You may want to quickly switch from one headset to another or from the speaker to the headset and vice versa. Opening the settings dialog every time you want to change the sound device is not very productive. Some desktop distributions like Cinnamon provide out-of-the-box solutions to change the audio device with a couple of clicks. For Gnome, there is an extension that enables this feature. This article covers such options to switch between different audio devices with less effort.


Cinnamon

In the Cinnamon desktop environment, right-click on the Sound applet and choose the output device. You can individually select the output device and input device so that you can listen to the sound on one device while using a mic from another device.

Easily Switch Audio Devices on Cinnamon


The Input device selection will appear only if there is an application actively using a Mic. Otherwise, you will have the Output device selection only.


Gnome

Gnome doesn't provide a similar option as in Cinnamon. However, the "Sound Input & Output Device Chooser" Gnome extension fills the gap by enabling the exact shortcut in Gnome. All you need to do is, installing this extension and enable it from the GNOME Extensions app.

Easily Switch Audio Devices on Gnome

Use the following button to install the extension:


All Linux Distributions

Sound Switcher Indicator is a simple application to change the input and output audio from the tray icon. Unlike the first two options, this application is not limited to a particular distribution. If you don't like the long hardware names, the application also provides an option to rename any detected devices for your convenience.

Easily Switch Audio Devices on Linux

To install the "Sound Switcher Indicator" from PPA, run the following command:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:yktooo/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install indicator-sound-switcher

Arch users can use the following command to install the app:
yay -S indicator-sound-switcher


On any other distributions, you can either install it from the Snap or the source.

sudo snap install indicator-sound-switcher


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