GNOME 43 Makes It (Much) Easier to Switch Audio Device

Switching between different audio output and input devices looks as though it’ll be a touch easier in GNOME 43.

In current builds of the open source desktop environment switching sound output, for example from your laptop’s inbuilt speakers to a HDMI capable, requires a round trip to the Settings > Sound panel (though GNOME extensions exist that reduce this friction).

Not so in GNOME 43.

A pinch of new code merged into GNOME Shell this week makes it possible to switch audio device without having to dive into the settings app at all.

GNOME 43 adds a submenu to the volume slider if more than one audio device is present/detected (by either Pulseaudio or Pipewire, whatever you’re using). Clicking through to this submenu let you to quickly choose which output device to use, and/or which input device to use.

You can get a sneak-peek at the new sub-menu in this tweet from avid GNOME fan Alex (of BabyWogue YouTube fame):

Looks to be a real timesaver, doesn’t it?

Still, this isn’t finished so we should further refinement to what’s demoed above in the coming weeks ahead of the GNOME 43 beta next month.