When you enter a FaceTime call in OS X, as of Mavericks, it lowers the volume of everything else besides the call. There's no way to disable this "feature." People here suggested disabling audio ducking in Voiceover Utility, but that doesn't have any effect, at least not in Yosemite.

Any suggestions for a hack solution to fix this? I don't want to install some system-wide audio mixer to help, but I'll happily mess with the FaceTime application or some system settings. I'm guessing there's some library it's using to control the system volume, and I'm trying to find a way to prevent the app bundle from accessing it.

5 Answers 5


Open FaceTime app (don't make the call yet) and paste the following line into Terminal:

printf "p *(char*)(void(*)())AudioDeviceDuck=0xc3\nq" | lldb -n FaceTime

and then make the call.

Update: for macOS Sierra or higher, replace FaceTime with avconferenced (https://twitter.com/comex/status/1049459908012195840).

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. I’m also putting a lock on comments - this needs a major rewrite to update for SIP. / Catalina / Mojave and other OS versions. Flag for removal of the comment lock if needed.
    – bmike
    Jun 6, 2020 at 15:37
  • If somebody finds a way to make this work with SIP please post a new answer for this.
    – nohillside
    Jan 15, 2022 at 6:55

On current macOS (Mojave and Catalina), System Integrity Protection doesn’t allow modifying the running FaceTime app. You will need to route the audio to another app to remove the ducking or amplify it.

One tool is called Loopback app from Rogue Amoeba. In FaceTime app, pick Loopback virtual device as the output so you can get control of the volume.

I am not affiliated with the developer, just a happy user who can't believe how useful this audio app is.

  • I think Soundflower would work as a free alternative. Or, in general, any output that's not the same as your default one that you can still hear. I used to use a separate pair of headphones.
    – sudo
    Mar 16, 2018 at 17:16
  • 2
    Confirmed Loopback works. You have to add your headphones or whatever as a "monitor" in Loopback is all. It's a great piece of software, btw.
    – sudo
    Oct 8, 2019 at 2:37
  • Mattingalls's Soundflower with mLupine's SoundFlowerbed works too. Jun 7, 2020 at 13:41

Managed to do it during an active call :)

I noticed it's only audio ducking the other sounds playing on the audio output device selected under FaceTime -> menu bar -> Video -> Output. Usually, "MacBook Pro Speakers" (or "Use System Settings" to the same effect) is the only available one, but if you happen to have an external sound card or headphones and are ok to eg. have the call in the headphones and the normal sounds in the speakers, just select it... or if not; a virtual audio device (like BlackHole, open source), that you then could route back to the speakers by eg. setting it as microphone for an audio track in eg. GarageBand with main-speakers as output...


Go into the "Voiceover Utility", go to the "Sound" tab and uncheck "Enable audio ducking" checkbox.

  • 4
    That only applies to the Voiceover Utility... Apr 17, 2016 at 5:54
  • 21
    This didn't work Dec 22, 2017 at 7:30

VoiceOver Utility -> Sound -> Disable audio ducking.

  • "Audio ducking?"
    – Allan
    Jan 17, 2019 at 10:58
  • 1
    [just spotted this years later] @Allan ducking is the correct audio engineering term for this process. Basically it uses the loudness of one audio source to reduce [duck] another.
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 24, 2022 at 17:28

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