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I have 3rd generation iPad pro. I use USB-C to HDMI adapter to connect my iPad to an external monitor with speaker.

The speaker on the monitor is so bad..I would love to use iPad speaker instead.

I've looked up everywhere, but it looks like there is no way to disable audio out to HDMI.

Is there a way to turn off HDMI audio out?

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Unfortunately not. As far as iOS is concerned, HDMI works at the device level, and responds according to the EDID of the display device - if the display announces via its EDID it handles audio as well, then the iPad will switch audio over to the display device, in accordance with HDCP and the HDMI spec.

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I’m using an iPad Pro 12.9” 3rd gen. I’ve found that I have the same behavior. I was able to manually switch the audio by going to control center, tap the audio sharing button and then select the built-in speakers or other connected device. I use my wireless headphones. It doesn’t always stick, but I’ve found once you set it, it tends to stay put.

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    You can not select iPad's built-in speaker. There is no such option. Maybe it is possible in future, but not at the moment June, 2020. – Hang Jun 30 at 2:08

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