I'm trying to prevent macOS from ever using my AirPods as the audio input device, as that absolutely kills the audio quality of their output. This is not just an "only an audiophile would hear the difference" kind of thing, the audio actually sounds like it's being routed over the phone around the planet.

As far as I can tell macOS offers no way of disabling an input device altogether, not from the audio system settings or the Audio MIDI Setup. Or at least that doesn't appear possible for devices such as AirPods.

macOS wants to enable my AirPods as the default input device every time I put them in/on or even if (when paired to macOS) I unlock an iOS device and it checks if it should automatically switch over to that.

I have tried fittingly named features of both the app ToothFairy and AirBuddy but from what I can gather they only set the devices on first connect and can't watch for changes macOS tries later.

My current solution is running a short script in the background constantly, which checks the currently set input device every second and change that back if it looks like AirPods. This is obviously far from ideal, but at least it kinda works. I was unfortunately unable to find any NSNotification macOS fires on audio input changes to react to that instead, maybe watching coreaudiod logs here is a solution instead?

Is there any other saner option to disable AirPods as input devices or force macOS into always using the same input device?

(In case an Apple employee reads this, I have filed the following feedback: FB8970518)

  • Thanks for the script. This is making me furious every time. I love my Airpods for daily work with the transparency mode, but always having an eye on the default mic input while having really good audio gear is infuriating.
    – Strayer
    Commented Nov 15, 2021 at 10:02

1 Answer 1


Maybe this can help: https://github.com/milgra/airpodssoundqualityfixer

I've tested it with my Beats Flex and the audio input device does not change upon connections.

  • While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review
    – mmmmmm
    Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 9:38
  • Thank you! That tool does in fact look like it does exactly the right thing :)
    – Kilian
    Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 10:20
  • This seems to work perfectly with my Samsung Galaxy Buds, thanks!! Commented Jun 27, 2022 at 8:41

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