I've set my output device to a connected speaker through "System Preferences..." -> "Sound" -> "Output" tab. When I open the terminal and type echo -e "\a"; to create an alert/bell sound though, the audio comes through my built-in Macbook speakers (regardless of which other device is selected in my Sound Preferences).

Is there a way to change the output device for these alerts/bells from the Terminal?

I looked in the Preferences menu for the Terminal application but the closest thing I could find was the ability to enable/disable the Audible bell under the Profiles -> Advanced tab. There didn't seem to be a way to overwrite the system default audio device.

I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I'm on macOS Big Sur 11.6 on a 2017 MacBook Pro 15-inch. My Terminal is version 2.11 (440). I've also confirmed that sounds from other programs are using the selected default output device from my Sound Preferences.


Terminal alerts use the same specified output as system "Sound Effects", not the 'Input' & 'Output' sources.

enter image description here

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .