I have a USB sound card hooked up to my Mac.

This worked fine until this morning for some reason.

I selected the sound card as the primary output device in the Sound Preferences. When I adjust the volume slider, it properly chimes through the headphones attached to my USB sound card.

However, some applications aren't respecting that the sound card is selected as primary for some reason.

Example: iTerm2, the audio 'bell' sound is going through the internal speakers rather than the sound card. Also, if I drag and drop something into the trash can and empty it, all those sounds go through the internal speakers.

However, the USB sound device is definitely selected and when I use the volume control in the status bar, it chimes the volume through the USB sound card! What the heck is going on here?

1 Answer 1


Not entirely sure and I'm not familiar with iTerm2 but, as a workaround, does iTerm2 have audio preferences of its own? If so, check to see if your USB device is available to select as the output device.

Also check Audio MIDI Setup (Applications > Utilities).

  • No, no audio preferences, it has always just used the OS selected audio device. It just stopped working yesterday. Didn't update anything either. Jan 8, 2013 at 15:34
  • What does AMS show?
    – Robert
    Jan 8, 2013 at 15:40

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