How to Customize Sound Settings in Mac OS X Lion - dummies

How to Customize Sound Settings in Mac OS X Lion

By Bob LeVitus

Out of the box, Mac OS X Lion comes with a preset collection of beeps and controls. By using the Sound Preferences pane. By changing settings on each of its three tabs—Sound Effects, Output, and Input—you can change the way your Mac plays and records sound

Three items appear at the bottom of the Mac OS X Lion Sound System Preferences pane, no matter which of the three tabs are active:

  • To make your Mac’s volume louder or softer, use the Output Volume slider. You can also change or mute the volume with the designated volume and mute keys found on most Apple keyboards.

  • Choose the Mute check box to turn off all sound.

  • Click the Show Volume in Menu Bar check box to add a volume control menu to your menu bar.

A shortcut to the Sound System Preferences pane is to press Option while pressing any of the volume keys (usually the F4 and F5 keys on older laptops and keyboards or the F11 and F12 keys on newer laptops and keyboards).

Changing sound effects in Mac OS X Lion

On the Sound Effects tab, choose an alert or beep sound by clicking its name; set its volume by using the Alert Volume slider control.

You can also specify the output device through which sound effects play (if you have more than one device) by choosing it from the Play Sound Effects Through pop-up menu.

The Play User Interface Sound Effects check box turns on sound effects for actions, such as dragging a file to the Trash. The Play Feedback When Volume is Changed check box tells your Mac to beep once for each keypress to increase or decrease volume.

Choosing sound output options in Mac OS X Lion

If you have more than one sound-output device (in addition to the built-in speakers), you can choose it here. The Balance slider makes one stereo speaker louder than the other.

Choosing sound input options in Mac OS X Lion

If you have more than one sound-input device (in addition to the built-in microphone on many Macs or an iSight camera), you can choose which one is the primary input receiver. The Input Volume slider controls the Input Level (how loud input from that device will be), which is displayed as a row of blue dots. If the dots light up all the way to the right side, your input volume is too loud. Ideally, the input level should light up with about three fourths of the little blue dots.