Sunday, July 8, 2012

Enable HDMI volume control on the 2011 Mac Mini

HDMI is designed to output a fixed level output.  However, with a software mixer, it is possible to enable the built in volume controls in OS X.  The free mixer I'm using is called Soundflower.  Here is how I enabled the volume controls in OS X to work with my HDMI monitor.

- Instructions -

1. Download and install Soundflower

2. Launch Soundflowerbed.

3. Set (2ch) to HDMI (or the name of your output device)

4. Open System Preferences / Sound
4b. Set "Play sound effects through" to "Soundflower (2ch)"

5. Select the "Output" tab
5b. Select "Soundflower (2ch)"

Now, Soundflower should be acting as a software mixer that enables the volume controls in OS X to work with HDMI audio.  The volume controls in the menu bar should no longer be disabled and, if your keyboard supports it, you should be able to control the volume/mute right from your keyboard. 


  1. Awesome post, worked like a charm! Thanks so much!

  2. If I use external speakers, but HDMI monitor, can I direct HDMI audio to those speakers with soundflower? I am going to try it tonight.

  3. I asked the guy who made AudioSwicher to make it have SoftwareMixer like SoundFlower, but better.

    I wrote this to him:
    The problem with SoundFlower is that it does not automatically remember the choice of HDMI output. When the screen saver turns off the screen, it also turns off the build in HDMI. When I wake the screen back to work, SoundFlower has forgot that HDMI is output.
    This means that every time, use the mouse to select the correct output in the SoundFlower.

    Some times SoundFlower even crashes when the screen turns off with its build in HDMI channel.

    Maybe you could use the source code from the SoundFlower together with your application AudioSwicher.

    He Answered:
    I actually just downloaded the SoundFlower source. I always thought they used some kind of kernel extension to get it to work but it’s actually a bit more straightforward…

    I’ve got a page on the website where users vote for new features (
    ). I’ve added in a ‘soundflower’ option to see what interest there is.

    So now, please Vote ;O)


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