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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

SoundSource 5 adds new features, revamped interface

Given the frequency with which I have to deal with audio, Rogue Amoeba’s apps are amongst the most indispensable tools in my arsenal.1 And one that I’ve grown increasingly fond of in recent years is SoundSource, which has just gotten a massive upgrade in version 5.

SoundSource has always excelled at being a replacement for the traditional macOS menu bar audio widget, but I have a confession to make: for years, I’ve kept both SoundSource and the default widget in my menu bar, because the latter made it a little easier to switch audio inputs. But, since getting my hands on a pre-release version of SoundSource 5 a couple weeks back, I have bid adieu to macOS’s native widget for good. All SoundSource, all the way.

SoundSource 5 can now be configured with an even more compact interface.

Here’s a few of the reasons why I made the switch: First, SoundSource 5 features a brand new interface that’s not only more attractive than its predecessor (which was certainly no slouch), but allows you to customize it to take up less room. I use both the new built-in Compact view as well as the ability to hide the application list when I don’t need it and, as a result, I end up with just the controls I need at my fingertips.

Likewise, SoundSource 5 includes the ability to get an alternate menu that’s like the built-in widget by right clicking on the menu icon, so you can easily change sound output and input for the system. And you can now permanently keep both input and output meters in the menu bar to see your levels at a glance. (There’s also an option for per-app volume levels if that’s a thing you need.) Finally, the SoundSource default menu bar icon now shows the volume level, à la the OS’s menu bar. In short: there’s no reason to keep around the built-in menu bar item at all.

That’s on top of all of SoundSource’s other new features, like being able to favorite certain apps, pin your effects window, search for audio units, and updated versions of the balance and equalizer controls, plus way more.

SoundSource is, as of this writing, at a special introductory price of $29, which is a solid deal for this app. If you owned version 4, you can upgrade at discounted rate, and if you’re not sure whether or not SoundSource is for you, there’s a free trial. But if you spend a lot of time working with audio, it’s a no brainer.

  1. Rogue Amoeba CEO Paul Kafasis is a personal friend, and Rogue Amoeba has sponsored past episodes of several of my podcasts. But if I had to choose between using Rogue Amoeba’s tools and being Paul’s friend…I mean…look, it’s not an easy decision. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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