Audio playback device keeps getting randomly switched away from speakers to monitor

From time to time, my audio keeps cutting out randomly while I'm in the middle of something I ought to be hearing. In the Volume Control window on the Playback tab, I found that when this happens the setting has been changed from Starship/Matisse HD Audio Controller Analog Stereo (my speakers) to Navi 21/23 HDMI/DP Audio Controller Digital Stereo HDMI 5 (my monitor and its built-in speakers) for all the windows. I have already set the volume of the monitor to 0 both in directly in the monitor through the physical buttons and in the Output Devices tab of Volume Control AND hit the Mute Audio icon. Despite this, several times within a day has my audio cut out because Garuda, through no provocation, switched to using the monitor as the playback device for all my active windows.

System:
  Kernel: 5.15.81-1-lts arch: x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 12.2.0
    parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/@/boot/vmlinuz-linux-lts
    root=UUID=edc63662-0e17-4e76-aa70-b1e6f5bfc98d rw [email protected]
    quiet quiet splash rd.udev.log_priority=3 vt.global_cursor_default=0
    resume=UUID=6308b6d5-0e45-4af9-b736-5432b977f5f7 loglevel=3
  Desktop: Xfce v: 4.16.1 tk: Gtk v: 3.24.34 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm
    v: 4.16.1 vt: 7 dm: LightDM v: 1.32.0 Distro: Garuda Linux base: Arch Linux
Machine:
  Type: Desktop Mobo: Micro-Star model: B550-A PRO (MS-7C56) v: 2.0
    serial: <superuser required> UEFI: American Megatrends LLC. v: A.B0
    date: 08/11/2022
CPU:
  Info: model: AMD Ryzen 7 5800X bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Zen 3 gen: 4
    level: v3 note: check built: 2021-22 process: TSMC n7 (7nm)
    family: 0x19 (25) model-id: 0x21 (33) stepping: 2 microcode: 0xA20120A
  Topology: cpus: 1x cores: 8 tpc: 2 threads: 16 smt: enabled cache:
    L1: 512 KiB desc: d-8x32 KiB; i-8x32 KiB L2: 4 MiB desc: 8x512 KiB
    L3: 32 MiB desc: 1x32 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 3821 high: 4088 min/max: 2200/4850 boost: enabled
    scaling: driver: acpi-cpufreq governor: performance cores: 1: 3770 2: 4088
    3: 3926 4: 3747 5: 3817 6: 3733 7: 3737 8: 3997 9: 3751 10: 3971 11: 3740
    12: 3674 13: 3837 14: 3694 15: 3947 16: 3715 bogomips: 121596
  Flags: avx avx2 ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 sse4a ssse3 svm
  Vulnerabilities:
  Type: itlb_multihit status: Not affected
  Type: l1tf status: Not affected
  Type: mds status: Not affected
  Type: meltdown status: Not affected
  Type: mmio_stale_data status: Not affected
  Type: retbleed status: Not affected
  Type: spec_store_bypass mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via
    prctl and seccomp
  Type: spectre_v1 mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer
    sanitization
  Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Retpolines, IBPB: conditional, IBRS_FW,
    STIBP: always-on, RSB filling, PBRSB-eIBRS: Not affected
  Type: srbds status: Not affected
  Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected
Graphics:
  Device-1: AMD Navi 22 [Radeon RX 6700/6700 XT/6750 XT / 6800M]
    vendor: Micro-Star MSI driver: amdgpu v: kernel arch: RDNA-2 code: Navi-2x
    process: TSMC n7 (7nm) built: 2020-22 pcie: gen: 4 speed: 16 GT/s
    lanes: 16 ports: active: DP-3 empty: DP-1,DP-2,HDMI-A-1 bus-ID: 2d:00.0
    chip-ID: 1002:73df class-ID: 0300
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: 21.1.4 with: Xwayland v: 22.1.5
    compositor: xfwm v: 4.16.1 driver: X: loaded: amdgpu
    unloaded: modesetting,radeon alternate: fbdev,vesa dri: radeonsi
    gpu: amdgpu display-ID: :0.0 screens: 1
  Screen-1: 0 s-res: 1920x1080 s-dpi: 96 s-size: 508x285mm (20.00x11.22")
    s-diag: 582mm (22.93")
  Monitor-1: DP-3 mapped: DisplayPort-2 model: ViewSonic XG2401 SERIES
    serial: <filter> built: 2017 res: 1920x1080 hz: 120 dpi: 92 gamma: 1.2
    size: 531x299mm (20.91x11.77") diag: 609mm (24") ratio: 16:9 modes:
    max: 1920x1080 min: 720x400
  API: OpenGL v: 4.6 Mesa 22.2.3 renderer: AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT (navi22
    LLVM 14.0.6 DRM 3.42 5.15.81-1-lts) direct render: Yes
Audio:
  Device-1: AMD Navi 21/23 HDMI/DP Audio driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel pcie:
    gen: 4 speed: 16 GT/s lanes: 16 bus-ID: 2d:00.1 chip-ID: 1002:ab28
    class-ID: 0403
  Device-2: AMD Starship/Matisse HD Audio vendor: Micro-Star MSI
    driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel pcie: gen: 4 speed: 16 GT/s lanes: 16
    bus-ID: 2f:00.4 chip-ID: 1022:1487 class-ID: 0403
  Sound API: ALSA v: k5.15.81-1-lts running: yes
  Sound Server-1: PulseAudio v: 16.1 running: no
  Sound Server-2: PipeWire v: 0.3.61 running: yes
Network:
  Device-1: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet
    vendor: Micro-Star MSI driver: r8169 v: kernel pcie: gen: 1 speed: 2.5 GT/s
    lanes: 1 port: f000 bus-ID: 2a:00.0 chip-ID: 10ec:8168 class-ID: 0200
  IF: enp42s0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 1.82 TiB used: 145.44 GiB (7.8%)
  SMART Message: Required tool smartctl not installed. Check --recommends
  ID-1: /dev/sda maj-min: 8:0 vendor: Samsung model: SSD 850 EVO 1TB
    size: 931.51 GiB block-size: physical: 512 B logical: 512 B speed: 6.0 Gb/s
    type: SSD serial: <filter> rev: 2B6Q scheme: GPT
  ID-2: /dev/sdb maj-min: 8:16 type: USB vendor: Seagate model: BUP Slim
    size: 931.51 GiB block-size: physical: 4096 B logical: 512 B type: N/A
    serial: <filter> rev: 1707 scheme: GPT
Partition:
  ID-1: / raw-size: 896.81 GiB size: 896.81 GiB (100.00%)
    used: 56.42 GiB (6.3%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2
  ID-2: /boot/efi raw-size: 300 MiB size: 299.4 MiB (99.80%)
    used: 608 KiB (0.2%) fs: vfat dev: /dev/sda1 maj-min: 8:1
  ID-3: /home raw-size: 896.81 GiB size: 896.81 GiB (100.00%)
    used: 56.42 GiB (6.3%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2
  ID-4: /var/log raw-size: 896.81 GiB size: 896.81 GiB (100.00%)
    used: 56.42 GiB (6.3%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2
  ID-5: /var/tmp raw-size: 896.81 GiB size: 896.81 GiB (100.00%)
    used: 56.42 GiB (6.3%) fs: btrfs dev: /dev/sda2 maj-min: 8:2
Swap:
  Kernel: swappiness: 133 (default 60) cache-pressure: 100 (default)
  ID-1: swap-1 type: zram size: 31.27 GiB used: 890.2 MiB (2.8%)
    priority: 100 dev: /dev/zram0
  ID-2: swap-2 type: partition size: 34.4 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%)
    priority: -2 dev: /dev/sda3 maj-min: 8:3
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 50.5 C mobo: N/A gpu: amdgpu temp: 57.0 C
    mem: 56.0 C
  Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A gpu: amdgpu fan: 0
Info:
  Processes: 392 Uptime: 13h 0m wakeups: 0 Memory: 31.27 GiB
  used: 5.87 GiB (18.8%) Init: systemd v: 252 default: graphical
  tool: systemctl Compilers: gcc: 12.2.0 Packages: pm: pacman pkgs: 1557
  libs: 489 tools: pamac,paru,yay Shell: Bash v: 5.1.16
  running-in: xfce4-terminal inxi: 3.3.23
Garuda (2.6.10-1):
  System install date:     2022-12-03
  Last full system update: 2022-12-04 ↻
  Is partially upgraded:   No
  Relevant software:       NetworkManager
  Windows dual boot:       No/Undetected
  Snapshots:               Snapper
  Failed units:

Wow, sounds like Garuda is a real bully, huh? :smirk:

A possible explanation is the speaker connection is not well seated; if the device is disconnected, then switching audio to the next available device would be helpful. Re-check the connection for the device you prefer to use.

This doesn't disable the device in any way, it just reduces the volume of the fully-enabled device down to zero.

Open Pavucontrol and click the “Configuration” button. Find the device you want to disable, click the drop-down menu next to it and choose “disable”.

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