I'm wondering if I can get some guidance on how elementary manages audio devices -- especially how it detects them. Do you use Pulse or ALSA? Is there potentially a package missing?
In my situation, I'm seeing...
No Output Device There is no output device detected. You may want to add one to start listening to anything.
...in System Settings --> Sound. However,
aplay -l shows two Intel HDA cards, and vlc is able to play directly to the audio devices, so I know for sure the hardware is not an issue.
io.elementary.switchboard from the terminal with
G_MESSAGES_DEBUG set to all, and found a message like
pa_context_connect () failed: Connection refused.