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This behavior exhibits at least in Ubuntu 13.10 and Ubuntu 14.04.

I'm playing sounds via the play command from the sox package from the command line. It works fine with me, the user who logs into X. However, when I su as root, it won't work any more:

% play /usr/share/sounds/alsa/Front_Center.wav
play FAIL sox: Sorry, there is no default audio device configured

The very command works fine as run by me. Is this what supposed to be?

Here is my installed sox packages (i.e., I have libsox-fmt-pulse installed):

ii libsox-fmt-base:amd64  amd64 Minimal set of SoX format libraries
ii libsox-fmt-mp3:amd64  amd64 SoX MP2 and MP3 format library
ii libsox-fmt-pulse:amd64  amd64 SoX PulseAudio format I/O library
ii libsox2:amd64  amd64 SoX library of audio effects and processing
ii sox  amd64 Swiss army knife of sound processing
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