Applying an equalizer in macOS allows you to take control of your audio playback. You can use an equalizer to fix problematic sound or enhance recorded music. This article shows five ways to apply an equalizer in macOS.
1. Audio Hijack
Audio Hijack is a professional-grade application that allows you to apply effects to your Mac’s system audio. It can target the audio from a single application or from the entire system. You can easily pop on a ten- or thirty-band equalizer and sculpt the sound precisely. Unless you’re an audio pro, it may take a little bit to become familiar with the application’s full set of features. If you just want the basics, Boom makes it easy to just apply a simple equalization curve to your Mac.
Audio Hijack also enables a host of other audio effects beyond equalization, like compression and filtering. If you know how to use these tools, Audio Hijack gives you incredibly precise control over your system’s sound. Audio Hijack provides tools for recording audio streams as well, making it ideal for podcasters and streamers to record their tracks.
Already a popular equalizer application for macOS, Boom2 takes everything about the original Boom and makes it better. Do you want to instantly optimize the volume of your media files? Boom2 uses an intelligent algorithm and does the work for you. For the $13.99 price in the Mac App Store, Boom2 will also recommend optimal equalizer settings for any audio or video file.
Best of all, you can install the “Boom Remote” app on your iPhone or iPad and take control of your Mac’s default volume levels as well as the app’s various equalizer effects. That it also works for Spotify, QuickTime, Music and VLC helps make the price tag even better.
From the makers of Audio Hijack, Airfoil is intended as a free application for routing sound to other devices wirelessly. However, it also comes with a simple 10-band EQ that can be applied to any sound source on the computer. You don’t need to route audio to take advantage of the equalizer, so you can apply a free equalizer to any macOS audio from an application or from the whole system.
Airfoil is extremely simple, so it’s outrageously simple to use. There are only a handful of buttons in the entire application. Select the audio source at the top, then adjust the equalizer as desired. That’s all there is to it.
Available at no cost, eqMac is a relatively new macOS application, but it has already won over quite a few fans. If you feel like your Mac doesn’t have enough bass or lacks a punch, adjusting that in eqMac is as easy as it gets. The basic equalizer is undoubtedly better for beginners with toggles for bass, mid and treble levels. The more advanced equalizer adds in a slew of options, including adjusting the frequency range/Hz for a much truer sound.
A volume booster will also help you take things to the max, literally, with the opportunity to boost volume to the limits of the macOS experience. If you ever want to shift sound balance from right to left, you can easily do that as well. Moreover, this works with both your AirPods and headphones as well as the general speakers, as any change within the equalizer will affect sound no matter the output. That all of this can be done without any cost makes eqMac an incredibly attractive choice for macOS owners.
5. Music Equalizer
While dedicated apps can add extra features, often for a cost, sometimes the best is right there in front of you. Within the dedicated Music app on the Mac, you can go to the app and click on “Window -> Equalizer” from the top menu. Like the rest of the equalizer apps, the Music app functions fairly similar in that it has a number of the same options.
You can choose a preset from a variety of different music types or drag the sliders to adjust the volume within each frequency range. You can also adjust the preamp volume that will cover all of the available frequencies. Once you find the exact settings you want, you can go ahead and make your own preset so you never have to find the same settings again.
One final setting is to go into “Music -> Preferences” and click on Playback so you can ensure “Sound Enhancer” is selected. You can decrease or increase the sound enhancer until you find your optimal setting. While not as feature-rich as apps like Airfoil or Boom2, the Music app is free, built-in and easy to optimize.
Music has long been a staple of the Apple and macOS ecosystem. Finding the right equalizer is as easy as selecting any of the options on this list. If you want to optimize your music instead, learn how to remove background noise from audio files in macOS and all about Apple Lossless Music.