Boost OS X output volume?

Discussion in 'OS X' started by cleanup, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. macrumors 68030


    Jun 26, 2005
    Is there a way to do this through a terminal command or an app? I often find my MacBook's speakers to be too dinky, no matter how much i crank up the volume, both the master volume and the app's volume. I have external speakers but sometimes I need to use the internal speakers, and often iTunes or DVD Player is far too quiet.

    Such a simple thing, but I haven't been able to find a way. Anyone know of the Terminal command?

  2. Retired


    May 16, 2006
    VolumeLogic did this for iTunes, but has been discontinued unfortunately...

    Whenever I occasionally need to listen to a song through the MB speakers louder than iTunes gives me, I use VLC :)
  3. macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2007
    Keep in mind that there's a practical limit to how high you can boost your output volume before your speakers blow - especially dinky ones.

    You can trick your ears in iTunes by using the "small speakers" equalizer preset. This boosts your bass and will make the sound coming out of your laptop speakers sound fuller.

    iWow does an even better job equalizing your music for small speakers, but it costs $20.
  4. macrumors 68020


    Jan 17, 2008
    Big D
  5. macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2010
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2010
    I just gave it a whirl; seems to work very well. Call me paranoid, but I think it worked so well, that after I uninstalled it, I would swear that my Mac's speaker output had been actually weakened.

    I had to try a couple of loud mp3 files that I have to realize that I was just 'hearing' things.
  7. macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    You do know that you revived a three your old thread.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2010
    Lol! I liked the way it works, quite a simple app
  9. macrumors newbie

    Jun 9, 2009
    I like the idea, although, wouldn't this potentially blow out the speakers on our device? Hopefully someone can chime in.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Aug 8, 2010
    Had the same fear too. I guess it depends on how we use it, as long as we maintain a suitable level, and not exceed the limit, i guess you don't have to worry about using Boom on your system.

    I was just amazed at the varied applications that this software has. Recommended this to one of my aunts who is hearing impaired, and she just loves how she can hear things much better on her mac. Makes me think sometimes, why dint I ever come with this! :cool::p
  11. macrumors member


    Feb 25, 2010
    Madrid, Spain
    Agreed. If you force it, boosting an already loud file, then you're risking your speakers.

    You should boost audio that you really need to boost.

    Anyway, I still suppose the devs probably thought about this problem and somehow maybe they already prevent it from happening.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2006
    I just started using HBOGO.COM and the volume output is awful, which is what led me to this thread. Turned all the way up, I have to sit close to my iMac to hear it. Step a few feet away and it's useless. Boom has been the perfect fix for this. I don't think it's wise to have an app like this run all the time for everything. You are asking for a boom, and it won't be a good one.

    I don't know why anyone would need to boost iTunes as a whole?
    If you have a track that the audio quality is too low on, you can click on the song, command+i, and manually adjust the audio for that specific track higher or lower. Some CD's I ripped ages ago needed the tweak.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2011
    New Orleans
    He did a good job at it too. This thread is Google's the first result for boost mac volume. This information is needed. Now all we need is a free solution.
  14. macrumors newbie

    Dec 7, 2011
    No, It shouldn't . Think of the audio signal as a waveform, what software like Boom does is to amplify the low amplitude portions of the signal and keeping the high amp signals as they are through a process called smoothing.
  15. macrumors newbie

    Dec 10, 2011
    Use VLC

    Just use VLC ( to listen to you music and videos. You can boost up volume for up to 400%. Yes, I know that means not listening to your song in iTunes, but you can also create your own playlists in VLC.

    My best regards from Mexico,

    Rodrigo Pérez
    Mac Book Air 11" Mid-2011
  16. macrumors newbie

    Jan 28, 2012

    If you're using iTunes remember that as well as turning up the app volume you can use the preamp boost on the equaliser.
  17. macrumors newbie

    Jun 24, 2010
    Thanks for the quick fix!

    Just what I needed. The 400% sound boost was perfect for downloaded videos with low volume playback.

  18. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    A small rural village in western Poland
  19. macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2011
    Boom breaks Skype; thanks for the workarounds

    Or should I say works-around? Yes, Boom plays havoc with Skype. This is well-documented online. (Boom also costs, or is supposed to cost, money.)

    Fred45, thanks for reminding me about the preamp volume setting in the Equalizer in iTunes. Turning it up did not provide as rich a sound as Boom does, and there's more clipping, but it keeps iTunes honest. (That is to say, you can turn it up.)

    And Rodrigo, I appreciate your pointing out the additional power of VLC. Maybe there's a way to port my playlists from iTunes over to VLC. Probably not, though; does Apple software ever play nice?

    Anyway, thanks.
  20. macrumors 6502

    May 4, 2011
    Mumbai (India)
    Someone or other keep reviving this thread, this time its me.

    Same problem.

    My imac is capable of outputing volume that i'm satified. The problem is some videos come with very low volume, even at full system volume they reach 50% of the overall capacity of the system. But it may contain audio in certain parts of the video at optimal sound level. If i use boosters like these (Boom) i'm afraid for parts with optimal sound level, it might just destroy the speakers.

    Is there an app that will auto optimize the sound level, like normalize the sound level? That is, if the system auidio slider is at 75% then the lower audio should be boosted to reach that 75%, that would be of now i'm not comfortable installing Boom.
  21. macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Rather than run some background process that normalized all audio coming out of your Mac to be high-up on the internal speakers' capabilities: why not buy some external speakers?

    I've had my desktop Mac connected to my Hi-Fi (remember those?) for many years, by a succession of audio interfaces. Or you can use some of the desktop speakers that plug straight in.
  22. macrumors newbie

    Apr 27, 2015
    the best solution to this issue (if you have an apple developer account)

    since i noticed no one had posted this here yet, the following link provides the best and most comprehensive solution to this issue. it gives more options than boom, works with older versions of OS X that boom does not, and it's also completely free - though you will need an apple developer account.

    check out and simply follow the steps outlined.

    this will give you a full professional 30-band equalizer for all of your system's sound output. for those wanting to use this to simply boost audio levels, two things are worth noting that the above link doesn't mention:

    1. you can select all the bands on the EQ by simply holding shift and clicking across them the same way as you'd multi-select anything else, making it easier to simply ramp up the entire volume level on a flat scale.

    2. make adjustments slowly and incrementally, as if you max the sound levels out with this solution you're likely to blow your speakers. so just be careful with that.

    all in all though this is a much better solution than what the boom software provides, and it's particularly noteworthy for those still running an older version of OS X that boom doesn't support.

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