Fixing audio levels on Mac?

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by akimoriRyuuji, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. akimoriRyuuji macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #1
    I posted in another thread but I have more concise information and I believe this is relevant to MacOS.

    I have a bluetooth speaker that is too loud; but, only on my Macbook. Is there a way to calibrate the acceptable levels of output? 25% volume (4/16 bars) ends up being what would be 100% on my internal speakers.

    I have looked into MIDI setup but that did not work. Of course, simply the Sound Preferences Pane yields no results.

    Notably, it seems that MacOS thinks the speaker is outputting at a dB that is not accurate to reality. Comparing my internal speaker output at 0 = -63.5dB, the bluetooth speaker at 0 = -96dB. internal 1 = -47.5dB, bluetooth 1 = -95dB.
     
  2. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #2
    Not sure I understand the issue. You are running audio through your internal speakers and comparing that to when you run the same audio through a bluetooth speaker?
     
  3. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #3
    I remember your other post. you really have found the most confounding ways to ask a simple question. "MIDI", how does that apply? are you actually using an SPL meter? there is no applicable correlation between the actual sound output generated but your laptop and some other device, if that is even what you are trying to convey.

    if you want actual advice, how about some relevant information, such as the model of the bluetooth speaker.

    first question for you, have you tried turning the level down on the actual speaker. that likely has it's own volume control.
     
  4. akimoriRyuuji thread starter macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #4
    My apologies for the confusion. I will restate some of the above.
    Problems:

    1. MacOS thinks my speaker is quieter than it is
    • MacOS says the output of my BT speaker is quieter than the internal speakers
    • I did not test this with an SPL. The numbers above were just for the sake of comparison.
    2. The unknown BT speaker has no volume control
    • System Information did not tell me the model either. Sorry.
    3. Only my Macbook has this problem
    • The audio outputs as expected on my OnePlus 3, for example
    Despite the lack of knowing its model, I want to know the following; Can I configure the audio levels that a speaker outputs on MacOS?
     
  5. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
    #5
    my experience with bluetooth speakers are only with units that also have a volume control. that control operates separately from the volume control on the computer/iPad/iPhone, so in effect I have two controls to use to balance the level.

    also, Mac OS remembers the last level used for any a particular output, so if you have headphones plugged in and the volume turned all the way up, then pull the headphones and use the internal speakers at half volume. when you plug headphones back in, the level returns to full. the same with the bluetooth output.

    I think what you are trying to present here is that the volume on your bluetooth speaker it at its maximum even though the volume on your computer is only 1/4 of the way up. that looks to be an issue with the speaker, not the computer. If your phone gives you a different response, that probably means the total output from the phone is lower. If the speaker though is just that much louder, but has no control of it's own, there is really nothing you can do.

    I would try with a different speaker to see how that responds. there is only one system wide control on the Mac, the volume control. if you are stuck with that speaker, most playback software has it's own level control which you could turn down (iTunes, QuickTime, VLC, Spotify, Netflix...) but that adjustment will still be there if you use a different output, such as the internal speakers.
     
  6. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
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    #6
    Are you saying that your OnePlus 3 remembers audio settings for each individual bluetooth device that has been connected? If so, that's a nice option/feature.
     
  7. akimoriRyuuji thread starter macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #7
    No. Merely that the speaker is perfectly calibrated or at least function as desired on my OnePlus 3. I mentioned that to point out that the problem is exclusive to my Macbook.

    Yes. And no. It's not necessarily a problem with the speakers. I used my phone as an example that other OS' handle the speakers as expected. I can test with other devices and other operating systems in addition.

    I want to configure the firmware. But I'm not aware of such fine-grained control on MacOS. If not that, is there some sort of profile that MacOS creates for an audio device? Rather than using a GUI, I would be down for editing some sort of configuration file or entering some terminal magic.
     
  8. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
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    Baltimore, Maryland
    #8
    In El Capitan, on my old MacBook Pro:
    1. I connect a BT speaker that I have
    2. I go to System Preferences>Sound>Output and select the connected BT speaker
    3. I set the volume to 75% (for example)
    4. I turn off the BT speaker
    5. I return to System Preferences>Sound>Output and select "Internal Speakers"
    6. I set the volume to 100%
    7. I turn the BT speaker back on
    8. The speaker connects to the MBP Bluetooth
    9. If System Preferences>Sound>Output doesn't already change to the BT speaker, I select it
    10. The volume changes back to 75% by itself
    Is that what you're looking for? The output does remember what you last had it on for a BT speaker.
     
  9. akimoriRyuuji thread starter macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #9
    Unfortunately not, but I apologize for the unclearness of my problem.

    At 25% volume, my speaker is already too loud. I want to change my speakers 25% to represent 100% instead. Does that make sense?
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #10
    If 25% volume is still too loud, then why not just turn your volume below 25%?

    Perhaps the Boom app would be effective in your situation. It is often used to give more volume than normally produced by a speaker, but would certainly also work to give you wider volume range at a lower volume, which is apparently what you want.

    (What kind of cheap-o bluetooth speaker has no volume control, and no manufacturer's label to identify the model?)
     
  11. BrianBaughn macrumors 603

    BrianBaughn

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    Feb 13, 2011
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    Baltimore, Maryland
    #11
    This will be my last suggestion and it's vague.

    I think you could run AULab through Soundflower and make 100% audio on the Mac sound like 25%.
     
  12. akimoriRyuuji thread starter macrumors regular

    akimoriRyuuji

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2015
    #12
    Thank you I will check out these apps. I'm beginning to think a new bluetooth speaker will be most viable fix. But, it's a little annoying that I can't control the speakers volume independent of the master volume in MacOS.
     

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