Im­prov­ing mu­sic on a Mac

Mac Format - - MAC SOS -

I play a lot of mu­sic through my mid-2010 27-inch iMac, but the sound qual­ity isn’t as good as I would like it to be. I have a set of Harman Kar­don three-way speak­ers but sound out­put is quite flat, with no real tre­ble. I have ex­per­i­mented with iTunes’ equaliser to no avail. Could it be a medi­ocre on-board sound card, or should I look for a 3rd-party equaliser? Dave Mor­ris Mu­sic qual­ity – like the dif­fer­ence be­tween a £6.99 bot­tle of wine and a £40 bot­tle – is some­thing that most of us never ap­pre­ci­ate and an un­lucky few are haunted by. Be­fore we de­cide which camp you be­long to, let’s start with the ob­vi­ous. Try lis­ten­ing through a de­cent set of head­phones to rule out a prob­lem with the speak­ers. If this makes no dif­fer­ence, open the Audio MIDI Setup app and en­sure your Mac is out­putting sound at 48kHz with 24-bit sam­pling. A cor­rupted pref­er­ence file could have forced it into 16-bit mode, which a keen ear might hear. Try the audio test at bit.ly/1yGGwlu to see if the anti-alias­ing fil­ter on the sound card is re­spon­si­ble. If your ears are just too good for the iMac’s sound card, try an ex­ter­nal one, such as the rPAC (www.ar­cam.co.uk).

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