Make more of your Mac’s speakers
£10.99 Developer Global Delight, globaldelight.com
Requires OS X 10.10 or higher
The speakers built into the vast majority of computers sacrifice a lot, by way of volume and fidelity, to fit inside the increasingly slim casings of modern machines. Apple does remarkably well with its MacBook Pro speakers, and the 15-inch model in particular sounds better than you would expect, by being able to have slightly larger speakers. As more people listen to music, radio, film and use Skype without plugging in external speakers, however, the limitations of built-in audio hardware become clear. On smaller models, it’s particularly pronounced.
Boom 2 is an application that intercepts your system audio and modifies it, either based on its own best guess or your settings, to squeeze more gain and clarity out. The idea is that you can make films, music or conversations louder, clearer and more crisp without external speakers. Add external speakers and the application adapts itself to those anyway.
Since you can’t drive your Mac’s internal audio hardware further than its physical limits, Boom 2 uses audio processing to achieve its aims: the same kind of processors musicians might use in Logic or Garage Band, only here they are mostly hidden from view. There’s a volume slider that shows the normal maximum volume and then the amount by which you can boost it, and an equaliser section complete with presets for different kinds of music or different uses. Each band can be manually adjusted and you can save your own presets. There are also effects, which include the ability to add ambience or fidelity.
Boom 2 works in real time but also lets you process batches of files using the current boost settings. You can use various audio and video file formats and it works by analysing
You can make films, music or conversations louder, clearer and more crisp without external speakers
and processing the audio in the files then re-saving them out.
Mixing it up
The application does exactly what it claims and is capable of squeezing more volume out of your Mac’s speakers than you could otherwise manage. The equaliser section also lets you fine tune any film, music or radio stream to get, for example, better bass or clearer vocals.
Whether you’d want to permanently re-process films and music using the conversion option is up to you. Someone has mixed that music or soundtrack, so permanently changing it will mess with that mix. The option is perhaps useful for old recordings you have digitised as it provides you with the same set of tools you’d get in an audio wave processor, albeit with more basic yet friendly controls. Hollin Jones
A good way to boost and fine tune your Mac’s audio output for music, films and conversations.
Easy to use
Can work automatically
Manual control of EQ if preferred
Re-processing may be unwise
Set your own volume and equalisation for your Mac’s audio output.
Convert music or film soundtracks by dragging them into the app.