Get a sound equalizer for Mac and customize the audio output

How good is the sound on your Apple Mac? It could be better and whether you use the built in speakers or earphones, this free audio equalizer app enables you to improve the sound quality.

The audio quality on the Apple Mac varies with the model and some are better than others. Apple likes to make its computers thin and light, which isn’t ideal for quality sound from speakers. Generally, bigger speakers provide better sound and higher outputs.

There is nothing we can do about the audio hardware inside the Mac, but you can use earphones with the computer and this provides better sound. The Mac may sound OK to some people, but if you are serious about the quality of the audio, you probably want some control over it and out of the box, the Mac offers none.

An equalizer provides that audio control and it enables you to make adjustments to the various frequencies in the audio spectrum. Some people want more bass, some want more treble, others want to adjust every single frequency. Where is the equalizer to enable you to do that in macOS?

Sadly, it does not have one and you are stuck with the default sound. It is good, but it does not suit everyone. eqMac is a free equalizer utility that provides the missing audio customization controls on the Mac.

Install the Equalizer

The software is labelled beta, but the site claims to have 600k+ downloads and 50k+ users, so it is not exactly new. However, I did have a few glitches while installing it. The first time it got most of the way through and wanted to restart the Mac to finish installation, but it did not work afterwards.

I installed it again, this time checking it had access permissions in System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy. It stopped at the same point as before, but this time instead of restarting, I chose the option to just restart the audio driver. This time it worked.

Basic equalizer for Mac

eQ audio equalizer utility for Apple Mac
eqMac basic udio equalizer

The eqMac audio equalizer appears as a menu bar icon and when it is clicked, it shows the Basic Equalizer interface. This has volume and balance knobs at the top, which can be clicked and dragged with the mouse to turn them. The volume boost is useful if your Mac is a bit quiet and it makes a big difference to the output.

Below are BASE, MID and TREBLE knobs. These are used to make broad adjustments to the sound and it is best if you play your favorite music in the background as you adjust them so the effects can be heard.

Advanced sound equalizer for Mac

eqMac advanced sound equalizer
eqMac advanced sound equalizer

Switch to the advanced interface and there are 10 sliders ranging from 32 Hz to 16 kHz that enable you to fine tune the sound quality. You may prefer a bit more bass, less treble, or more midrange and so on. Just click and drag the sliders to customize the sound quality to your liking. It is very simple, but effective, just like an equalizer should be.

eqMac sound equalizer utility for Apple Mac
Preset equalizer settings

There are preset equalizer settings and you can browse a list and try each one until you find a setting that you like. There are quite a few options like bass and treble boosters, classic, rock, jazz, pop, hiphop and several more. They can be used as they are or you can use them as a starting point. Select the best one and then tweak the sliders a little to get the sound just right.

Equalizer settings can be saved and loaded, so you don’t need to adjust them every time you start your Mac. You might want different settings for internal speakers, external speakers, earphones or headphones for example.

Soothing sounds

After a glitchy first install that worked on the second attempt, eqMac turned out to be an excellent utility and it is recommended for anyone that listens to music on their Mac and cares about the quality. It is excellent and macOS should come with something like this built in.

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