There’s an app for Macs called Boom 2 that helps unleash the true potential of any headphones, including those cheap earbuds that came with your smartphone purchase.
The app helps boost certain levels of sound, like bass, mids, and treble to give your music a clearer, richer sound.
There’s also a special option that makes you feel like you’re on stage with your favourite band or artist, and it’s amazing. It will sound like your headphones just woke up and spread their wings.
Without the app, my music sounds flat, constrained, and muffled.
Yes, Boom 2 costs about $A25, which does seem expensive for an app. At the same time, we write about and recommend products worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars, so this app is a comparative drop in the bucket. Boom 2 is also a one-time purchase that you can keep forever and transfer to new Macs.
Here’s how it works.
Once installed, you'll see the Boom symbol on the menu bar at the top of your Mac's screen. Click it and click the the button with the three dots. Start playing music so you can hear the difference when you change the settings in Boom 2.
In the Boom 2 menu, turn off the Boom Volume at the top. All it does is boost your Mac's overall volume, which you most likely don't need.
Turn on the Equaliser option, then select 'Rock' from the presets on the right. This will give your music a little boost in bass and treble to make it sound a little livelier.
Then, click the Ambience option on the bottom left, and click/drag the orange circle to where the orange arrow is pointing. Your music should sound much better than it did before you installed Boom 2.
You can try turning the settings off again to hear what your music used to sound like, but chances are you'll never go back.
You can always try different equaliser presets, like Hip Hop or Jazz. But the key here is the Ambience option, which unlocks the true potential of almost any headphone. You can also adjust the level of Ambience, but I've generally found that a conservative setting serves me best.
Note that not all headphones, especially the really cheap ones, will be able to handle these extra settings.