What that means is this. My hearing isn’t what it used to be and the sound emanating from our various Mincey Plantation speakers– mostly tied to various Macs– just isn’t, well, loud enough. Without venturing into hearing aid country, how can you get more sound from your Mac’s sound?
Hear Ye, Hear Ye!
Mac users don’t have many software options to improve the sound from a Mac’s speakers. And by improve, I mean loud enough to hear. That’s exactly what the Mac app Hear does. It makes sound louder so you can hear it better.
Can’t you do exactly the same thing with the Mac’s Sound panel in System Preferences? Take a look.
See the problem?
The Sound panel in System Preferences just doesn’t do much to help sound get to my aging boomer ears. There’s the stereo slider bar to move sound left and right. And, there’s the volume slider below. Even when I crank up the Mac’s standard volume to the highest setting the Mac’s speakers still sound, well, aurally anemic.
What about the Mac’s Audio MIDI Setup utility in the Applications > Utilities folder?
Frankly, there’s not much difference with the Audio MIDI Setup. More controls, more settings, but not more sound for my aging ears.
Enter Hear, the Mac utility that makes sound easier to hear.
Hear is for the faint of hearing, not the faint of heart. There are controls and options. Lots of each, starting with a 10 to 96-band audio equalizer that gives you granular controls over the Mac’s sound output.
Not only does Hear manage the Mac’s sound output and give you more options to boost the sound, it’s kind to your ears and gives controls over the sound output of each app. That way, when email arrives, or a new text message shows up, the notification alert won’t rattle the windows or incite the neighbors to call the cops.
The real value to using Hear is the extensive Special Effects which act more like presets and adjust the sound output to match the sound. Trust me, talk radio audio is different than listening to the Stones at full volume.
Enabling a setting is little more than a click to an Enable button with sounds enhancements that range from 3D Surround Sound to Ambience, from Compressor-Limiter to Extended Fidelity. You get controls over the Equalizer, audio Mixer, Maximizer, Fidelity, Speaker, and more. By increasing the dynamic range of the Mac’s sound output you get, well, louder sound, or sound that more closely matches your speakers and room.
It’s like putting a capital HIGH in hi-fidelity sound. Loud is good for aging ears but the controls maximize the sound to match both the music you’re listening to and your physical environment. There’s lots to like here, including a free version to check it out.
A few but nothing serious. I’ve had trouble getting Hear to work with Safari while Boom, another Mac sound utility, does. I just think Hear sounds better to my aging ears. Hear is a standalone app but should also have either 1) controls in the Dock icon, or, 2) a dropdown menu in the Mac’s Menubar so it can be controlled from within other apps.
Otherwise, if sound from your Mac is an issue with your ears, try Hear to hear better.