As you know, the sound volume of Mac laptops isn't too loud.

I bought Boom, a volume-booster software for Macs, and after some months of using it for listening to music or viewing videos at loud volume, the bass of my MacBook Pro's internal speakers died.

Now the laptop has very feeble sound, no bass at all. Sound through external speakers has not been affected.

Sometimes the bass seems to come and go as if something is loose inside.

I suspect the loud volume achieved with Boom caused vibrations that damaged the speakers.

  • Am I right ?
  • Is Boom the culprit ?
  • Has this happened to anyone ?

7 Answers 7


Boom is most likely the culprit to your speaker failing. Boom uses algorithms to increase the overall volume of the track to a point without clipping. Pushing speakers beyond what they are supposed to do can and will cause damage to them. The reason the speakers have a maximum volume is that is the safest high fidelity sound they can produce.

Here is a review of how boom works algorithmically http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/review/boom_lets_you_turn_your_macs_volume_up_to_eleven

Note the overall wave form increase in the article. This will cause damage, clipping and distortion with prolonged use.

  • 1
    Boom makers fail to warn users. Not a single mention of possible damage in their site. If I were at the USA, I'd demand they pay for the repairment. Aug 30, 2013 at 23:43
  • That's the problem with this kind of software, it's pushing your machine passed its limits. If you need better speakers, there are some great portable speakers out there. I use the x-mini capsule speakers. Sound great! Aug 31, 2013 at 3:45
  • Yes, Boom 2 killed my speakers of my MacBook Pro 15" Retina (early 2013). Sep 15, 2018 at 22:18

A bit of background as to how this type of software can blow your speakers.

Boom is a compressor, in fact a brick-wall limiter.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynamic_range_compression

What these devices do - & they are used a lot in the music industry to even out sound levels; sometimes tastefully, sometimes to try to gain another step in the Loudness War <- see my own answer on Music Fans for a not-too-technical explanation)
They do this, not by making the loud bits quieter, but by making the quiet bits louder - this increases the apparent loudness of the overall signal.

Music using extreme compression does sound louder, at the expense of any dynamic range - loud & quiet.

…and here is where that is no good for your speakers…
A speaker is a magnet with coil of wire wrapped round it, attached to which is a cone of paper or plastic [the speaker itself]
If you run an alternating current through that, it makes the coil move & the speaker sound.
The energy supplied to the cone is dissipated as the cone 'wastes' that energy by pushing & pulling at the air in front of it - that's how you can hear the sounds, of course.

But... not all the energy is transmitted as sound, there is wastage & that wastage is heat.

Your speakers were designed to be able to dissipate the heat of a normal music stream - Radio, CD, MP3, etc - even on full volume. Add software to make that speaker move far more than it was ever designed to do & the heat build-up will eventually melt the wire in the coil, if it doesn't actually vibrate the entire structure to breakage first.
It takes much more energy to produce bass frequencies than treble frequencies, so in a 2-way speaker system, the bass is just more likely to give out first.


my 2010 macbook pros's subwoofer speaker broken after 1 years I installed iboom, the thin membrane just ripped away. I would not suggest people installing iBoom


Yes, Boom is the culprit. It tore my speaker cones on Macbook Pro 2012 non retina. Boom not even once mentioned it would cause such issues, it similarly damaged my wired headphones after a year of boom boost.


They're laptop speakers.

If you want music and films to sound good, plug your MacBook into proper speakers or headphones.

No technology on the planet can make thumb-sized laptop speakers sound better than what Apple delivers out of the box. Apart from processing the signal and equalizing it, making it sound louder stresses the driver and degrades the quality.

Get the digital audio or line level analog out to a proper amplifier if you need loud or a better quality is my advice.

  • Boom makers never mentioned in their literature , documentation or advertisement any warning about possible hardware damage derived from the usage of their sound volume boosting software. Oct 5, 2017 at 3:39

Boom by WILL damage your speakers! Don't use it or any other sound boosting apps.

  • 3
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    – fsb
    May 22, 2017 at 21:58

Boom 2 made my speakers distort, until I reinstalled OSX. That resolved the issues, and decided not to use Boom 2 again

  • Good. That would have damaged your speakers sooner or later. Oct 18, 2017 at 15:45

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