I like using iTunes' equalizer, but that only works in iTunes.

I'm looking for some software that lets me apply a global, system-wide equalizer to Mac OS X.
The app (or pref pane, etc.) would let me change EQ settings and have that apply to all apps (iTunes, Spotify, Chrome, etc.).

Ideally the software would have some nice presets like iTunes does.

Free preferred, but I'm certainly willing to consider buying something.

  • I'm curious, is there any particular reason why you want this? Are you looking to record or is it just for output? And are you looking to do this for certain applications, or all audio across the system? Oct 7, 2011 at 23:27
  • 2
    @KyleCronin I'm using Spotify more than iTunes, and it doesn't have any kind of equalizer functionality. I also sometimes use things like Google Music (in-browser). Basically, I'd like to be able to apply an equalizer to apps that don't have one built in. And no, I'm not planning on recording; this is strictly for output/listening needs. Updated the question to address your last question (system wide, ideally). Oct 7, 2011 at 23:35

7 Answers 7


Check out Boom, it's quite awesome.

Boom boosts the volume of your Mac at all levels. From boosting the volume of your music on iTunes, it boom the YouTube videos playing on your web browser. You can now boost the volume of any application playing sound or video like QuickTime, Podcasts, Skype, iChat, DVD Player, Garageband, iMovie and so on.

enter image description here

  • Awesome app! I don't usually need the volume boost, but the equalizer is awesome! Oct 8, 2011 at 0:14
  • 4
    Now, we still need an answer for a free alternative... :-)
    – gentmatt
    Nov 22, 2011 at 16:26
  • Holiday Special in the Mac App store: 50% of till 2nd January!
    – gentmatt
    Dec 16, 2011 at 17:07
  • I tried Boom and found out that it distorts the sound if you use an external DAC along with your Mac. Known issue for a fairly long time - globaldelight.com/support/discussion/3169/… I can confirm that Hear (from Prosoft) does not suffer from this issue
    – andy318
    May 23, 2016 at 16:58

enter image description here

I didn't want to pay to have an equalizer so I developed my own one and giving it away for free! Click here to download eqMac! The app is signed by Apple and works for OSX 10.9 and higher!

  • 2
    That's rad. love the minimalist interface and how it lives up there in the menu bar. Almost looks like part of the OS.
    – voices
    Sep 2, 2015 at 23:56
  • How did you develop this? Was it difficult? I would love to give it a go.
    – voices
    Sep 2, 2015 at 23:56
  • 2
    @tjt263 well I've spent around a month on development :) I will be releasing the source code soon, I need some help from the community!
    – RootK
    Sep 3, 2015 at 8:25
  • 2
    this is my new go to. but i think this is a downside for both boom and eq - they are output devices. so if you happen to use a USB DAC, these won't work. and that's because the USB DACs are also separate output devices.
    – Tom
    Jun 30, 2016 at 4:32
  • 2
    @RootK, actually it doesn't work on El Capitan (v.10.11.5), equalizer has no effect on the sound, except the master volume.
    – Farside
    Jul 18, 2016 at 8:59

There's a free method using Soundflower and an Apple Developer Application called AU Lab (you'll need a free Apple Developer account get it, search for "AU Lab" after login).


  1. Install both programs
  2. Change your audio output to Soundflower in System Preferences
  3. Open AU Lab and pipe the Soundflower signal to your audio out.
  4. Apply an AUGraphicEQ filter in AU Lab
  5. Fiddle with levels to your heart's content.

This solution was taken from a blog post at Dctr Watson. That page also contains better instructions and a startlingly informative comment thread.


There is also Hear. It has an equalizer as well as bass boosting.

Hear greatly improves audio quality in movies and music throughout all of your Mac OS X applications. With Hear, music is richer, movie sound and dialog is clearer and games will blow you out of your chair!

Try the 30 day demo for Free: https://www.prosofteng.com/hear/heardemo/


  • The link is dead.
    – jmunsch
    Aug 30, 2015 at 20:59
  • @jm_____, As of today, anyway, the original link is not dead and jbell added a link to the free 30 day trial version. Dec 1, 2015 at 21:11
  • Hear ruined my macs audio system even after removing it i can't fix the issues.
    – user175367
    Mar 14, 2016 at 20:31

I use AirFoil, lets me take advantage of AirPlay, and the EQ works for all sound output.


Audio Hijack application which is developed by the same company for AirFoil. This is a host application which accept various audio plugins (wide range of prices and audio effects).

This is the setup I have tested with good reliability and effectiveness compared to other applications mentioned above this post (I have tried almost all of them before settled with this one).

Note all these applications have to be system extensions of Mac OS X in order to provide system-wide effects. Thus they are very much dependent on versions of Mac OS X. Mac OS X upgrades bond to break some of them.

Ultimately the best audio enhancement is to have an external DAC through USB port on Mac and a matching quality speaker without any of these audio enhancing applications.


Soundflower combined with Element is a good solution. It lets you use the AU and VST Plugins that are integrated already in the macOS. Works great on 10.13

  • Hi, I've got Element and Soundflower but haven't used Element before. How do you set this up?
    – iceequal
    Sep 8, 2020 at 7:48

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