Not all EQ apps are EQual

We’ve all been there. You get a new set of earbuds or headphones, plug them in and pump up your jam just to be met with pretty flat sound. The bass is kind of dirty and the trebles are nearly indiscernible from the mids. Sometimes its even worse when you don’t have earbuds or headphones and are stuck with your laptop’s speakers. As much as we all love that old AM radio/old telephone sound, it’s not how music was meant to be heard. The good news is that there is something free that you can do to improve your audio to some degree without spending money.

We’ve probably all seen a physical equalizer before. Here’s an example of one:

Image result for equalizer
Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/rufflife/5107261487

Equalizers can be quite expensive, often require additional cables and hardware, and aren’t exactly portable. So what can we do? The answer is equalizer software. These programs and extension work with your operating system and audio driver to tweak how different frequencies in your music are presented through your audio hardware (speakers).

I primarily use two laptops as my daily drivers for music, and I use a different EQ program on each. They are both free and suit my needs.

Windows: PC Equalizer + Equalizer APO

PC Equalizer” by Bilal Salem is a great and easy-to-use piece of software that allows you a wide range of customization. I am currently using version 1.3.2.1 which can be found at https://sourceforge.net/projects/pc-equalizer. It requires the Equalizer APO, which can also be found at https://equalizerapo.sourceforge.net/. $0 gets you 10 or 20 bars of customization depending on what you select. There are tons of presets as well as user-definable presets you can customize and save. This is a great piece of software that has worked great for me as I’ve created presets for each listening device I have

macOS: eqMac2

eqMac2” by nodeful on bitgapp is the best free EQ software I have found for Macs. It only gives you 10 bars of customization in the status bar, but is free and extremely easy to use. You can also expand out to 31 bars of customization if you pop it out into an application window. I do like that it runs in your status bar at the top of your screen and is easily accessible/configurable on-the-fly without opening an application window (unless you want further customization). I am currently using version 2.2 which can be found at https://bitgapp.com/eqmac/.

If you’re into music and how it actually sounds, I highly recommend looking for a solution such as these to tweak your sound exactly how you want it. Do you have a piece of software that you really like? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you and look forward to seeing you next time.

Happy listening,

~ Griff


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Author: griffethbarker

Griff is a manager of IT, consultant of IT and management, and continuous student of organizational development. His hobbies and interests include games of all types (video, board, dice, card, tabletop, etc.) as well as listening to music, photography, and writing. Find him on LinkedIn!

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