I don’t have a music collection to listen to using iTunes. I listen to music through online streaming services like Pandora and Slacker. The downside to this is that Google Chrome doesn’t have a built-in audio equalizer like iTunes. I have a decent pair of headphones, Audio-Technica ATH-M50, and the default line-out from an Apple desktop machine has always sounded a little “empty” to me. Like they slightly tweak it for normal/smaller headphones. Today I finally figured out how to get a global system equalizer for OS X (for free) so I can push the bass up a little to compensate for the “emptiness”.
These steps are done on a Snow Leopard iMac (10.6.7 specifically) but I’m pretty sure they would work on a Tiger/Leopard (10.4/10.5) machine as well.
First thing is to install Soundflower which requires a restart. It’s similar to Audio Hijack Pro in the fact that it adds virtual sound devices but without any other capabilities like recording/sfx/etc (and it’s freeware).
Next you will need AU Lab from Apple.
It’s a bundled application with Xcode so either download it from Apple or install it from your OS X Install DVD if you don’t want to deal with the multi-GB download. According to NicolasBalan in the comments below, you can now download AU Lab standalone from the rest of XCode (you will need an Apple Developer Login though), go to the Downloads for Developers page and search for “AU Lab” to get it.
And that’s it for software requirements!
Step 1) Change Audio Output Device
Step 2) Open AU Lab
Step 3) Setup Input and Output devices in AU Lab
You’ll be prompted with “Document Configuration”, use the Factory Configuration “Stereo In/Stereo Out”. Change the Audio Input Device to “Soundflower (2ch)” and the Audio Output Device to “Built-in Output”. Finally, click Create Document.
Step 4) Add EQ Effect
Step 5) Edit the EQ
Step 6) Save your preset
The 3rd drop down from the left of the EQ window lets you save/change presets.