Posted by: mostwanted | Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A ‘Perfect’ iTunes Equalizer Setting

Yes this is a bit old but I figured I’d put it up for all the new and regular users of this great music player/organizer. Also now that the iPod and iTunes is more popular then ever, I thought this would be useful. This hint is really only for the iTunes player although it should work on any supported operating system. I found this useful tip in MacFormat’s September 2004 Issue. It was submitted by an anonymous user.

Anyways lets get to it. Are you somewhat disappointed with the output from iTunes? If so, you might try using the equalizer (Cmd-2 on the Mac, or the third icon/button from the left at the bottom-right of the main window) to modify the output levels at various frequencies. There are a number of pre-defined settings, but the MacFormat tip contained a different set of suggested levels.

Open the equalizer, and from the pop-up menu, select “Make Preset”. Call it “Perfect”, because it is. 😀 And set the following levels, from left to right (skip the Preamp section):


db +3, +6, +9, +7, +6, +5, +7, +9, +11, +8 db

The image above (full-size image) shows about what it should look like when you’re done. Make sure you check the “On” box to activate the equalizer, too. These settings produce absolutely the best balance I’ve ever heard. My computer speakers are ablaze with sound now.

[Note: I realize that there’s no such thing as a ‘perfect’ equalizer setting, hence the use of quotes in the title. I further realize that the use of any equalizer setting other than “flat” means that you’re no longer listening to the music as recorded on the master.]

However, due to the varying quality of computer speakers, signal loss due to MP3/AAC/OGG encoding, and non-ideal speaker setups, you might find that your music does sound better to you using a non-flat equalizer setting. I’ve been using the above settings for a while now, and I must say that my music now sounds much better. It may be less “true” to the original, but it sounds better to my admittedly untrained ear — and that’s what really counts.

Lastly, if you’re interested in the operation of the iTunes equalizer in general, has a great article, written by Rich Tozzoli – Senior Editor of Surround Professional Magazine, that explains each of the sliders in detail. It also offers some good general advice on the use of the equalizer.



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