The volume of music and videos on your computer is determined by two main factors: the file itself, and the speakers on your Mac. Sometimes, one or both of them won’t live up to your expectations, delivering lower audio levels than you’d like—a particular problem for MacBook Air users. While you could plug a set of external speakers into your computer, Global Delight Technologies has created a software solution called Boom ($9) that’ll save you a few bucks and the hassle of having to lug speakers around. It intelligently maximizes the volume levels of your audio and video files to match the peak output capabilities of your machine, creating noticeably louder sound without dramatically compromising the quality.
Boom offers two different modes. The first, Boost File, adjusts individual files and drops them into a special playlist in iTunes. From there, the improved songs can be synced to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod in addition to being listened to from your Mac. Option number two, Mac Volume, actually increases the overall volume of your computer itself. This feature requires a separate—but free—download that’s linked from the app. Once it’s been installed, you have the option to boost the volume of the Mac and also get equalizer controls. If you’ve been straining to hear your music or videos on the go or at home, Boom will really make a difference—just be careful about keeping the volume too high for extended safe listening.