Boom: Give System Volume an Extra Boost

Ever found your Mac too quiet, even though the volume is maxed out?  In fact your Mac’s speakers can pump out much louder sound than the volume limit permits, and it’s sometimes necessary when showing presentations, watching movies, or listening to audio to give the volume an extra boost.

Boom, from Global Delight was awarded Best Of Show at this years Macworld Expo, and is a fantastic volume booster for breaking down the restrictive default volume limit.  Along with simple volume boosting, Boom also packs a solid equalizer for fine tuning the sound, and the ability to boost the volume of individual audio files.

Let’s take a look at this interesting new app!

Overview

Boom volume booster

Boom volume booster

Once opened, Boom places itself into the menu bar and appears to act as nothing more than the standard volume bar.  The original volume controller is still in use; the Boom slider simply ups the sound level by however much you choose above the original controller.

That funny looking button underneath the Boom slider is where you access the window and main interface of Boom.  It’s very modern and is beautifully simplistic, housing the ‘Customize’ and ‘Boost File’ tabs, which I’ll delve into below…

Customize

The Customize tab of Boom is where you can switch the boosting on/off and adjust the sound of the audio using the Equalizer.

Boom has included seven equalizer presets for various enhancements such as bass/treble boost, soft/loud, and music/vocal.  It’s also super easy to adjust the points on the equalizer yourself and save your own presets.  I like the subtle touch of including icons below to show the general range of bass, vocals and treble sounds in music.

Fine tune audio with the Equalizer

Fine tune audio with the Equalizer

Hold the ‘Option’ key down while clicking Boom in the menu bar to quickly change between equalizer presets

Boost File

Next to the Customize tab is the ‘Boost File’ tab, which is able to lift the volume of specific audio files, which means that you can play music or other audio louder than normally possible on a device such as an iPhone.

Audio can be dragged and dropped, or imported easily from iTunes or a folder.  You then adjust how much to boost the files by, which can be previewed, before clicking ‘Boost’.  Boom doesn’t alter the original files, but instead duplicates them and can save them to their own iTunes playlist, ‘Boom’ for easy syncing.

I tried this to test on an iPhone, and whilst it successfully managed to make the file play louder than the iPhone normally permits, the distortion created from the tiny speakers wasn’t worth the increase in volume.  When played using Quick Look in the finder, the boosted file sounded fine, however I then played it in iTunes and the distortion was very much present even with the volume turned down, so perhaps this feature needs a bit of fine tuning.

Perhaps boosted audio files may work better on other devices.

Boost the volume of individual files

Boost the volume of individual files

Preferences

If you click on the gear icon in the window pictured above, you can access the Boom Preferences.  This is split up into three main tabs; General, HotKey, and Uninstall, most of which is pretty self explanatory.

Under General you can specify where to save boosted audio files as well as a suffix.  For instance by default, Boom adds ‘_boosted’ on to the end of filenames of audio files that have been boosted so that it’s clear which files have been altered.

The HotKey tab has a useful feature which means that if the keyboard shortcut is already assigned to something else in an application, Boom will take priority.

Boom Preferences

Boom Preferences

Conclusion

All things considered, Boom is a very neat little app for boosting the system volume of your computer and individual audio files.  If you often find yourself needing a bit more oomph from those speakers when in a noisy environment (or to better hear quiet movies or YouTube videos), Boom is well worth a go!

I feel the Boost File feature for individual tracks needs a little work, but this almost feels like an extra to Boom and has no effect on system wide volume increase.

Boom is available for a very reasonable $4.99, and whilst it is tucked away in the menu bar most of the time, lots of attention has gone into the details. Let us know in the comments what you think of Boom!


Summary

Boom is a fantastic menu-bar application for boosting the system volume of your Mac higher than normally possible. Great for using your Mac in a noisy environment or raising quiet audio content.

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  • Andrew D

    I have boom installed on my macbook and it works very well. it’s similar to iwow for itunes which boosts volume, only in itunes. the two things i dislike about boom is that it takes a lot of cpu/ system memory to run all day (i ended up quitting it, and turning it only only when i need it) and appfresh and mackeeper mistake it for another application (thinking there is an update)

    • Bror B

      MacKeeper is essentially malware, btw – every single computer I’ve seen it installed on was slow and unstable until I uninstalled it.

  • Nathan

    I love the concept and look of this application, but unfortunately it’s proven itself unusable to me. I installed the trial and after about 10 minutes of using it I am promptly signed off and then signed on again as my user. After which the kernel_task process starts spiking at 95% and met MBP’s fans are going crazy.

    Restarted twice, each time it happened. Figured the only thing changed since this problem started occurring was that I installed Boom. So I quit Boom and sure enough my MBP has been stable for 1 hour now.

    Hope this is just a bug and it will be fixed soon, cause the app does look pretty awesome.

  • AlBanay

    hei , am using this program around 10 days now
    i already removed the older HEAR
    this one easy to use nice ,
    as u said need a little tweks

  • http://therankmaniac2011.blogspot.com/ Nihar Sharma

    Can anyone tell me how the performance compares to DPS Plugin for iTunes?

  • Blackmist

    Sorry but HEAR is many times better.

    • Le Merlot

      I second Blackmist, HEAR for me is unbeaten since years… – and I tried a lot of sound enhancers. I couldn’t live without it.

  • DJR

    I know HEAR has tons of option but it takes time to tweak to the right setting.

    Cost $5 (BOOM) vs $50 (HEAR).

  • jose

    Hi
    What’s the difference between BOOM and iVOLUME?
    Regards

  • ppinny

    It works fine for me. I live off grid and using an external amp is a no-no for lack of power. This makes a big difference. If i could only get rid of the bleep!

  • bots

    would be a nice app – which I would like to buy, but after trying it first … I installed the trial version yesterday, and immediately after installation I strated the app saying “Trial expired” – it hasn’t run once!!! Would have liked it – maybe… :(

  • Jose

    For me, excellente application. Very useful so, in spite of having iVolume as well, I got this one too.
    Cheers

  • Donna Shore

    I purchased Boom today and have not yet rec’d my registration. I cannot actually begin to use it until I get the number to enter – meanwhile I am using the trial version.

  • oo66oo

    I really really liked this app BUT when I’m youtubing videos it goes so BAAAAAD, as soon as I turne it off, youtube works well !!!!!

  • David

    is there a version for mac 10.4.11

  • mike hood

    boom doesn’t work

    what a waste of time

  • http://JOBE kannan

    THE BOOM IS VERRYE DAMALL DAMALL

  • George

    I’ve been using Hear for a while and it was great until I updated my system & installed the latest firefox (v5). Hear doesn’t even show any activity from firefox anymore or any other app, incuding mplayer osx extended, except iTunes. What is going on!? I’m was so pissed off. I downloaded the latest boom (v1.1) and it worked fine. Hear is amazing but it doesn’t work anymore. Boom is a good alternative.

  • Jeremy

    I know i’m way late on this, but i think Boom is what was causing kernel panics on my 2009 iMac. Since updating to Lion i got constant crashes and kernel panics and i’ve spent the last several months trying to figure out what it is. I did a lot of uninstalling and a clean install of Lion today, and i think i have the problem down to Flash or Boom, both of which are now uninstalled. I might try to reinstall one and see which is causing it.

    • http://www.globaldelight.com Global Delight

      That’s quite odd, Jeremy. Could you please get in touch with our support team boom(at)globaldelight(dot)com, they should be able to assist you with this.

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  • http://mac.appstorm.net/reviews/music-reviews/boom-give-system-volume-an-extra-boost/ MIHIR SANSPARA

    boom rules

  • Subimpreza

    Boom works great on mac book

    —–// But my question is when are we going to see an app for iphone and ipad guys ?? \\—–

    Thanks

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