You are correct. @elliot and I have been hoping for something system wide, but Apple doesn’t make it easy. It’s not hard to find something that works for something specific. As you say ROON does have EQ for anything played through ROON. I often use AUDEZE LCDi3 IEMs on iOS and their app plus the Cipher cable will let you EQ anything through there. Likewise, if you use Ultimate Ears custom earbuds, their app lets you EQ - and I think there’s a version for MacOS.
One possibility is the Neutron Player App. It has a bizarre interface that some people love, but has both parametric and graphic equalizer, very configurable. It’s cross platform Windows, Mac, iOS and Android. I personally find it difficult to use, but I think others here may know it better. Bit Perfect output is possible. See neutroncode.com the developer website.
I guess in general everyone is hoping that sometime Apple will offer something better by default. I’ve only been waiting since my Macintosh IIsi and my iPhone 4. (Not counting the Magic Sac on my Atari ST).
JRiver Media Center has decent built-in PEQ that works in Mac OS X, for what it’s worth. They offer a free trial in case you’d like to try before you buy.
Would you happen to have a 10-band EQ for the Hifiman HE400SE?
Was hyped to finally try out EQ for the first time and downloaded soundsource. I first tried the “bass booster” and the bass got horribly grainy and saturated, like full of static (sorry I’m having trouble finding the words).
This is on a HE1000SE through a micro IDSD signature from my Mac. The bass boost on the IDSD works just fine, but I was hoping to try out the recommended EQs for my HP.
Is this normal ? Hope it isn’t…
Love that software. There’s lots to it. Here’s a screen shot of my config at the moment:
No. It sounds like you might be pushing the bass level beyond max causing the signal to clip. If you boost any frequency range without a corresponding reduction in overall gain, this can happen. So a +3db bass boost should include a -3db preamp gain or clipping can occur.
I recommend staying away from the graphic EQ in SoundSource anyway. The parametric EQ is where it’s at. Start with the built-in Headphone EQ, like @InvisibleInk is doing for his Sennheiser HD 58X. Those are parametric EQ presets from AutoEQ. If you think those are going in the right direction, then use SoundSource’s custom profiles for Headphone EQ using oratory1990’s presets (see how oratory1990 includes a negative value for preamp gain in his presets?). Or as an alternative, create a custom profile using the profiles you can find in this forum like Chrono’s. Either way, use that as a starting point and tune to your taste.
Wow, thanks for the illuminating reply.
I’m disappointed though. I thought I would be able to tinker with EQ while listening, to see what settings I like best. If I understand correctly, with SoundSource, if I want to avoid the clipping issue, I have to settle on predefined settings and if I want to try my own, I have to script it, then upload it to SoundSource, then try it out, then go back to the script to adjust. That makes the whole process unintuitive and, for me at least, not worth it.
The added problem I’ve found out (thanks to the customer support over at SoundSource, which, as they claim, is indeed amazingly responsive!) is that the Headphone EQ can only be applied on the System output, and not on the app output. This means that I can’t shut the system off to just listen to Tidal with EQ (or some other app). if I use the headphone EQ, I’m going to hear any sound that comes from any app on my Mac, unless I manually shut each of them down every time I play Tidal. Again, not worth the hassle.
So I guess the bass boost of the micro IDSD adjusts the gain automatically? Isn’t that something the app could do when you fiddle with the graphic EQ?
Anyways, it’s a shame, the app had so many things going for it…
I suggest looking at eqmac, you can control the EQ directly from the software with no scripts and adjust it on the fly to see how things would change. You can also save presets directly in it and switch between them. I usually have one with the EQ and one without it but with the reduced gain so I can compare same listening volumes with and without eq.
It also includes the app control I think you’re looking for.
eqMac is definitely the way to go. BUT… for some of the features, there’s a subscription for Pro. Fortunately, it’s only $3/month which to me, is very much worth it.
You can solve both problems by using an EQ audio unit plugin with SoundSource. I use DMG EQuick. There is also Apple AUNBandEQ which is included in macOS.
eqMac is a fine product but even the pro version only applies EQ to the system output.
Or use Roon to play Tidal, which has its own parametric EQ.
I don’t know the details of the micro IDSD but that’s possible. Or it could be boosting bass after the DA conversion which could still make the amp clip if you crank the volume close to max. I suppose SoundSource could automatically adjust the gain but I don’t think it does. In fact every EQ software I’ve used has made me adjust the gain manually.
@orrman @AudioTool Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll try both eqMac and EQuick and see how it goes.
I recently bought SoundSource and it seems to work for what I need it to do, which is have easy access to AutoEQ settings without having to think about it. eqMac arguably looks nicer and has more functionality, but there seems to be some kind of issue where the whole application can lock up after the computer wakes from sleep. I’m not sure if it’s the app or some kind of issue on my end. I’d probably go back to it if there was a fix.
Somebody already sort of said this, but I just wanted to weigh in and say that I believe SoundSource can do everything you were hoping for. You don’t have to use predefined settings, you don’t have to script anything, you can tinker while you’re listening, and you can assign different EQs to different apps. The secret is that when you click “add effect” you then select “Apple” and you have a whole bunch of different EQs to work with. I use AUNBandEQ, which allows me to create just about as many bands as I want at any specific frequencies I want, and I can adjust as needed. I’m not sure I’ve ever used the Pro version of EqMac, but I just wanted you to know that if you purchased SoundSource, I believe it has the goods. You just have to know how to access them.
Click “Add Effect” then “Apple.” So simple, yet I never clicked it. Or, I probably did to get the Audeze Reveal plug-in.
I didn’t know this existed. It seems the width value is equivalent to the bandwidth value you’d see in the Oratory profiles? I’m not really all that familiar with EQing and just getting into it. If I use the AUNBandEQ and the profile for my newly acquired Aeon 2 Noire I’ve been trying out, it sounds good, but different than if I choose the profile from AutoEQ, so I’m wondering what the difference is.
The difference is that one is a preset made by oratory1990 and one is a preset made by the AutoEQ algorithm. Both presets are based on a frequency response measurement made by oratory1990, which is why both are labeled “oratory1990”.
Oratory1990 has nothing to do with the AutoEQ project, actually. In fact, oratory1990 does not like the AutoEQ preset feature in SoundSource because SoundSource is profiting from their work without licensing it. I prefer the non-AutoEQ oratory1990 presets anyway.
I wonder who else is using AutoEQ presets without licensing it? Wavelet? Qudelix? Seems like a Pandora’s box of legalize might need to be opened.
That makes sense. In this case I prefer the manual setting (which I believe I did correctly) to the preset one as well.
It’s a thorny problem. Oratory1990 allows anyone, including AutoEQ, to use their measurements as long as they do not profit. AutoEQ allows anyone to use their presets. Companies use the AutoEQ presets without even realizing they are technically violating oratory1990’s measurement license.