Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Oct 10, 2010 7:13 PM by Warren Willows
MikeAdamsCT Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
I see several programs that claim to substantially improve the sound quality for iTunes, or for all programs. Some seem very powerful, but also quite expensive, so I am not sure which has the best price/value. Do any of you have recommendations?


Intel iMAc 24", Mac OS X (10.5.7)
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    which ones did you look at ?


  • MikeAdamsCT Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    The three that seem to be mentioned most are Hear, iWow and Amarra. I have not tried them out since some seem to require a considerable time investment (which I was hoping the forum readers would have provided or do not offer a free trial.
  • Jolly Giant Level 7 Level 7 (25,440 points)
    to be honest, i tried none of those and am very reluctant to install any 3rd party plug-ins.

    i'd rather go for a decent set of speakers and use Apple Lossless for the best audiophile experience.

    good luck !


  • MikeAdamsCT Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Yeah, at home I have a pretty good system that sounds fine: I find the work set up pales in comparison, but don't want to invest a couple of thousand in the hardware for work.
  • Chris CA Level 9 Level 9 (78,005 points)
    iWow is pretty good.
    I have not tried them out since some seem to require a considerable time investment ???

    Install it and turn it on.
    The End.
    Not too much time.

    Play around with the settings a bit to see how it affects the music.
    The free trial simply pops up every time you launch iTunes and you have to click on Demo to use it.
    -> SRS Labs iWow
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,810 points)
    I've tried both Hear and iWow but didn't find them particularly helpful, but that's based on the type of music I listen to (mostly jazz, classical and new age) and how and where (mostly my office at work). I also have a pretty good set of speakers, three-way with a subwoofer. Your listening preferences and habits and equipment may differ and so these sorts of "enhancers" might be of more benefit to you. You can get trial versions of both Hear and iWow, so I'd suggest you try them for yourself. I don't have any experience with any of the Amarra products, but they also offer a demo version.

    There's no substitute for giving these things a try for yourself. Audio playback for pleasure is a very subjective thing.

  • MikeAdamsCT Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks for the feedback: I guess I will give each of them a trial and see if any of them provide what I want at a reasonable price.
  • Wolsey Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    When playing music on my computer through iTunes or other applications where sound quality is of the essence, I now use +Audio Hijack Pro+ to 'hijack' the sound output of the particular application, and under the 'Effects' tab, add the 31-band EQ found under 'AudioUnit Effect' - 'Apple' - 'AUGraphicEQ'. The setting is left 'flat'.

    After comparing this EQ with the standard 10-band EQ in iTunes, the ears of this professional musician have convinced me that the sound is far superior. I have played CDs of a wide variety of genres and switched between the Audio Hijack Pro and iTunes EQs; I've also used my sitting-room Rotel equipment and B&W speakers as an aural reference. There is a difference in sound, with instruments such as drums and cymbals having more detail in the harmonics that can be heard. There was greater richness in the harmonics heard in a saxophone melody and even in the sound of the player's tonguing.

    I am amazed it has taken me so many years to 'see the light' and am now much happier with what I hear from my computer.
  • Joel Seltmann Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    I have found SRSLabs iWOW to the most impressive and not involve as much fiddling/diddling as the "HEAR" software. iWOW also gives a high-definion sound to your audio that is very realistic....what was lost between the studio mastering session and the CD pressing is restored by the use of iWOW. I even use the iWOW when I am streaming iTunes audio with Rogue Amoeba's NiceCast....It's as simple as you can get!
  • Warren Willows Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    I cannot over state how good the program named "Pure Music" is. Please read Fremer's review in the Absolute Sound if that would help in your choice. Amarra is living in a dream world when viewed by price and features. I have this "shell" overtopping of iTunes and it sounds wonderful. Porting out the digital stream to my Levinson DAC. Sounds wonderful.
  • Warren Willows Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    ...forgot to mention that it upsamples and can handle 196/24...and is USD $129.
  • Mister Wednesday Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    You might want to take a look over on the Computer Audiophile forum site where extensive discussions on this very topic are taking place every day:

    Hope this helps.


    Mister Wednesday
  • dknightd Level 3 Level 3 (700 points)
    Anybody know about a way to do "convolver" based based room correction an a mac?
  • Jim MacCormaic Level 4 Level 4 (2,635 points)
    It's just a dreadful shame that it looks so appallingly awful. Perhaps it does make things sound better, but I'm not sure I could live long-term with such an ugly add-on — especially at the price they're asking.
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