Boost Volume on MacBook Pro?
July 15, 2006 12:51 PM   Subscribe

How do I boost the volume output on my MacBook Pro? Even with everything maxed out it barely dents the volume my old Gateway produced. Is there a hack that will allow me to take the governor off?
posted by honorguy7 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you talking about the volume through the internal speakers?
posted by box at 12:54 PM on July 15, 2006

I also have this problem with my iMac. It's ridiculous. Maxed out I often have to lean into the damn speakers to even hear something.

The only "solution" I've found is to watch things with VLC as it has its own independent volume which can double or triple the iMac's. However, it doesn't work for music.
posted by dobbs at 1:10 PM on July 15, 2006

Response by poster: Yes, the internal speakers.
posted by honorguy7 at 1:12 PM on July 15, 2006

My MacBook Pro is suitably loud. You can't use it as a public address system but if you're sitting in front of it watching a movie or listening to music, it is fine.

Make sure you have the volume cranked on the applications AND in using the system buttons. If you have the volume at 25% in iTunes and 100% on the system, you're only going to get 25%. Both DVD player and iTunes have their own volume control.

If you really need to get it to go to eleven, you'll have to go with external speakers.
posted by birdherder at 2:36 PM on July 15, 2006

Not a solution, but there's a thread on the Apple Discussion boards about this. (I've seen it on my white Mac Book as well)
posted by alan at 3:11 PM on July 15, 2006

The most popular solution for this is using Audio Hijack. Great app to have for a variety of things (e.g., recording streaming audio), but it's also perfect for what you need. It allows "hijacking" the audio output of an application and applying Audio Unit plugins or its own built-in EQ to the output.

So, step by step.
1. Launch Audio Hijack
2. Create a preset for whatever application you'll commonly want to make louder (i.e., itunes, vlc, mplayer, quicktime).
3. Open the EQ on that preset
4. Activate the EQ and move the gain/level up to desired volume
5. "Hijack" the application (but you don't need to hit record)
posted by SeƱor Pantalones at 9:54 PM on July 15, 2006 [1 favorite]

Let me offer you a guess as to why this may be happening. If you read the Apple Discussion board thread alan provides, you'll see that some people report this problem after a software update.

I think Apple is choosing to limit the output volume of it's laptop speakers as part of an overall strategy to deal with their infamous overheating problems. Speakers are a big power consumer, and if you limit their volume with software, not only do you reduce the heat the speakers generate directly, you reduce the heat generated in the sound card and in the battery by the battery's own internal resistance-- and the batteries have, according to some reports, been getting hot enough to swell up in some cases.

So, if this is true, you probably can fix it with a hack like the one Senor Pantalones offers, but you then might want to pay close attention to how hot your computer is getting.
posted by jamjam at 11:08 AM on July 16, 2006

Thanks, Mr. Pants! Worked for me.
posted by dobbs at 12:12 PM on July 20, 2006

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