If you've ever found yourself dealing with low audio output on a Mac (more common on laptops with their small speakers than desktops such as the iMac), Global Delight's Boom 2 will boost the audio volume. Significantly — as in up to 400%.
Once installed, a Boom 2 icon appears in the Mac OS X menu bar. You can use it to adjust the volume via a slider and tweak the tool’s settings (more on that in a moment).
For better or worse, Boom 2 boosts the audio output of the entire system rather than focusing on a few applications. This means you can now enhance the volume of media-playing applications like iTunes and QuickTime. You can also boost the volume of online videos like YouTube and Hulu playing on a web browser.
Voice applications like FaceTime and Skype can also use Boom 2 to enhance their audio experience. On the other hand, if you want an app that lets you personalize volume settings for different apps, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Boom doesn't just make your Mac's audio louder however; it provides a simplified equalizer with custom presets to further tweak the audio experience at the system level. Presets include Flat, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Soft, Loud, Music, Vocals and Movies. Fiddle with the settings, and you'll certainly notice a difference. Personally, I found the Loud setting did little except distort the audio slightly, so I'd skip it.
Even iPad/iPhone/iPod touch users will find Boom 2 useful. The app provides the ability to also boost the audio files residing in the iTunes library or from the disk. It then transfers the boosted files to your iOS device through iTunes.
Boom 2 isn't a greedy app. When it's idle (you make the volume boost/presets off), the app doesn't consume any CPU/memory.
The latest version (version 1.3) adds Spatial, Night Mode, and Pitch audio effects. Pitch is for use when you're performing karaoke (something I never do). Night Mode comes in handy during movies where the audio track keeps swinging between loud explosions and inaudible dialogues. Spatial “transports users into the center of their audio, making them feel like they’re a part of it.” That’s a bit of hype, but it is an interesting effect. The effects are priced at $1.99 each and $4.99 for the pack containing all three.
Another significant addition to version 1.3 is full compatibility with OS X’s assistive VoiceOver technology. This enables the visually impaired to more easily navigate around the app.
Boom 2 will certainly amp up and improve the audio of your Mac's speakers. It made a major difference in the sound output of my wife's 13-inch MacBook Pro and a bit of improvement on my 27-inch iMac. The software won't replace a dedicated set of speakers -- and, in fact, doesn't work with external speakers, only those built into your Mac. But if you don't have standalone speakers for your Mac, Boom 2 is a fine investment.
Boom 2 runs on Mac OS X Yosemite or El Capitan. It can be purchased for $14.99 from the Global Delight webstore and for $19.99 on the Mac App Store. The Mac App Store version includes the three new in-app purchases. Students are eligible to purchase Boom 2 at a special discounted price of $9.99 while existing Boom 1.x users (Webstore and MAS) are eligible for 50% discount on the Global Delight store. A free seven-day trial and more can be experienced at the Global Delight website.