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SRS Labs offers app to improve sound of Mac computers

If you followed SRS Labs, you're probably familiar with their products. The company specializes in sound-processing technology, and they have provided enhancement software for consumer and professional applications.

Today, the company launched Audio Essentials, which promises to dramatically enhance the quality of the audio output from your Mac. The company claims that Audio Essentials breathes new life into music, movies, games, podcasts and more.

I've been listening to the software through some old Bose Speakers plugged into my Mac Pro. With a switch, you can turn the app on and off to compare the sound. You can tell it you are on a desktop, laptop or headphones and adjust the processing for music, gaming, movies or speech. Generally, I left it on music. Everything that passed through sounded more realistic. An advanced button allows you to adjust the phantom center channel, ambience, focus, bass and definition. I've tried some other speakers as well, from B&W and Aperion. The audio quality improved in all cases.

With all the behind-the-scenes processing I assumed the music would sound unreal and hyped up. Instead, the music sounded processed and unrealistic when I turned the app off. As someone who spent many hours recording live music, both analog and digital, I feel I'm pretty critical about audio quality. While you can put the app controls to the extremes and really make the sound unrealistic, with normal or moderate adjustments the music does improve. There is a sense of space reflecting the recording venue, and individual instruments sound more accurate.

The app is available as a limited feature-free trial. The paid version, for US$29.99, gives you more configurations, a graphic EQ feature and a 5.1 peak meter that graphically displays audio levels for five channels. The pricing is a bit high for a spur-of-the-moment purchase, but it is like getting a whole new set of higher quality speakers.

If you are using your Mac for audio playback, try the demo and see what you think. Audio Essentials in an impressive piece of software. The app is not in the Mac App Store, but is available from the SRS Labs website.

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