Hear for Mac offers a range of audio control and enhancement tools not native to OS X. With a full 10-96 band equalizer, 3D sound tools, and more, you can add special effects to your audio for listening on headphones or speakers. Depending on the type of audio system you have, there are a number of options for how to optimize using Hear.
Works well with existing Mac software and hardware: Hear works well with the majority of software built in to the Mac. This includes tools like iTunes and Safari and most external speakers and headsets. The sheer volume of options for optimizing sound makes it a fantastic tool for most everyday listening.
Enhances and improves sound quality: Hear can optimize existing tracks, videos, and other sound-based content on your computer. Small speakers will sound richer and fuller than they did before, with numerous options to tweak if you know how to use them.
Doesn't work with all software and settings: There are certain software tools and settings that Hear doesn't work well with. We experienced some issues with GarageBand and other software not working properly or sounding more or less the same as they did without Hear active.
If you are interested in boosting the quality of your audio for standard playback or editing, Hear is a solid piece of software that works in most settings. For those without an audio background, the more robust features will remain unused, but even the basic enhancement is still worthwhile.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Hear for Mac 1.2.2.
From Prosoft Engineering:
Hear is sound enhancement software. Hear improves the sound quality from your headphones, internal or external speakers. Hear can also add 3D sound and other various special effects to the sound. Improve the sound from iTunes and make your music, movies, games or any other application sound amazing. Hear also gives you the ability to customize the sound to your preference with a 10 to 96-band equalizer. Once you try Hear you won't be able to go without it. 3D Sound Like movies? like'em more with virtual cinema quality sound experience. Sound will approach you from all angles, even from behind. You are there with Hear, 3D sound. Equalizer Perfect your sound with Hear's studio quality N-band equalizer with built-in peak limiter. You've got control. Speaker Correction Control speaker resonance to increase frequency range and enhance sound. Center Channel Control Control the volume and width of the sound coming from your own virtual center-stage for performance-grade audio effects. A concert in your house. Virtual Subwoofer No Sub? No problem. Let Hear use your existing speakers to boost your bass. Don't you need more thump in your life?
Despite the existence of half a zillion presets (which may or may not interest you) the real strength of Hear is being able to set up your computer's audio as a sound stage that suits you personally. I have recreated a 'vinyl type' ambience on my Mac which is rich and wide, but lacks the tinny harshness of digital. And it stays active even after you've quit the app (relaunch to turn it off if necessary).
You need to use trial and error to find the best setting for you, but perhaps that's not a weakness? Many of the presets can be ignored, but saving a new one isn't obvious until you've done it the first time. (Perhaps read the manual!)
Hear really can improve the sound from your computer's speakers, and let's face it, anything that can do that must be a good thing! It won't match a decent hifi, but that's not the point.