Like many people my age and older, I am hearing impaired. Specifically, I have lost hearing in the upper ranges. I find that I can manage reasonably well in face to face conversation, but I have a lot of trouble with recorded video. I use VLC which has a built in equalizer, and Songbird which has the same. However, I cannot use VLC for online videos unless I download them first. I also can't use VLC for Skype.

Fortunately I found a free and open source equalizer which can be set to affect all audio on my laptop. You have to configure it via a text file but that is not difficult. I am also in the process of building a simple GUI with sliders which will modify the config file. If anyone is insterested you can find 32 and 64 bit versions of Equalizer APO here.

commented: what? upvote. +0
commented: good to know. don't need it yet, but who knows ... +0
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LastMitch

Fortunately I found a free and open source equalizer which can be set to affect all audio on my laptop. You have to configure it via a text file but that is not difficult. I am also in the process of building a simple GUI with sliders which will modify the config file. If anyone is insterested you can find 32 and 64 bit versions of Equalizer APO

I never that software til now. The closest audio software that I ever used was Pro-tools but it's pretty expensive. Equalizer APO might have similiar feature. I will try.

I find that

Filter  3: ON  PK       Fc  3000,0 Hz  Gain  14,0 dB  Q  1,00   

makes a big difference

I use the VLC equalizer for movies. Using a "hill-shaped" equalizer profile works great to enhance the dialogs and dull out the background music. By "hill-shaped", I mean low gain on the low frequencies, low gain on the high frequencies, and maximum gain on middle frequencies, i.e., making the shape of a hill. I'm too young (still) to be hearing impaired (but it will come for sure, as it runs in the family), but that doesn't mean I enjoy the crazy high-volume background music and stuff in movies.

But I haven't really found a need for a system-wide equalizer. I know many exist in Linux, depending on the audio back-end drivers that your distro uses (ALSA, pulse, Phonon, gstreamer, etc.).

I think it would be more practical to have an equalizer for the browser. I wouldn't want the same settings for my music, my videos, and my browsing (i.e., youtube and stuff). Most music players (obviously) and most video players have a decent 10-band equalizer. And if anything else is playing sound on my system, it will be some video streaming in a browser. Anyone know of equalizers for browsers (chrome in particular)?

I used to use the Ska setting in VLC but I still had to adjust the settings. I started out looking for a browser equalizer plugin but was unable to find one. That's why I started using Equalizer APO. Once I build a GUI for it I can add a few presets and just toggle as needed.

And, yes, I find that the background music is way too loud, and the transition music between scene changes in some shows (Burn Notice, especially) is ridiculously loud.

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LastMitch

If anyone is interested, here's the first (very simple) GUI for the configuration.

I can't open the file.

do you have a .wav file or .ac3 file?

It's a zip file. Any program that can handle a zip should be able to uncompress it. I downloaded it and opened it with winrar just to verify.

For anyone looking for a great GUI for Equalizer APO check out Peace. My only concern was that it was flagged by my anti-virus but that was because it is written using AutoIT and was compiled to an exe. It is quite safe.

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diafol

Thanks RJ. May give it a whirl. Listening to loud music until my ears bleed has somewhat affected my hearing. Mind, this has the benefit of being able to tune-out the high-pitched hysteria preceding my "Oh Dog, what have I done now?" :)

The only thing it doesn't appear to work with is my hearing aids. I use them with a bluetooth connection just like bluetooth headphones. However, because the hearing aids already correct the sound for my particular loss it isn't necessary to further adjust the sound. Oddly enough I still need to correct the sound when using the hearing aids without the bluetooth.

Found the problem with bluetooth. It wasn't enabled in Equlizer APO. I ran the Configurator under the Equalizer APO start menu and enabled bluetooth.