If you are using only the built-in speakers and microphone, then you may like other Sound Control chips: the ability to adjust the sound of each application and equalizer…
How Sound Control works
The utility replaces the volume control icon in the menu bar. There are three different icons to choose from, but I chose the “speaker” as in macOS.
So that the standard icon with the volume control does not interfere, I hid it in the system settings:
Sound source priorities
In general, macOS itself switches sound sources quite well. If the music goes through the speakers, and you plugged in the headphones, the sound will come from the headphones. Disconnected – from the speakers.
But as soon as there are more than two sound sources, complete chaos begins. macOS does not allow prioritizing devices, so you have to manually select the desired source from the volume menu. If there are many of them, then finding the right one becomes a problem.
When I connect an external microphone, Amazon Echo, Airpods and dual monitors to my Mac, the number of sources increases to 13! And I only need three: wired headphones, Airpods and Echo.
In Sound Control, you can add unnecessary sources to the Ignored list, after which they will disappear from the selection menu and will not “play”.
The remaining audio sources can be prioritized in the Priority Devices tab. The higher a device is on the list, the higher its priority.
I will describe it using my example. I use wired headphones most of the time. But as soon as I say: “Computer, connect”, Echo Dot connects via bluetooth and the sound goes through Echo. If I put on AirPods, then the sound goes to them. The system works in any sequence.
Individual volume for applications
macOS controls volume globally. Individual controls are only available in applications that support it. For example, in iTunes and QuickTime players.
Sound Control adds the ability to control the volume in absolutely all applications. For example, I made Spark and Telegram notifications three times quieter than other sounds. And the sound of Tweetbot generally set to zero.
Now notifications from instant messengers are not scary if music is playing loudly in the headphones.
To control the volume of the active application, I set a shortcut based on the superbutton CapsLock…
Now the keys F11 and F12 adjust the overall volume, and in combination with CapsLock – the volume of the active application.
Equalizer for apps
In addition to volume, Sound Control can set individual equalizer settings for applications. This feature came in handy for me in the Chrome browser through which I watch Netflix.
For the Chrome EQ, I chose the Vocal booster preset. The preset brings the voice (mids) to the fore and pushes everything else into the background. Thanks to this, the voices of the heroes do not merge into a mess and stand out better from other sounds.
I do not always use the equalizer, but only for those TV shows where the actors have a specific accent of English, which I understand worse.
Of course, the program is niche. Not everyone needs to constantly switch between different speakers and microphones. But for me this is a real find.
Sound Control solved two problems:
- Switching between Echo and headphones works automatically, you no longer need to climb into the settings and manually choose “where” to play;
- Now I’m confident that my Rode Podcaster mic is always selected as my primary mic. Previously, when I rebooted my Mac or disconnected the cable, the microphone went off to “standard”.
Volume control in applications and an equalizer are nice bonuses so far. Still, it takes more time to understand their value for yourself. As soon as that happens, I’ll update the review.
👉 Sound Control: try demo / buy for $ 10