There are plenty of ways to get better sound in your car by having the right components installed in the right places, but what if the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch you bring into your vehicle can help, too?
Equalizers abound in Apple’s App Store, but EQ 10 stands out as one that offers a wide range of features for a single buck.
EQ 10 Equalizer
Available at: Apple App Store
Whether you’re a self-respecting audiophile or just someone who enjoys listening to music in the car, the EQ 10 app has a little something for everyone.
It taps into all the stored music, podcasts and audiobooks (it won’t play DRM-protected tracks) you have on your iOS device, while also offering a lot of streaming radio stations and the option to literally download songs from websites that are described as “free and legal.”
When playing a track, tapping the button on the top right takes you straight to the EQ.
Here, you get a classic 10-band graphic EQ, or if you tap the number three, you get a set of analogue sliders for lows, mids and highs.
Both the three and 10 have arrows next to them. Tap the one next to the number you selected, and you get a list of presets that you can sample as a song is playing to hear the difference.
If none of those tickle your ears, then you can customize your own and save them to the list. Finding the right fit may take time, or it could just come down to simply moving one band ever so slightly to get it sounding right. Unfortunately, there’s no way to apply a set or custom EQ to an entire playlist in one fell swoop. You have to deal with tracks individually, but once you make your choice for a track, it stays that way unless you change it.
It’s also possible to apply EQs to the radio stations the app offers. If there’s a certain station you like, you can add it to your favourites and apply whatever EQ you want to it, so that it’s there to listen to how you want. The app even lets you record a station on the fly, saving it as a WAV file that you can always playback whenever you like.
Everyone’s ears are different, but I didn’t find most of the EQ presets all that appealing. It took playing around with the sliders a little to find what I was looking for, which was fine when the results were unexpectedly satisfying. Other instances were more time-consuming.
Naturally, you wouldn’t be fiddling with all this as a driver, so it’s the kind of homework you’d be doing the night before a morning commute, or when you have a free moment away from the car. So long as the music gets a proper boost, you might not care by the time the first newly mixed track has faded to the next.