Need Playback EQ

My hearing isn’t what it used to be. Have avoided using equalizers in the past in favor of simply having a better audio system. Now i’d like to selectively boost the “presence” range and occasionally upper treble as well. All media players have some sort of EQ but it’s usually rather crude. So, here’s my question. Does Audacity include a media player with extensive fine-grained EQ for playing back our CD collection we ripped to the hard drive? Or, do you know of a good alternative, please? I’m grateful for all suggestions, thank you!

Audacity doesn’t do anything in real time and has no stand-alone player. Pre-baked equalizer settings many times suppress mids in favor of sparkling highs and thumping bass notes. I can tell they’re doing that in a club because I can dance to it, but I can’t understand the singer’s words. You want just the opposite.

Just to get you in the ballpark, you might want to experiment with the Audacity Equalization tool and see what helps you.

Import a song you like and Effect > Equalization. The blue line in the middle is a rubber band and you can click and pull it around. The display is of different pitch tones starting with very low tones on the left and working up to high pitch tones on the right. Pull the blue line into the approximate shape of the attached picture. That’s a Fletcher-Munsen curve (approximately) and may sound a lot better after you apply it. If it sounds too much like a telephone, reconstruct the curve lower.

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Thanks for that heads up. Yup, the ol’ Fletcher-Munson curve has a lot to answer for. It always amazed me that an entire industry zoned in on those measurements and produced “Loudness” EQ curves with no consideration given to other factors. It works well enough at low volume settings but, as you’ve experienced, invoking that sort of correction (i use the term loosely) at higher volume settings obliterates mid-range detail & clarity. We listen mostly on our Magnepans and an Audio Research pre-amp which has no tone controls. My hearing has a dip at around 3KHz and another lesser dip around 8.5KHz before trailing off above 12KHz. I was able to play with a friend’s home studio setup which has 24-band EQ available in the digital domain so i’m pretty clear (no pun intended) on what EQ settings would have some benefit. The problem, of course, is that playback EQ on my PC is woefully inadequate.

Soooo … i’m still hoping you or another forum user can suggest a media player or other (free?) software with good EQ options??


I use iTunes free on both Mac and Windows. It has a ten band equalizer.
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Windows Media Player has a 10 band Graphic Equalizer.
VLC has a 10 band graphic equalizer (
Foobar2000 has an 18 band graphic equalizer (

Thanks guys, much appreciated! i’ll check out those media players.