Sound levels low

Audacity 2.0.6
iMac 21.5 inch
OSX 10.9.4

In order to get a decent sound level (and good sized waveform) I have both the input and the output levels in the Mac preferences jacked up to maximum. Is this normal? My older version of Audacity didn’t seem to require this much output level and everything else (Internet, apps) are way too loud now so I have to adjust the speaker volume. I realize I can jack up the +/- slider each time but wondered if there was another volume setting somewhere in the audio chain I don’t know about.

Please tell us exactly what you are trying to do and what your settings are: what is the input to Audacity, what is the output from Audacity, what is the setting of the Audacity playback and recording sliders, etc.
– Bill