Company: Joesoft, Inc.
Hear is an application for Macs that will dramatically improve the quality of the sound coming from your computer’s speakers. It doesn’t matter whether the sound is music, dialogue from a movie, or an Internet telephone conversation with your friend in Scotland. Even using the default settings in Hear, everything will sound richer and clearer.
Hear is somewhat like the digital sound processor built into iTunes, but it’s like iTunes on steroids.
In iTunes, users can click on a track title, right click and go to Information and Options to reach the equalizer presets and assign settings such as bass reducer, vocal, classical, and so forth, any one of which will change the characteristics of the sound coming through your speakers. You can do the same thing (and much more) in Hear, and the results are noticeably more sophisticated. I immediately noticed that the music I was listening to had greater depth and dimension. You can also change the settings by indicating whether you are listening through speakers or with earphones.
Hear is easy to use, up to a point. Which is to say you can make it as simple or as complicated as you like. If you have a lot of time on your hands and want to tinker or experiment to see what it’s like to be an audio engineer, Hear has enough settings to keep you happy for at last 72 sleepless hours. You’ll find icons for General settings, EQ, Mixer, Ambiance, 3D, Maximizer, Fidelity, Speaker and sub. There are others.
You can make multiple adjustments to any of the settings under each tab, and you can also go to the Help menu to find out what they mean. Sort of. The explanations are not particularly helpful to the ordinary consumer (read: me) and probably not necessary for the true audiophile. A glossary would be very helpful. I felt most comfortable using the presets.
If you’re watching a movie and don’t have surround sound, Hear has a setting that will make your system sound like you do. If you don’t have speakers linked to a subwoofer, no problem. Hear will make your speakers sound like you have a fine subwoofer attached.
Hear allows you to change settings depending on what you’re listening to, but there is no way to assign track by track settings. So if you’re listening to a compilation that includes some vocal music followed by some orchestral or rock music, you have to keep going back to Hear to change presets (or other settings for each type of sound). I hope Joesoft, the creators of this program, eventually changes that.
The application does enable you to assign different characteristics to different programs. This means that once you set up your Mail app, for example, you won’t hear a loud obnoxious burp while you’re listening to music. If you happen to like a little burp with your Beethoven, however, be my guest. You can arrange it in Hear.