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Is it possible to set per-application volume levels under Mac OS X?

I would like to be able to turn the volume down on Entourage for new emails, but leave everything else at a pleasant level, adjusting media playback volumes via iTunes or the DVD app.

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5 Answers 5

up vote 2 down vote accepted

This is not possible (like linux does) under OS X. However, there are a few alternatives you can try. One would be to reroute certain apps to “null” so you don’t hear them, or another sound output that has a lower level. All this is possible with Jack, a small free utility.

What I did was basically open the New Mail sound file with an audio editor, and drastically lower its level. :) (Yeah, it’s lame but it works!)

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Although it's no longer in development, Detour may still work with Entourage in Snow Leopard and is available freely.


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You can do this with Hear. Its not free but it does have a demo. Flip over to the Equilizer tab and you can use a slider to tame the volume per-application.

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Sound Bunny (Prosoft, $10) will do it. Unfortunately it does not allow you to select the output interface per application, like Detour did; only the volume. Detour does not work on Intel Macs.

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What are the advantages of Sound Bunny? –  Johan Karlsson Nov 21 '12 at 6:39

I was just wondering this same wonder. With the help of this thread I remembered I already had an "app mixer" and tried that, it works great.

"Audio Hijack Pro"

–I initially got it to boost the volume on a laptop but since then I have used it for many projects. It's great for ripping audio from the source (pre speaker) and AS OF TODAY I use it to turn down Premier Pro while editing so I can listen to music without fear of forgetting to readjust settings in my project :)

It's available here with a free trial version:


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