Currently when using headphones on my MacBook Pro the volume goes from completely silent at 0 bars fairly loud at 1 bar (6%) very loud at 2 bars (13%) and everything above is painful. (Unless I for each app that provides its own slider changes the volume of this to about 4-5%, which is annoying and risky)

I'd like to adjust the "base volume" for all apps on the computer, lower it radically so that when I use the global volume buttons 50% is about comfortable 75% would be somewhat loud; e.g. I can actually use those buttons to finetune the volume (not just toggle between pain and no sound as it is now).

Are there any hidden config setting (or config files; I use Linux at work so I don't mind hacking config files either) where I can globally modify the sound level so that the volume buttons is actually usable?

  • I have the same issue with my iPhone but there 40% is loud and anything above 60% is painful (unless a track is mixed very low), but I can live with that (at least it has some steps i can use not just 3); and I assume it's impossible to modify that without jailbreaking it. – Stein G. Strindhaug Mar 20 '12 at 14:36
  • ...if anyoune wonders I have very sensitive ears, and my headphones have fairly low impedance too ;) – Stein G. Strindhaug Mar 20 '12 at 14:39
  • No way around that I know of, but you can increase the volume gradually by pressing Shift-Option-VolumeKey or going to Audio MIDI Setup.app in Utilities. – slhck Mar 20 '12 at 14:45
  • Yes, that's the closest to an answer I've found, but that is not a solution, it still relies on awkward key combos, or awkward pixel perfect positioning of a slider. But there ought to be a setting that can make the volume buttons functional as volume buttons. Now it's just a "no sound", "loud", "pain" switch... :P – Stein G. Strindhaug Mar 20 '12 at 14:52
  • See also: apple.stackexchange.com/questions/19146/… – Spiff Mar 20 '12 at 18:05

One option would be to route audio through Soundflower. It requires running an additional background process though, so it's probably overkill unless you also need to do something like apply filters to the sound output.

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  • A bit overkill maybe, but I if I don't find an simpler solution I'll try it! :) – Stein G. Strindhaug Mar 20 '12 at 20:27

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