Customize Volume and Equalizer Settings in iPad's Music App - dummies

Customize Volume and Equalizer Settings in iPad’s Music App

You can tweak volume and equalizer settings in the Music app to customize your iPad-as-an-iPod experience. If you’ve noticed and been bothered that the volume of some songs is higher than others, check out the iTunes Sound Check feature.

If you want to adjust certain frequencies, the equalizer enables you to do so. And if you want to set a maximum volume limit, tell your iPad to make it so.

Play all songs at the same volume level

The iTunes Sound Check option automatically adjusts the level of songs so that they play at the same volume relative to each other. That way, one song never blasts out your ears even if the recording level is much louder than that of the song before or after it.

To tell the iPad to use these volume settings, you first have to turn on the feature in iTunes on your computer. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Choose iTunes→Preferences (Mac) or Edit→Preferences (PC).

  2. Click the Playback tab.

  3. Select the Sound Check check box to enable it.

Now you need to tell the iPad to use the Sound Check settings from iTunes. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Tap the Settings icon on the iPad’s Home screen.

  2. Tap Music in the list of settings.

  3. Tap the Sound Check On/Off switch so that it turns green.

Choose an equalizer setting

An equalizer increases or decreases the relative levels of specific frequencies to enhance the sound you hear. Some equalizer settings emphasize the bass (low-end) notes in a song; other equalizer settings make the higher frequencies more apparent.

The iPad has more than a dozen equalizer presets, with names such as Acoustic, Bass Booster, Bass Reducer, Dance, Electronic, Pop, and Rock. Each one is ostensibly tailored to a specific type of music.

The way to find out whether you prefer using equalization is to listen to music while trying different settings. To do that, first start listening to a song you like. Then, while the song is playing, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Home button on the front of your iPad.

  2. Tap the Settings icon on the Home screen.

  3. Tap Music in the list of settings.

  4. Tap EQ in the list of Music settings.

  5. Tap different EQ presets (Pop, Rock, R&B, or Dance, for example), and listen carefully to the way they change how the song sounds.

  6. When you find an equalizer preset that you think sounds good, tap the Home button, and you’re finished.

If you don’t like any of the presets, tap Off at the top of the EQ list to turn off the equalizer.

Set a volume limit for music (and videos)

You can instruct your iPad to limit the loudest listening level for audio or video. To do so, here’s the drill:

  1. Tap the Settings icon on the Home screen.

  2. Tap Music in the list of settings.

  3. Tap Volume Limit in the list of Music settings.

  4. Drag the slider to adjust the maximum volume level to your liking.

The Volume Limit setting limits the volume of only music and videos; it doesn’t apply to podcasts or audiobooks. And, although the setting works with any headset, headphones, or speakers plugged into the headset jack on your iPad, it doesn’t affect the sound played on your iPad’s internal speaker.

By the way, speaking of that lone internal iPad speaker, it’s not in stereo although it sounds pretty good just the same. Of course, when you plug in headphones, you hear rich stereo output.