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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update Apps
The 10.4.9 update's "feature" of boosting built-in speaker output on various Macs came with mixed reviews. I'm one of the ones who thinks the lowest GUI-accessible setting is now too loud.

Quite by accident, I discovered that turning down the volume all the way, then muting and unmuting the speakers via the keyboard gives me the quiet sound I've been missing.

[robg adds: This is the first I've heard of a volume boost in 10.4.9; my MacBookPro seems the same now as it was before, so I'm curious about it. If anyone knows more, please post in the comments -- which models did this supposedly affect, for instance?]
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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update | 17 comments | Create New Account
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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: psignosis on Apr 24, '07 07:55:29AM

There was some discussion of this on MacFixIt.com as I recall, although I don't see anything on the front page there now.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: Sith Happens on Apr 24, '07 07:57:12AM

I absolutely noticed a substantial sound increase on my MacBook Pro after updating to 10.4.9. I used to always keep my volume exactly at the halfway mark. Now, I keep it only a quarter of the way up.

From my experience, this only affects a machine's built-in speakers. The volume settings for external speakers or headphones will not be affected by the 10.4.9 update.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: Brome on Apr 24, '07 08:20:44AM

I observed exactly the same behavior on a 17" Core Duo iMac.

I use another trick when I want to reach a very low volume though : the cursor of the system volume icon allows for much more granularity when you set it from the menu bar.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: Keneomac on Apr 24, '07 08:20:57AM

I have had the same issue. I used to leave the volume on my 17' MacBook Pro around the half-way point and now if I go about 2 or 3 bars on the volume GUI it fills the entire room...I have started to actually use the volume controls in the specific applications i am using. The above mentioned hint did not seem to change the sound level on my mac.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: neuralstatic on Apr 24, '07 08:22:26AM

my intel imac is much louder. i can tell easily since i have a script set mac volume and itunes volume and play an mp3 every morning. i'd say it's twice as loud at the low volume setting i usually have.

they have messed around with volume before when they changed itunes from linear to logarhythmic.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: djchadderton on Apr 24, '07 08:22:28AM

I noticed something weird had happened to the sound on my MacBook, but didn't relate it to the update. Watching video podcasts, I'd noticed that some had become loud, but pressing F4 repeatedly made little difference until it suddenly went very quiet. Just like when the volume knob is starting to go on an old radio.

They still haven't cured the old problem with muting volume that is mysteriously cured by starting GargeBand. I was watching something in Quicktime the other day, started Soundtrack and the sound went. When I started GarageBand, it came back again. Strange.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: ryanm on Apr 24, '07 09:21:26AM

I noticed this on both my intel Mac mini and Mac BookPro, but not on any of the powerPCs at work.
It's REALLY annoying.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: servo on Apr 24, '07 09:32:43AM

Awesome hint.

The sound boost was terrible. I used to be able to play a game like Frenzic quietly without annoying my wife, after the update I had to mute the speakers completely.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: magir on Apr 24, '07 09:40:45AM

I can also confirm that this hint works on my machine (17" MBP). It should be noted that lower volumes than the "one square" setting can be attend by moving the slider in the Sound Preference Pane. Most interestingly this mute/unmute hint doesn't show any effect on the slider, although I'm hearing music the slide is still at "zero".



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: ShadowBottle on Apr 24, '07 10:08:57AM

There was never any BOOST to volume settings. It was a return to system defaults - people just became accustomed to the volume reduction introduced in between 10.4.3 and 10.4.9. My brand new MBP volume was set at default when I received it at 10.4.2, my subsequent update to 10.4.8 caused my volume to be reduced by some non-trivial measure. I believe there were complaints about certain kinds of feedback or hissing on some machines, and I believe Apple's temporary solution was to reduce the overall volume, until the feedback issue could be addressed. I'm assuming it was addressed around 10.4.9 at which time they were able to return system volume levels back to normal, at which point a large number of users (now used to the reduced volume level) felt that their volume levels had been ZOMG BOOSTED!
Now, personally, I'm concerned that if you can recreate the reduced volume behavior it would appear as though this is a bug, despite how much it is requested or desired as a feature.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: ventifact on Apr 24, '07 11:18:31AM

I wouldn't mind a louder max volume like Quicktime's Shift/Volume Slider. We watch commercial DVDs and max volume is too soft.

---
OSX 10.4.9, 20" 1.8GH iMac



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: heggaton on Apr 24, '07 05:01:05PM

Hmmm...

*If* you're correct, it seems Apple got it wrong then didn't they?!

I like others find the volume controls utterly useless with me only being able to get the volume to two bars maximum. One bar (depending on application) can sometimes be too loud - and is only sometimes better than mute.

Thanks for the hint, I'll try it out later - hopefully it'll solve the *problem*



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: tatilsever on Apr 24, '07 11:46:45AM

I don't think the sound setting of the OS changed, but it affected Apple apps. For example, iTunes is much louder now. In the past, I had to turn iTunes volume it all the way up and turn up the system volume setting quite a bit, so that music filled the room. However, that meant VLC would be too loud at the same system setting, even if I set VLC volume to its minimum. Now, VLC is still louder than iTunes, but not as much. I welcome this upgrade wholeheartedly.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: sveinbjornt on Apr 24, '07 11:57:56AM
The volume can be fine-grain controlled via AppleScript. The 'setvolume' command line tool in osxutils does this -- allows you to set the volume in percentage increments (http://osxutils.sf.net)

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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: morespace54 on Apr 24, '07 12:38:25PM

I have the same issue (feelings?) on my iMac CoreDuo. I can now hear my iMac startup when I"m in my living room...
I didn't notice any change on my ibook or my G4.



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: lawrence1950 on Apr 24, '07 07:20:39PM

Robg:

I'm running OS X 10.4.9 on my iSight model 1.9 GHz G5 iMac with 1 GB of RAM installed along with the standard 128 MB VRAM ATI graphics processor, SuperDrive and 160 GB HD. And, indeed, the default volume level HAS been boosted significantly but it only manifests itself through the default speaker system. Headphone volume shows NO changes whatsoever and I haven't as yet had a chance to run any audio through my powered speaker system with subwoofer, so I can't really speak to that. But the internal speakers are finally cranking out enough sound that I no longer have to max out the settings to hear everything properly.

I also have a G4 1.33 GHz 12" iBook running the same OS as my desktop and while there is definitely an increase in volume through the internal speakers, it isn't nearly as noticeable as it is in the iMac. And, again, the headphones show no change in audio levels at all.

I'm planning on running a few experiments with the powered speakers, headphones, and both computers to see exactly how much the volume levels have been changed. I CAN tell you now that my iMac's default volume levels have really jumped since that Update download, but I must say that I remain confused as to why anyone would be sorry about that fact. I mean, if it's too loud for you isn't that the reason God made the 'Volume' slider?

lawrence1950



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10.4: Regain 'quiet' sound settings after 10.4.9 update
Authored by: steve_s on May 12, '07 10:12:41AM

I think you're missing the point. Every since the update my Duo Core 2 Imac is too loud, even with the setting just one tick above mute. I can go to the sound control panel and slightly move the slider to the left to make it more quiet. But as soon as I try to use the keyboard it jumps back to the default, where, at least for espn360, one tick above mute is too loud.



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