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Mac Mini and external DAC advise please . . .


Major Contributor
Jul 19, 2021
And it works just fine with my MacBook and smsl DAC :)


New Member
Mar 10, 2023
Wanted to reply to the original post Re: boomy video and perhaps pivot that to Podcasts, also plagued with boominess, where in both I agree it's not a DAC thing - or perhaps it's an anti-DAC thing, since DAC's attempt to maximally reproduce the true source material, which may be the issue here.

Podcasters are notorious for generating crap source MP3s -- and hyperEQ-ing their mics to bass with a $50 mixer/EQ (or buying Mics that do so), or the opposite - novices with throwaway headphone mic from an old cellphone where the mic both underperforms but also hisses and pops while their hapless aptitude for recording seems to use the mic as a bongo drum - will either blow your speakers or blow your tolerance, whichever comes first -- or worst, people doing both at the same time. So my suggestion there is look around for Podcasting apps that have settings to mitigate that. I know there are some general video/audio playback apps that also have this sort of processing, tho I'm not immediately recalling the ones I've seen other than Linux based / Open Source versions, which may be one Geek bridge too far for this convo.

Admittedly I don't play podcasts on "top end" high-amp'd house speakers, but I've played them on amplified Sonos sound bar, "average" high watt bookshelf speakers, and my (high end DSP managed) car stereo, and I like (rather am hugely enthusiastic about) Overcast. (available for iPhone / M1/M2 Macs) Overcast has a setting that effectively remasters the audio, which is amazingly effective IMO. For the Geeks, the app uses the ITU BS.1770-4 standard for LUFS measurements seen in high end audio (broadcast) editors for sound leveling. He interestingly both boosts weak vocals but also has a lookahead limiter (32 bit !!) that deftly downregulates amplification gently before loud peaks "arrive" to make clipping pretty much impossible even when amplifying weak audio. Managing to do this with <1% CPU use on an older gen iphone is perhaps equally impressive.

Overcast VoiceBoost2

Overcast also has per podcast settings for this and (very effective and non-distracting) faster playback / silence skipping, etc. I honestly can't listen to most podcasts without it now, it sounds like they're taking twice as long to spit it out. Below 1.5x it's really hard to discern it's being sped up at all, they just sound a bit more enthusiastic lol.

So, nod to Dos Equis Most Interesting Man In the World, I don't always podcast on fancy gear, but when I do, I prefer Overcast......
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