June 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm

Audioforge’s iPhone Equalizer Looks Promising, Fails Anyway

audioforge equalizerThe Audioforge Equalizer app for iPhone aims to boost or trim seven different frequencies by up to 12db, which makes for a pretty dramatic change in the sound of your music. However, an ineffective graphic EQ feature and odd track-loading interface sour the mood.

Audioforge Equalizer ($3) is a pretty app, and its equalization features are powerful enough to challenge the iPhone’s processor speed, but it is plagued by a confusing navigation system and limited graphic EQ mode.

Here’s how it works, theoretically anyway: A pre-EQ gain slider lets you boost the overall signal before cutting away at various frequencies; a simple graphic equalizer raises or attenuates specific frequency ranges; and a full ‘parametric’ EQ lets you define exactly what part of the sound range you want to boost or attenuate — and how wide you want that band to be.

AudioForge Graphic EQ

See how there's no Fast Forward or Rewind? That's because you can't do either in this app's subpar graphic EQ mode.

For reasons unclear, these two equalizers function like apps within the app. The graphic EQ (pictured to the right) only lets you load one song at a time, converting it into an uncompressed WAV file. If you try to add more than four bands of equalization to these tracks, a warning screen says you may end up with “choppy audio replay,” due to all that processing just being too much for the iPhone to handle.

And again, the graphic EQ can only play a single track before you have to go through the whole process of loading another one. Ugh.

The ‘parametric’ EQ pictured at the top of this review is far more useful, allowing listeners to tweak frequencies on the fly, and choosing to play any of the music in their iPod libraries without tiresome individual song loads. A handy split-stereo mode even lets you EQ the left and right channels individually.

Audioforge’s Equalizer app has some powerful aspects, but those annoying idiosyncrasies mean we cannot recommend it at $3.

  • Usbafeed

    hmm, lets see: the product description page says:
    Two modes are supported: classic mode geared at mobile musicians and direct mode aimed at audiophiles needing to equalize their music on the fly.

    The two modes seem to be fairly well described in iTunes.

  • Tristan

    For anyone who is reading this article in 2013, everything mentioned above is 100% false. Audioforge has developed, bar none, the BEST EQ App, period. I’m a professional audio engineer going on 25 years. I tested EVERY App related to sound quality and Audioforge is miles ahead of anything at the moment (5/17/2013). The article above is deacribing the first version rather than the 15 or so updates made since then. Doesn’t even look like the photos above. Trust me and Bear Studios – don’t waste time with anything other than Audioforge EQ. Happy to help if you have questions…

  • lydecker

    Tristan, I’ve been using the Audioforge Equalizer for just a short time now but am mostly impressed by it. My only real issue (apart from occasional crashing on my iPod Touch 4G) is not even a flaw: I find it daunting to correctly setup EQ settings. But I see that there is a “share” option within the app. Do you know of any place where users have uploaded or shared their own eq settings? Or perhaps you could share some of your own?
    Thanks