Google Chrome is the world's most popular web browser with 64.73% of the global market share according to Statcounter. If we’re not indulging in the best streaming services (e.g., Netflix, Spotify) from our laptops or desktop computers using Google Chrome, then we’re likely binging YouTube videos or going down the TikTok rabbit hole for bite-sized slices of entertainment.
With our eyes engrossed on the screen though, it’s often easy to overlook a computer’s audio performance. But not all the best computers come with powerhouse speakers that pump out dynamic sound, and some of the best headphones and best wireless earbuds also struggle to deliver stellar sonics when streaming music and movies from the internet.
Thankfully, there are numerous web browser extensions designed to boost computer audio, offering a toolbox of features to enhance the performance from web players in numerous ways.
Whether it’s crisper vocals, extended bass, spatial audio integration or versatile mixing, these 5 Google Chrome extensions allow you to customize your computer’s audio to your preferences better than many of the special audio control features found on your go-to streaming platform.
I've spent time installing and getting to know all of these Google Chrome audio extensions to see how they sound with my Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones (one of the best wireless headphones around right now). Each is designed to enhance and personalize the listening experience, and with that in mind here are my picks of the best Google Chrome audio extensions I've tried.
1. Mimi Sound Personalization
Mimi’s hearing test app is a mobile gem that does an incredible job of tuning sound to your unique hearing. It’s so good that numerous headphone makers from Anker to Focal to Skullcandy have incorporated the technology into their latest models for elite sound personalization. The company just launched its own Chrome extension called Mimi Sound Personalization. Once installed, the extension links to your Mimi sound profile created in the iOS/Android app and has dynamic sound settings (Softer, Richer), along with an intensity slider for aggressive or milder sound. Currently, it’s optimized to work with Disney+, Netflix, SoundCloud, Tidal, Vimeo, and YouTube streaming platforms.
2. Audio Master
Audio Master's Sound Booster & Pro Equalizer looks basic, but underneath its minimalist interface lies an extensive audio customization suite that users can tailor to their preference. Several in-depth settings are accessible including Pitch, Chorus, Reverb, Equalizer, and Limiter — each featuring sliders to adjust sound in ways your headphones’ companion app could never. There’s also a volume slider that peaks at 400%, should you want louder audio output.
A handful of the preset EQs (e.g. Acoustic, Treble Booster, Vocal) are worth the listen through your computer speakers, but the rest are skippable. Something else worth noting is that this extension is a bit buggy; you may need to toggle it off and on to get it working with the assigned web player. Outside of that, it’s a well-rounded tool worth the free download.
3. Boom 3D
Want more immersive sound from your Netflix viewings? You can either sign up for the streaming platform’s Premium Plan to experience their proprietary spatial audio on all supported devices, purchase the Bose QuietComfort Ultra headphones or Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds to enjoy universal 3D sound with all stereo content, or download the Boom 3D extension for free.
Let me be clear. This isn’t the game-changer that I experienced when using Bose’s Immersive Sound mode, nor will it produce surreal 3D sound, but it was effective at augmenting effects on Netflix content. It’s most useful for action films; melee combat and shooting scenes sound more visceral, and background noises and dialogue came through clearly as well.
4. BassMaster EQ
BassMaster EQ is another robust extension with multiple settings to fine-tune sonics and raise bass response. The 10-band EQ offers control of frequency bands spanning 32Hz to 16kHz, while the Bass Booster preset ramps up the low end, though you’ll want to keep volume at a reasonable level to avoid distortion. Over 20 presets are selectable, the majority being duds outside of Acoustic and Lounge, both of which emphasize the midrange for greater vocal presentation on recordings. Certain features are locked (e.g., Pitch, Reverb), but there’s enough here to satisfy casual listeners that want simple audio customization at their disposal.
You.DJ is a web tool for wannabe DJs to experiment and practice mixes on streaming services with a web player. It’s also useful for amplifying the music listening experience on Chrome. Access to bass boosters, frequency adjusters, and gain control (amplification) present a more professional take to audio customization. Production nerds can have fun with the XY pad, adding sleek touches to tracks by incorporating a variety of modern effects (e.g., echo, reverb, scratches). The results are surprisingly good.
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A lifestyle journalist with an affinity for consumer products, Alex has over a decade of experience and has worked with popular publications such as Complex, Thrillist, Men’s Health, Gear Patrol, AskMen, and Hoop Magazine. He currently focuses on audio, reviewing the most coveted headphones in the market for both Tom’s Guide and Laptop Magazine.
SteelSeries has a free app with a very nice audio enhancement suite in their software that you can use for FREE. I used Boom 3D for years, but love this one a lot more.Reply