iWow makes your music sound 'wow'
iWOW is perhaps my favourite iTunes plug-in. It makes your sound, whether videos, podcasts or music, feel much more vibrant. To dramatically improve sound, the user must simply choose their form of speakers (surround, laptop speakers, headphones etc), the type of sound and if music its genre. This takes no audiophile, but advanced options do exist.
iWOW exists for Windows, OS X and iPods. On OS X, only an iTunes plug-in is available. On Windows, either an iTunes plug-in or system-wide software are available. The system-wide software can obviously be used to improve sound in all applications, such as games. On an iPod, a hardware-based adapter is available which plugs into the iPod to improve its sound. I haven't tested the iTunes version.
The software or iPod adapter are unfortunately not free. The iTunes plug-in costs $40, the system-wide software costs $50 and the adapter costs $80. This sounds expensive but it sometimes included in bundles and discounts, MacUpdate for example offered it in their bundle.
SRS Labs, the makers of iWOW, claims to create 'an expansive sound stage' and to 'restore audio cues that are buried in the original source material'. I personally don't understand what that means, but have heard the sound quality it produces... even on my laptop speakers!
The software, at least on the Mac, is very easy to install. All one must do is run it. It is then installed in iTunes.
The question is whether or not it is worth $40. 51 reviews on MacUpdate give it 4/5 on average.
A few features like 'auto-detect' are missing in version 3, but were present in version 2. SRS Labs promise that this will be offered in an update in a few weeks.
Update: It appears that iWow is no longer available. The website it was posted on does not offer it anymore for download, and there does not seem to be alternatives available at this point in time.
The parent company SRS Labs, Inc, was acquired by DTS Inc back in 2012.
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