How to Use The Equalizer in VLC Media Player

Enhance your digital music library's sound

VLC Media Player Equalizer
VLC Media Player EQ Tool. Image © Mark Harris - Licensed to About.com, Inc.

What is the Benefit of Using the Equalizer?

Users often assume when they are streaming songs, playing music videos, or even watching movies that their favorite software media player is already set up to output audio in the best possible way. However, the default audio settings they come with are usually less than optimal. There are usually audio enhancements built into software players specifically aimed at tweaking sound for any listening environment.

One of the most important features in VLC Media Player for enhancing audio is the equalizer. This is a tool that allows you to control the output level of set frequency bands, which range from 60 Hz to 16 KHz. The program sports a 10-band graphic equalizer which you can use to get exactly the audio you need.

But, this feature is disabled by default. And, unless you've already tinkered about under VLC Media Player's interface, you might not have noticed it at all.

In this guide learn how to use EQ presets and also how to manually configure the equalizer with your own settings.

Enabling the Equalizer and Using Presets

As previously mentioned this feature is disabled by default. To activate it so you can use the built-in presets, do the following:

  1. Click the Tools menu tab at the top of VLC Media Player's main screen and choose the Effects and Filters option. Alternatively, you can also hold down the CTRL key and press E to get to this same menu.
  1. On the equalizer tab (under the Audio Effects menu), click the check box next to the Enable option.
  2. To use a preset, click the drop-down menu located on the right-hand side of the equalizer screen. As you can see from the list, VLC Media Player has a good selection of presets to choose from which mostly cover popular genres. There are also a few specific settings too like full bass, headphones, large hall, etc. Click on a setting that you like the look of.
  1. Now that you've chosen a preset it's a good idea to start playing a song so you can hear what it sounds like. Just play a song from one of your playlists or click Media > Open File to choose one.
  2. As the song plays you can change presets on-the-fly to get the optimum sound you're looking for.
  3. If you want to tweak a preset, then you can do this with the slider bars on each frequency band. If for example, you want to boost the bass then adjust the low-frequency bands on the left-hand side. To change how high-frequency sounds are heard, adjust the sliders on the right-hand side of the EQ tool.
  4. When you are happy with a preset simply click the Close button.