How to Boost Volume on a Chromebook Beyond Max

Key Takeaways

  • You can use browser extensions like Ears to boost the volume of online videos and music.
  • For offline videos, you can use an app like VLC media player that includes built-in equalization and volume controls.
  • Enjoy Music Player is the ideal option if you need to boost the volume of offline music.

It can be hard to jam out or keep up with a Zoom meeting if your Chromebook’s audio is too quiet. Happily, there’s a workaround that will make the volume levels of your dreams a reality. Here’s how you can give your Chromebook an above-max volume boost.

How Is Chromebook Volume Boosting Even Possible?

The maximum volume setting on Chromebooks is supposed to be the upper limit. So how is volume boosting beyond this maximum even possible? Well, it starts with the right software.

While ChromeOS might place constraints on the maximum volume the speakers can reach, the speakers themselves don’t have any hard limits. These limits are set by laptop manufacturers to stop at the maximum volume the speakers can reach without losing their pitch-perfect tone.

With the right software, you can bypass these limits on any operating system and boost your speakers beyond maximum volume. Just remember, volume limits are there for a reason, and any boosts beyond max volume will come with distortion.

Cranking up your speakers too loud can damage your speakers by causing the voice coil to blow. Use these tools sparingly—and if you’re hearing a lot of distortion, consider turning the power down.

How to Boost Volume in Chrome Browser

Chances are, you’re spending most of your Chromebook time in the Chrome browser. If the volume of a YouTube clip or your favorite podcast is too low, there are browser extensions to help.

Ears is an equalizer that works with any web page open in Google Chrome. As long as the page is playing audio, Ears can boost the volume. While other extensions can do this, Ears is easy to use, with a simple volume bar on the left side. It will be at your computer’s preset max level when you start. Click and drag it up to boost the volume.

The higher you drag the volume booster, the more distortion you will hear. To preserve your speakers, you should stop raising the volume the moment people’s voices start cracking or the bass thump sounds shrill rather than deep. Those are sure signs that you’re pushing the speakers beyond what’s healthy for them.

Of course, Ears is also an equalizer app, so you can boost individual frequencies too. If your main issue is with hearing people’s voices, try increasing only the appropriate frequencies. It would generally be at the 80, 160, or 320 marks in the EQ dashboard.

Download: Ears: Bass Boost, EQ Any Audio for Chrome (Free)

How to Boost Volume on Chromebook for Offline Videos

adjusting volume with the equalizer in vlc media player

If you’ve downloaded a movie or a few episodes of your favorite TV show to watch offline, your volume-boosting options are limited to the apps you use. Forget about the default Chrome video player; Android apps for Chrome, such as VLC, offer an ideal solution.

Some high-end Chromebooks have built-in equalization. If your Chromebook has this feature, you’ll find it in the Volume Control menu under the expanded Output options menu. Clicking the Equalizer icon (with several sliders) will bring you to a menu with control sliders for different frequency ranges.

VLC is a classic, tried-and-true media player that can play any file you throw at it. It’s one of the best free open-source media players out there—and if you have multiple systems, you can download VLC media player on Windows or Android, too.

The only drawback to VLC is that the audio boost option is a little hidden. Here’s how you can find that tricky setting and increase the volume of any file with VLC:

  1. Once the video is playing, click the screen to make the playback bar appear.
  2. Select Options (the three-dot icon) from the playback bar.
  3. Wait for a small black overlay window to appear. Then, click Equalizer (a three-line icon).
  4. VLC’s equalizer window will appear. You can adjust the horizontal bar at the top to raise or lower the volume.

If you wish to adjust specific frequency volumes, raise or lower the vertical bars. The leftmost bar controls the deepest frequencies of audio, while the rightmost bar controls the highest frequencies. Alternatively, you can select a preset to easily adjust the volume to better levels. The Live preset is ideal for movies.

Download: VLC for Android (Free)

How to Boost Volume on Chromebook for Offline Music

adjusting equalizer settings in enjoy music player

If you’re listening to tunes on your Chromebook with an online music streaming service, you can always boost the volume through the Ears extension mentioned above. But if you prefer offline music or have no choice (like when you’re on a plane and need to plug in your headphones), there are apps that can help you.

Enjoy Music Player, which comes with a built-in equalizer and volume boosting, is the ideal solution. After you’ve installed Enjoy Music Player, you can boost the volume of your favorite tunes in just a few steps:

  1. Click the equalizer button.
  2. Switch it on by clicking the toggle (it should turn blue).
  3. Click and drag the Preamp button higher to boost the volume.

Download: Enjoy Music Player for Chrome (Free)

Boost Your Chromebook Volume With a Bluetooth Speaker

close up photograph of a bluetooth speaker

While boosting your Chromebook’s volume beyond max is a helpful trick, it’s not worth risking damage to your speakers. However, a Bluetooth speaker makes an excellent upgrade. They’re powerful, affordable, and come in practically endless varieties.

Purchase a highly portable Bluetooth speaker if you want something easy to take on the go. Alternatively, if you’d like to make your Chromebook the life of the party, there are plenty of powerful Bluetooth speakers on the market.

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