Hajo's Headphone Enhancer

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only $18
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Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.11

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Virtual 5.1 Surround Sound that works with regular headphones

Using crazy mathematics and psychological knowledge, I can trick your brain into believing that the sound is coming from whatever direction your movie director wanted it to come from.

That way, you can experience a movie with full 5.1 surround sound over regular headphones. This approach is usually called "Virtual Surround Sound".

My headphone enhancer software simulates the way that sound coming from different directions naturally reflects when it hits your ear cups. Since that always happens in real life, your brain has learned to estimate the direction of a sound from the arrangement of these reflections.

That's the short explanation why this works on a psychological level. If you want to learn how virtual surround sound works programmatically, just follow the link to my blog.

Hajo's Headphone Enhancer is a small Mac app that will integrate into the operating system to enable you to listen to 5.1 surround sound over regular headphones.

It's called "Hajo's Headphone Enhancer" because my name is Hajo and first and foremost I built this app because I wanted to use it for myself :) It's called headphone enhancer because in addition to the 5.1 surround sound virtualization, it will also make electronic/dance/club music sound better :)

Overview of Hajo's Headphone Enhancer and its features

Since I built this app for myself so I could enjoy movies in all their cinema glory while sitting on the train, I made sure that it works with all the players that I regularly use. So you can rest assured that my software will work exceptionally well for:

  • listening to electronic music in iTunes on your mac with headhones
  • watching iTunes rental movies with headhones in 5.1 virtual surround sound on your mac
  • using VLC to watch MKV or MP4 movies with virtual surround sound
  • watching videos on YouTube with Google Chrome
  • discovering new artists on SoundCloud

Or at least, that's what I use this software for almost daily. So if any of that breaks, you'll probably get an update from me very quickly... because I want the update myself!

I'd say hearing is believing ;) I deliberately made it very easy to install and remove the trial version, which you can download for free and (also for free) use as long as you want. So please try this out, so you can hear for yourself how much more amazing your movies can sound on headphones :)

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for Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.11

Upgrade any Headphone to Virtual 5.1 Surround Sound using an affordable Mac App

  1. Regular headphones cannot handle movies in 5.1 surround sound.
  2. Club music sounds bad on headphones.

Hajo's Headphone Enhancer fixes both issues through virtual 5.1 surround sound simulation on Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.11.

Most movies that you can buy on iTunes come with 5.1 surround sound. Regular headphones cannot handle that. I bought new club music on iTunes and then I was horribly disappointed because it sounds like shit on headphones. I was so annoyed that I just had to build an app to fix this!

The resulting app, called "Hajo's Headphone Enhancer", works on OSX 10.7 to 10.11 and it'll tightly integrate into the operating system so that it feels just like a native part of your Mac. The app provides 3 outstanding features:

  1. It makes your Music sound amazing ;)
    Or at least, it makes your music sound the way that I like my music to sound.
  2. It enables you to watch movies in 5.1 surround on the train or bus ride.
  3. It works with the headphones you already own and like. You don't need to buy a new $150 gadget.

Download my free and unlimited trial
for Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.11

Free for as long as you want :)

While I am pretty happy about how this thing turned out in the end, you don't have to take my word for it. If you're OK with clicking the "Continue Trial" button every 30 minutes of continuous listening, you can legally use this software completely for free as long as you want. That is, the "trial" never ends.

Please note, however, that I cannot provide support for free users.

Download my free and unlimited trial
for Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.11


The Hajo Headphone Enhancer software is composed of a Mac app and a matching kernel driver. The software is designed to work on OSX 10.7 to 10.11. In cooperation with each other, the app and the kernel driver provide the following features:

1. The software will detect if headphones are plugged in and activate itself by redirecting the OSX audio output to the headphone enhancer software.

2. The software will enable applications to play 5.1 audio content to the "Hajo Headphone Enhancer" virtual audio device.

3. The software will use spatial virtualization algorithms in conjunction with equalizers to create a stereo version of the played 5.1 audio content. This generated audio signal is deliberately designed to trick the human brain into believing that the sound is coming from the desired direction, if said resulting signal is listened to on stereo-headphones. This resulting signal is then played back through the built-in audio device of the mac computer.

4. The trial version provides the same features as the full version, but it will de-activate itself after 30 minutes of continuous use until the user presses the "continue trial" button or provides a full license.

Download my free and unlimited trial
for Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.11


Die Hajo Headphone Enhancer Software besteht aus einer Mac app und einem dazugehörigen Kernel-Treiber. Die Software ist für den Betrieb auf OSX 10.7 bis 10.11 ausgelegt. Zusammen bieten die App und der Kernel-Treiber folgenden Funktionsumfang:

1. Die Software erkennt, ob Kopfhörer eingesteckt sind und aktiviert sich automatisch, falls dies der Fall ist. Die Software leitet dann die Audio-Ausgabe von OSX durch die Software um.

2. Die Software ermöglicht es anderen Programmen, 5.1 Audioinhalte auf der virtuelle "Hajo Headphone Enhancer" Soundkarte abzuspielen.

3. Die Software verwendet Virtualizations-Algorithmen und Equalizer, um aus den abgespielten 5.1 Audioinhalten eine Stereo-Fassung zu erstellen. Dieses Audiosignal wird mutwillig so erstellt, dass es das Gehirn zu der Annahme verleitet, dass der Ton aus der gewünschten Richtung kommt, wenn das Audiosignal über Stereo-Kopfhörer abgehört wird. Dieses generierte Audiosignal wird dann über das eingebaute Audiogerät des Mac-Computers abgespielt.

4. Die Trial-Version bietet den selben Funktionumfang wie die volle Version, deaktiviert sich allerdings nach 30 Minuten kontinuierlicher Nutzung, bis der Nutzer entweder den "continue trial" Knopf klickt, oder eine Lizenzdatei für die Vollversion lädt.

Download my free and unlimited trial
for Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.11


In addition to developing my own sound processing engine, I also licensed the NEW AUDIO TECHNOLOGY surround virtualization engine so that you can compare the sound of my self-developed audio enhancement engine with some of their measured real-life studio locations.

In case you never heard of 'em, it's the people who have been making Headphone Surround 3D versions for a bunch of blockbusters for more than a decade, their most recent work being the Expendables 3 – Extended Director’s Cut Blu-Ray and DVD.

A list of the used 3rd-party technology can be found here.

Download my free and unlimited trial
for Mac OS X 10.7 to 10.11

Curious about mathematics?

I wrote a blog posts about how the mathematics work and how I implemented it as a Mac OS kernel driver and agent app on my blog:

How Surround Sound for Headphones Works

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OS X 10.7 - 10.11
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If you have an improvement request or need support, please post to my facebook page.

Hajo's Headphone Enhancer is being developed by:

Hajo Nils Krabbenhöft
hajo UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Am Fährberg 25
24107 Quarnbek

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The app icon contains a modified version of an icon that Kevin Hipke released under Creative Commons - Attribution (CC BY 3.0) license.