There’s no better feeling than splashing out on a new pair of earbuds and being caught off-guard by how great they sound. Generally speaking, good-sounding headphones are ready to spin your favorite record straight out of the box. However, those seeking to tweak their audio can do so within their headphones’ companion app, and many users will find that presets help bring specific elements of music to life. On the other hand, audiophiles likely want the ability to customize their sound to perfection. The problem is that most headphone companion apps don’t offer flexible audio customization. If presets miss the mark, you’re stuck with a soundscape that you can’t adjust and are not fully happy with.

Thankfully, it isn’t all doom and gloom. If greater audio control is what you’re after, look no further than third-party EQ apps. There’s an increasing amount of free and paid-for equalizers to choose from nowadays. In addition to varying prices, equalizer apps don’t all play the same. Some EQs are simple and user-friendly, while others are intricate and aimed at audiophiles. With all this in mind, let’s discuss the pros and cons of using equalizers and look at some popular third-party EQ apps.