If you use iTunes on your Mac or Windows PC, the new $39 iWOW Premium Plug-in from SRS Labs will become the most cost-effective expenditure toward making your tunes and videos POP with delightful sound.

Even if you do not have the best computer speakers or if you’re on a laptop, iWOW Premium will bring a new love to whatever it is you may be enjoying via iTunes.  What’s more, you will get the sensation of 5.1 surround sound from those two speakers as well as if you listen via headphones.

You may already be familiar with the work of the good folks at SRS Labs. You may already have the predecessor to this version and have read my review of that original product.

So many TVs and audio receivers already feature SRS sound enhancement technology.  They do with two speakers what some cannot do with four or more.  Purists need not apply!  Snooty sound snobs do not like anything that is unnatural, but real people (like you and I) will like the enhancements provided by SRS Labs.  What I mean by this is that what SRS Labs does with sound, as do others in the field, is mess with our heads.

This is the science of psychoacoustics.  It plays with our heads, but in a very nice way.  I urge each and every one of you to go now to the Website and click to download the 14-day FREE trial.  Yes, FREE.  Go there now, download and install the trial software.  Launch your iTunes.  You’ll be prompted to click to use the demo version.  Then, click on the “?” at the top right of the iWOW panel to see some basics of what it’s all about.  And then, listen to some of your favorite music, switching between the active iWOW Premium plug-in and de-activating it by clicking on the blue virtual power switch in the middle and near the top of the panel.  You see it below in the photo.  You will hear the difference.  This I promise you.

Please play around.  Notice that there is the word CONTENT at the left near the top.  This is where you choose either music or video.  Simple enough? And just wait until you do the same with video content played through iTunes!  Now, look to the right near the top to where you see the word OUTPUT.  This is where you select from the icons for headphones, external speakers or a laptop to indicate laptop speakers.  Where it says General below in the picture, you see a slider that is almost fully to the right.  This slider is the Gain, which boosts the sound in much the same was as a pre-amplifier.  You may wish to play with this a bit. I leave mine about where you see the slider.

Listen carefully as you will tend to think there are speakers not only in front of you but also behind you, depending upon the content being heard.  This is especially effective if there is a wall behind you.  What you are hearing is the very effective way SRS Labs’ technology delivers a simulated 5.1 surround sound-like experience from just two speakers (or your conventional headphones).

Now that you have, hopefully, done what I suggested and have listened just a little bit through this plug-in, please continue reading if you wish.  Or, if you are satisfied with your experience and agree that this is really something special, take a break and enjoy the plug-in.  You’re going to be sold on it and want to buy it.  My mission is accomplished!

iWOW is a plug-in that can bring out sound beyond the listener’s previous awareness.  For example you may be one who tweaks the EQ levels on your iPod or on other audio equipment.  If this is you, then you know that you can emphasize or de-emphasize sound along the audio spectrum from lows to highs.  Putting these adjustments on steroids is what SRS Labs has done with this product, only more so.  If you have no idea what it is you just read, you are the perfect candidate to absolutely love what it is SRS Labs delivers in this iWOW Premium product.

Why?  Because you will immediately recognize the positives the product brings to your enjoyment of whatever it is you are hearing through your iTunes software.

I just installed it on my Mac Pro with attached Bose Media Mate speakers.  Yes, it’s WOW and with a nice, clean, more inviting interface than in the previous version.  I’ve tried cuts from Aerosmith PUMP, The Phantom of the Opera (Broadway), Beach Boys Pet Sounds, several Beatles cuts, Bob Dylan, and about a dozen more from among more than 12,000 cuts in my growing iTunes library.  With each, the sound was more pleasurable, wider, bigger, with greater definition.  With each cut, I heard more highs, lows and mid-range sounds than without SRS iWOW Premium for iTunes.  There simply is no comparison.  Without it, sound is blah.  With it, sound is WOW!  It’s just that simple.

And then I played videos via iTunes. I transferred the recent John Adams HBO miniseries from my HD TiVo to iTunes on my Mac.  Watching parts of the miniseries gave me the feeling I was in a theater instead of watching and listening on my excellent 24-inch Dell monitor with the Bose speakers.  I tweaked for my own taste the Advanced Controls under the OPTIONS menu, which allowed even better sound.

It’s not complicated, and that is why everyone can enjoy the experience.

Though it is not complicated, that does not mean it is not capable of adjustments to the user’s tastes.  Click on Options at the top left of the iWOW Premium panel to gain access to what is above.  Adjust if you dare.  You cannot hurt it.

Go ahead, also, and pull down the main adjustment to select presets for the type of music currently playing, or leave it on General.  It’s totally up to the user.

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