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Need advice for fixing low voice audio in movies

740 Views 4 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Slaughtahouse
I need to know what I need to buy to fix this problem.

Issue: When watching movies on our cheapo 4k TV with a Sony sound bar attached, voices are really low and action scenes and sound FX are loud AF.

I have tried to equalize with built in equalizer on TV and sound bar. Nothing works. So what is the minimum priced equipment I need to buy to fix this?

My setup: 4k Seiki TV with a Sony 100 dollar sound bar. We play movies from any streaming service hosted on our Xbox. Connected to TV via HDMI, then connected to our sound bar via HDMI arc.
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· 50 Cans of Ravioli
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36,857 Posts
all movies or some movies? if it's in all movies it's a hardware issue/limitation/configuration problem.

what specific sound bar? connect your PC or a laptop to your TV and play something through VLC. is it better or the same?

if you haven't already tried it you can enable DRC or "night mode" on the TV if it's got it.
 

· Registered
5900X, RTX 3080
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854 Posts
Any AVR and a basic 5.1 setup will fix that - even a decade-old second hand AVR with cheap speakers would work. Soundbars are terrible. That being said, have you tried just the TV speakers and looked for a 'voice' mode in Sound options?
 

· Iconoclast
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34,175 Posts
Most 5.1 audio sources favor the center channel heavily for voices, so if you have a stereo soundbar, or one with a weak center channel, you'll need to boost that channel considerably, relative to the rest, then increase overall volume.

If the EQ/mixers available can't achieve acceptable results, get something that has a decent center channel. Ideally this would be a discrete center speaker, but if space is an issue, there are '3.0' or '5.1' soundbars that should suffice.
 

· H₂O Aficionado
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6,033 Posts
^ Boost the center channel is a great first step.

I have a ~$250 5.1 samsung home theatre system from 2010 and this is a major pain point. Nothing fancy. Just your typical Walmart / Best Buy type kit.

It has a feature called "clear voice" or something similar and it automatically does this. It has trade offs. Highs / lows are less... dynamic? Sorry, I can't find the right words but when other FX sounds play out, they will be quieter. If I just boost center, it's not enough. So you may have to also lower other channels too (if you dont have the feature).
 
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