Surround sound and voices

Old 02-26-19, 11:44 PM
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Surround sound and voices

I have a older Sony STR-DE445 receiver, older Bose 201 series IV front speakers and a decent center speaker along with 2 rears. I am constantly turning the volume up and down during movies because I cant hear voices. A lot of the problem is probably my hearing not being the greatest.
Was wondering if getting a decent soundbar instead of the surround would be better at hearing voices. Best Buy guy suggested new speakers or wire. Donít think that is the problem.
Looking for any suggestions, thanks
Old 02-27-19, 05:40 AM
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A lot can depend on how you have your system set up. I would start by checking your equalizer settings. Try adjusting your settings to give a boost to the frequencies for speech.

And for good measure I would disconnect all your speakers except for one. Route sound through that one speaker at a reasonable volume and listen. Repeat that with each speaker. Listen for signs that a speaker is blown or not performing as it should.

Old 02-27-19, 05:47 AM
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I'm thinking perhaps the surround sound is giving you TOO MUCH sound quality, i.e. it is giving you background noises on the video that may not be as noticeable with just tv speakers or with a sound bar. We added a sound bar on the tv in what we call the "parent cave" and love it.

FWIW this is the one we have, but there are others that are not as pricey; I can vouch for the good sound on this one:
Old 02-27-19, 05:48 AM
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PD types faster than I do.
Old 02-27-19, 07:31 AM
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That receiver has a plethora of audio encoding and surround sound features/settings. It may be a good idea to reset everything to factory settings then start over to attain the sound you want. According to the manual, with the receiver off, hold down "Mode" and press the power button.
Old 02-27-19, 09:00 AM
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What is the source of "movies" playing DVD/BlueRay, streaming on TV?

I'd check the receiver specifications/settings for the center channel.

Many TV shows are encoded so that if you have a center channel/mono, it accentuates "voice" and dialog.
Many movies are the opposite, they're encoded to show off right-left, behind you.

I'd check the settings of the source of the movie - cable box or disk player, and try different dobly 2.1 or 5.1 setups.
Old 02-27-19, 10:07 AM
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So just went through similar situation.

Do a little research on movies and you will find the exact same complaint, when they mix the sound they go for "immersion" meaning the explosions are loud, the music is loud and it simply drowns out the voices.

Add a little hearing degradation and like me everything gets mumble.

So back in Dec I purchased one of the Zvox sound bars, currently it's the only bar out there with sound algorithms (basically a hearing aid) to push back the sound and enhance the voices.

Guess what, it worked, sort of.

The unit I purchase was AV203 with 6 levels of movie/TV sound and voice boost.

However after level 2 the sound quality got so tinny that everybody else started to complain.

I had the 2 month free trial and sent back since the base unit (2 level) is now on sale for about half the cost.

Now that we are back using the old soundbar it's really noticeable how good the ZVOX was working!

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