Skip to Content
adjusting tv settings with remote control
© Djedzura |
TV & streaming

Can’t hear the dialogue in shows and movies? Here’s how to fix that

Subscribing to more than a few streaming services will make you gasp at your monthly bill, but there’s a trick to catch your favorite TV shows and movies without breaking the bank. Tap or click here to save hundreds of dollars a year on streaming.

So you found your next date-night movie or binge-worthy show. The problem is you can’t hear what the characters are saying! Low-volume dialogue isn’t just annoying and unpleasant — you might miss something important under all the noise.

Thankfully, most current smart TVs offer plenty of sound options for a richer and more comfortable experience. EQ, bass and much more are all totally under your control. Can’t hear what people on TV are saying? There’s probably a good reason for that, although they do vary. Here’s how to solve the problem.

Adjust your TV’s settings

Which sound settings should you start with? Aside from simply adjusting the volume, try dynamic range sound. Enabling dynamic range compression will lift soft tones and lower loud ones, essentially narrowing the volume band into which each one must fit. 

Your TV’s brand may impact the name you’ll find this setting under. Here are a few popular monikers dynamic range goes by and their associated brands:

  • Clear Voice (LG).
  • Dolby Volume (Dolby Labs).
  • Accuvoice (Zvox Audio).
  • Audyssey Dynamic Volume (Audyssey).
  • Reduce Loud Sounds (Apple TV).
  • Studio Sound and TruVolume (DTS).

You might also find what you’re looking for using things like speech enhancement or dialogue enhancement, volume leveling or dynamic range control (DRC). These settings even the score aurally, compensating for poor conditions or a bad mix. Consult your owner’s manual for the exact details on adjusting these settings.

On an Apple TV, for example, you’ll find the Reduce Loud Sounds option under Video and Audio settings. For an Amazon Fire TV, try enabling Dolby Digital Plus under Dolby Digital Output in your nested Audio settings. You’ll find these in Display and Sounds.

If you’re using a Blu-ray or DVD player, the device itself may present similar volume options for dialogue. Check out the owner’s guide and tinker until you find a configuration that works for you.

Use headphones

Is an external audio device the key? It could be. Headphones or earbuds can be fabulous for loud commutes or listening in an otherwise chaotic environment. Tap or click here for our top five noise-canceling headphones.

Upgrade your sound system

Even if you’ve already got a surround sound system in your home theater, you can still amplify dialogue volume through additions made for the task. One fancy sound accessory includes a voice-clarifying speaker, which sits closer to your seat and brings the volume closer to your ears.

Soundbars are also fantastic. They offer the space a clean, well-placed sweep of sound that puts you right into the heat of the action. Here are five great sound bars to elevate your audio experience.

Again, the right headphones can make a huge difference, and noise cancellation might be able to solve part of the problem. This may be the case if you live in a noisy city. Headphone tech has come a long way, and your old ones might not cut it anymore.

Cut through the noise for a better viewing experience

Give these tips a shot and enjoy a more dynamic experience with every show or movie. 

For a truly cinematic movie night, it pays to fine-tune everything you can. Tap or click here for tips on adjusting the picture to go along with your newly-improved audio quality.

Ask me your digital question!

Navigating the digital world can be intimidating and sometimes downright daunting. Let me help! Reach out today to ask your digital question. You might even be on my show!

Ask Me