Dolby Digital 5.1, Sonos Beam & 2xPlay:1 - Dialogue in the surrounds?

  • 28 December 2018
  • 10 replies
  • 607 views

Userlevel 1
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Guys,

Hoping you can help?

I have recently moved from a Sony 5.1 Amp and separate speakers. When playing a movie in 5.1, as you'd expect the centre speaker is used for dialogue with the front and rear surrounds used for directional effects etc.

Am now using a Beam with 2x Play:1's (for surround) and am playing Plex/NetFlix/NowTV Movies via a Roku 4K USB streaming stick (plugged into a LG TV)

The TV is plugged into the Beam via HDMI ARC. Both TV & Roku stick are configured specifically for Dolby Digital.

For some reason, I get quite alot of dialogue in the surrounds. To the point that it doesn't feel like 5.0. It feels more like a ghost mode and the sound from the bar is simply replicated at a lower level in the surrounds.

Any ideas what the problem could be?

Thanks in advance??

10 replies

Maybe a silly question, but did you configure the surrounds as actual surrounds? Because the effect you state would be the result of simply grouping the two rooms together, instead of adding the Play:1 pair as surrounds in the Room Settings for the Beam.
Userlevel 7
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WBChunx: Is it possible that the surrounds were configured with the TV volume level all the way up? Alternatively, you may want to take a look at the distance selected when it asks how far the surrounds are from the listening point. If you were to select the furthest distance, the surrounds would be playing much louder than if it were closer.
Userlevel 1
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Guys,

Thanks for coming back so quick. To answer your questions;

The surrounds are configured as surrounds.

The beam and Play:1's were tuned with Trueplay. The volume of the surrounds is pretty much what I'd expect them to be. My concern is that if someone is on the screen front and centre, I'd only expect the dialogue to be on the centre channel. If I get close to the surrounds I can hear it there also. Its as though the beam is not decoding properly or I guess it may not be recieiving the right signal. Its as though the whole soundtrack is playing everywhere. To confirm, they set are configured as surrounds.....
Userlevel 3
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WBChunx: Is it possible that the surrounds were configured with the TV volume level all the way up? Alternatively, you may want to take a look at the distance selected when it asks how far the surrounds are from the listening point. If you were to select the furthest distance, the surrounds would be playing much louder than if it were closer.

Ive just set mine up and the distance question is not asked?
I just added the speakers then used Trueplay to set the room up.
All seems to work OK.
Userlevel 3
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If you look at the Beam room does it show it as Room Name (LS + RS) ?
Userlevel 1
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Thanks

I've been testing with a few different movies, its very clearly worse in some films over others. I suspect its working fine and is highlighting poor mixing within soundtracks.

I'll keep playing and will report back my findings.

Thanks for all help
Userlevel 1
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Evening,

Just circling back around for an update!

Most definitely down to bad soundtracks. The issue is quite clear on older movies but fine on anything in the last decade. I could probably do a bit more testing but am happy its working.

Thanks again for the responses.
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Did you check in the [settings/about] that some of these movies are actually published in 5.1? Especially as you say they are old. Could be they are stereo and the upmixing ends up pushing lots of dialog to surrounds
Userlevel 7
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Did you check in the [settings/about] that some of these movies are actually published in 5.1? Especially as you say they are old. Could be they are stereo and the upmixing ends up pushing lots of dialog to surrounds
Great point!

If you don't mind, WBChunx, please submit a diagnostic report when you hear this happening and reply here with the confirmation number. With the report, I should be able to verify the type of audio it is actually receiving.
Userlevel 1
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Thanks Guys.

I can confirm that the films I am referring to are decoding 5.1. Stereo and Pro Logic movies are not good, I've kind of taken that as a given, these are specfically 5.1. I suspect they are just old mixes and weren't done particularly well.

Thanks again

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