Question

Playbar voices low

  • 23 January 2018
  • 4 replies
  • 1912 views

I switched to a Sonos system a few years ago and have been thoroughly disappointed. I have a playbar, sub and 2 play ones. Surround and base are great but spoken voice is inaudible. Especially when the voices have any foreign accents (Vikings, game of thrones, knight fall, narcos, etc). I now have to turn on subtitles. It’s poor with dvds and cable tv. I have the “enhanced spoken word” option selected in the app. Really which Sonos would improve this aspect of the play bar.

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4 replies

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I have the sub with Playbar and voice is very clear
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Are you definitely getting DD5.1 output? You can check by going Settings - About - Playbar (or something like that).

Check that the output is DD5.1 and not just stereo. For stereo sources I find the same. Your issue may be that your TV can't passthrough DD5.1 so you're getting Stereo with everything.
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I switched to a Sonos system a few years ago and have been thoroughly disappointed. I have a playbar, sub and 2 play ones. Surround and base are great but spoken voice is inaudible. Especially when the voices have any foreign accents (Vikings, game of thrones, knight fall, narcos, etc). I now have to turn on subtitles. It’s poor with dvds and cable tv. I have the “enhanced spoken word” option selected in the app. Really which Sonos would improve this aspect of the play bar.

It's been 30 days since your post and you may have already either resolved the issue or taken a different route. My concern is that you say you switched to Sonos a few years ago. Have you been living with poor sound from the Playbar since that time or has the problem just recently manifested itself? There is a difference.

If recent you should submit a diagnostic and post the reference ID in this forum. Then CALL Sonos. They may be willing to replace the Playbar for a nominal fee if found defective.

Cheers!
I just purchased Playbar, play 1’s, and sub to replace my 20 year old 5.1 system. Very disappointed and will be returning for just the reason you stated, voices are muffled to inaudible. It seems that the right front, center, and left front channels are not properly separated on the soundbar. They get shoved together with the resulting inaudibility described. I constantly want to turn up the sound, but as soon as any action happens, I have to turn it down or get blown out. I tried all the surround adjustments and even the speech accentuation, but no significant change. Music on Sonos is great and the app is easy to use, but I bought the system as a wireless replacement to my old surround sound system. Definitely not the right choice for that.