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Speech vs sound effects

  • 30 April 2020
  • 9 replies
  • 215 views

I bought a beam to help with the problem of when watching tv having to sometimes turn the volume up to hear the dialogue, while music plays at a much louder volume. With beam installed per instructions the problem is much worse. I’ve just watched the Hobbit movies on Viaplay. While the special effects and every hiss from the dragon blasts at high volume, at times you can’t hear the speech. I’ve turned on speech enhancement, it makes it better but not good. I also tried night setting but that didn’t make much difference. Is there a setting adjustment I can make so there is a balance between the sounds. I really could care less about the hissing dragon at max volume, but I do want to hear what people are saying. It’s a pity to have to turn on texting to follow the plot.

Is there an adjustment that will fix this? If so what do you suggest?

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Best answer by HighEndMusic 30 April 2020, 13:01

For me it works best to activate BOTH speech enhancement AND night mode - that way the volume differences are OK.

 

The reality is that the actual surround sound which comes with movies etc is intentionally mixed the way you are experiencing as they want you to “feel” the sound effects full force and then hear voices at normal volume.

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9 replies

Userlevel 3
Badge +6

For me it works best to activate BOTH speech enhancement AND night mode - that way the volume differences are OK.

 

The reality is that the actual surround sound which comes with movies etc is intentionally mixed the way you are experiencing as they want you to “feel” the sound effects full force and then hear voices at normal volume.

Thanks! I shall test that tonight.

I too am experiencing the low volume in dialogue. I noticed they’ve closed a lot of the comments from others who have complained. Does anyone know if this can be fixed by a Sonos firmware upgrade? This is just crazy that Sonos dropped the ball on this speaker. I had a Vizio soundbar, ½ the price of the Beam that I’ve had for 12 years that sounds better. I’m ready to move the Vizio from our game room and attaching it to our new 75” and moving the Beam to use on our 7 year old 50”.  I tried all the “workarounds” that others have suggested but it just sounds like tinny crap. I may as well just use the internal tv speakers. It’s unacceptable for a company that specializes in sound systems. 

Userlevel 4
Badge +12

Hi @mfen, thanks for reaching out with the Sonos Community! I understand where you are coming from and thanks for bringing this up. We’ll be more than glad to help you on this case. 

Have you tried the suggestion by @HighEndMusic

For me it works best to activate BOTH speech enhancement AND night mode - that way the volume differences are OK.

 

The reality is that the actual surround sound which comes with movies etc is intentionally mixed the way you are experiencing as they want you to “feel” the sound effects full force and then hear voices at normal volume.

Do you also have surround speakers and Sub set up to the Beam? Can you also tell me if what are the steps you’ve done so far? We want you to enjoy your Sonos experience and just let us know. 

We and the community are always here to help.

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

It's same on the Playbar, would be nice to be able to increase the volume on the centre channel with the Sonos App.

I tried everything before I gave up and returned the beam. My old tv has better sound for dialogue, even with the beam on night and speech enhancement. 

Apparently there are other products on the market that alllow you to tweak the center channel, where the voice is.

I plan to get a whole new package: new tv, dvd, and speakers - not easy to navigate in the djungle of different systems, screens, sound, speakers, and not to forget the apps so all your devices play nice together. A project for the winter season...

Userlevel 4
Badge +12

Hi @Keithmac, thanks for reaching out with the Sonos Community! If you have added surround speakers and Sub with the Playbar, you should be able to adjust the surround audio settings and change Sub audio settings.

  1. Open the Sonos app for iOS or Android.
  2. From the Settings tab, tap System.
  3. Under Products, tap the room that your Sub/Surround is in.
  4. Under Sound, tap Sub Audio/Surround Audio.

You can adjust the following settings:

Surround Audio

Setting Description
Surrounds Tap the switch to toggle surround sound on or off.
TV Level Use the slider to increase or decrease the volume of the surround speakers when watching TV.
Music Level Use the slider to increase or decrease the volume of the surround speakers when listening to music.
Music Playback Select the type of audio you want to hear from the surround speakers when listening to music. This setting does not apply to TV audio.
 
  • Ambient: Subtle, low volume audio with a limited frequency range. This is the default setting for surround speakers during music playback.
  • Full: Full range audio at the same volume as the home theater speaker.
Balance Surround Speakers Use this to tell Sonos how far away your surround speakers are from your main listening position. Balancing your surround speakers will adjust the overall volume of TV and Music playback on the surround speakers.
Reset Tap this to reset all surround audio settings to their default values.

 

Sub Audio

Setting Description
Sub Tap the switch to toggle the Sub audio on or off.
Sub Level Use the slider to increase or decrease the volume of the Sub audio.
Phase Control Select the phase of the Sub audio to help compensate for weak bass during playback.
Reset Tap this to reset all Sub audio settings to their default values.

 

That being said, once the surround/Sub has been added to the home theatre device like your Playbar, the volume control will be applicable to all of them, that’s why it’s best to use that adjustment setting for your surround/Sub desired volume. 

And thanks for your reply and for bringing that up, @Eva D. We want you all to enjoy your experience with the Sonos products and if you have further questions or if you need any assistance, just let us know. You can always check our Sonos website whichever works on your set up or you prefer. 

It is our pleasure. We and the community are always here to help.

Userlevel 6
Badge +13

I have Play1 surrounds and Sub.

As someone mentioned above half the battle is how the 5.1 films have been mastered. Centre channel boost would be a nice addition.

Userlevel 4
Badge +12

Hi @Keithmac, thanks for your response. Yes, we’ll forward your feedback to the assigned team. For now, just try to play around with the Sub and Surrounds audio settings in the Sonos app for music and TV level. 

Just let us know if you need anything. We and the community are always here to help.

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