Problem with audio in movie / tv Sony kdl65w850a

  • 10 February 2019
  • 8 replies
  • 244 views

Hi I have a Sony kdl65w850a that has a sub. Playbar & two sonos 3’s as a 5.1 set up. We ALWAYS struggle with speech in any movies or shows we watch. We have enhanced the speech the via the app. No improvement. Sound effects always drown out the audio. Any advice on our set up ? We have the optical cable into playbar straight from tv

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8 replies

First, what does the Sonos say it's getting? Open up the controller app, and go to settings, and then select "About My Sonos System". Look for the line under your PLAYBAR that says Audio In, and let us know what it says after that.

What is your source of video? Are you watching a cable box signal, or a satellite TV signal, or a DVD player, etc? What audio settings do you have on the TV set? What audio settings do you have on whatever is feeding the TV with a signal?
Dolby 5.1 when watching Netflix or Stan. Stereo for nba league pass. Same issues with voices no matter what. Will send you our tv audio settings tonight. Thanks
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Hi there, I have the same issue with the Beam and a pair of Play 1's for surround. These are the settings I use to try and improve the issue, maybe they will help you get a more pleasing sound from your system too.

The first thing you should do is disable the Loudness setting in the Equalization menu under Room Settings. Loudness will boost certain frequencies, including bass, during low listening volumes, which can make the sound effects even louder.

Also you should make sure to do TruePlay tuning for your setup.

I use the default settings, with Loudness Off and Trueplay On for most TV listening.

In action movies if the sound effects are too loud, I turn down the volume until the effects are at an OK level and turn on Speech Enhancement. Sometimes this will be enough to make voices intelligible and sound effects manageable.

If this does not work and speech is still too low in relation to sound effects, I will enable Night Sound. I don't find that Night Sound does anywhere near enough to make dialogue more clear, while reducing the intensity of loud sounds, but combined with the other settings, it may just be enough to make an enjoyable listening experience.

This has to be adjusted on a case by case basis. I realize that these issues can come from how the audio is mastered. But that does not mean that I should not expect my Sonos Home Theater system to have enough adjustment to make the listening experience enjoyable for me, and voices easily intelligible. I think that the Speech Enhancement and Night Sound modes could do with a lot more work and several levels of intensity to match varying content. I would also like to see a center channel volume adjustment for 5.1 sources, that simply allows the center channel volume to be increased relative to the overall volume without altering the frequencies for speech in any other way. Just a simple volume adjustment.
Boosting the audio frequencies associated with the human voice can be done separately for stereo or PCM sources.

Something else you can try is to adjust the bass in a worst case scenario. Find a movie that is particularly bad with loud overpowering effects and low voices. Turn on Speech Enhancement and set the volume so that the voices are easily heard. Then replay a particularly loud scene in the video while decreasing the bass one notch at a time until the effects are no longer overpowering. This way you can turn off Speech Enhancement for normal TV and turn it on for worst case scenarios.

This worked for me until I experimented with turning Loudness Off.

One other thing I am now experimenting with is the Amazon Fire TV Stick 4k, the latest one. It is on sale right now and it has it's own Dialogue Enhancer and Volume Leveler settings. It can be set to always output Dolby Digital and the dialogue enhancement and volume leveling can be done before it gets to your Playbar or Beam. Possibly leaving more room for the Playbar or Beam settings to work in addition to this. The remote also controls volume on my Beam and powers on my TV, so it is a neat solution for streaming apps. I mainly watch movies in Netflix. I am just trying it out right now, as I have only had it for a day or so.

That may be worth a try given the sale price and Amazon's return policy if your main source of movies is Netflix or some other streaming app, as long as it is supported by the Fire TV.

Let me know how you get on and good luck!
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I am having exactly the same issues, whilst watching Blu-ray, Guardians of the Galaxy, with Beam, PLAY:1 as surrounds and Sub, speech low so turn up volume only for the effects in an action scene to blow my head off !!
Fiddling with the effects for ages whilst watching spoils the enjoyment of watching the film and annoys the missus, will try some of your suggestions which I hadn’t thought of, thanks.
First, what does the Sonos say it's getting? Open up the controller app, and go to settings, and then select "About My Sonos System". Look for the line under your PLAYBAR that says Audio In, and let us know what it says after that.

What is your source of video? Are you watching a cable box signal, or a satellite TV signal, or a DVD player, etc? What audio settings do you have on the TV set? What audio settings do you have on whatever is feeding the TV with a signal?

Hi Bruce

See input for Netflix Dolby 5.1. I have also attached my Sony tv sound settings. Still atrocious. Any help appreciated
Tv setting
Hmmm, thanks for that, it's most helpful.

It does look like the PLAYBAR is getting the correct type of signal. But the settings on your TV raise some questions in my mind, since I'm unfamiliar with that particular TV.

What are the options available under Dual Sound? It currently says Stereo, and I'm hoping that there's another option that says "Dolby Digital" or something like that. Frankly, I don't know what "Dual Sound" really means.

The only other suggestion I'd have is turning on Speech Enhancement in the Sonos controller app: https://support.sonos.com/s/article/1948

And I guess there might be audio settings on whatever device you're using to feed the TV. It looks like they're apps on your TV, based on your original posts, do they each have their own audio settings?

You might be better served by contacting Sonos to discuss it. They probably have a much better familiarity with your particular TV than I do.