The right way to enhance dialogue in your TV and eliminate muffled speech

How to improve dialogue on your TV and get rid of muffled speech

You do not have to endure by means of muffled TV sound while you comply with these straightforward suggestions.


The newest TVs can produce the very best pictures the medium has ever seen, however sadly the trade-off in sound high quality is appreciable. Flatscreen TVs are so skinny that there is nowhere for the audio system to go, and this implies they will additionally sound skinny. You need not reside with dangerous sound, although, as a result of we’re right here to assist.

If you happen to’re struggling to know the dialogue in your new favourite present, it is almost certainly the TV’s tiny audio system which can be guilty. Nevertheless, there could possibly be different causes — for instance, in case you discover that individuals’s lips are shifting however speech is not correlating, chances are you’ll want assist with a lip-sync situation.

In case your fundamental downside is that dialogue sounds muffled and incomprehensible, whether or not you are utilizing the TV audio system or a separate sound system, listed below are three issues you are able to do to repair it.

1. Verify your TV’s sound settings

TV audio system typically sound horrible, however most TVs have settings you should use to enhance their audio. Not too long ago, some buddies referred to as me to repair their TV sound — they mentioned dialogue was boomy and arduous to know. Upon arriving I discovered that the soundtrack was distorting at something however the quietest ranges. A glance contained in the set’s settings uncovered why: Somebody had created a bizarre Customized mode that had the bass jacked all the best way up.

TV calibration

Advantageous-tuning your TV sound settings could make dialogue sound far more comprehensible.

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Bass particularly is the enemy of comprehensible speech — it tends to cover the frequencies that assist us decipher what individuals are saying. Reasonably than play with particular person bass and treble controls, the best factor to do is to attempt the preset sound modes first. 

1. Use your distant to entry the TV’s settings menu, then search for a piece referred to as Audio, Sound or comparable.

2. On the prime of the menu must be a number of presets akin to Film, Consumer or Commonplace

3. Whereas watching a speech-heavy present or film, cycle by means of the totally different modes to see which sound greatest. 

If you happen to’re discovering the dialogue is mumbly, for instance, attempt a Dialog, Information or Speech Enhance mode. If that is not obtainable, Film or Commonplace is the following best choice.

Additionally, attempt biking by means of audio enhancements like Bass Enhance or Encompass, which regularly hurt dialogue, or Evening Mode, which may help (or not). Each TV and each room sounds totally different, so it is worthwhile to experiment.

In case your TV has one, it’s also possible to attempt lowering the person bass management like I did within the instance above (my buddies did not even want the soundbar). Just a little increase to treble may assist enhance intelligibility. As soon as you have bought the audio pretty much as good as you’ll be able to, merely exit out of the menu. You often do not want to put it aside, the TV ought to keep in mind.

2. Have a soundbar or speaker system? Attempt these tweaks

Exterior audio system will sound higher than what’s constructed into your TV, however they could want a little bit tweaking to assist with dialogue too. Your audio system could be too near the wall, as an illustration, or stuffed inside a cupboard. 

Listed here are some widespread fixes for dangerous sound, and so they do not value a cent. First, merely decide the form of system that you’ve:


As with TVs in step 1, attempt setting the soundbar right into a speech-enhancing mode, or Film or Commonplace.

In case your system has a subwoofer, it could possibly be too loud in comparison with the remainder of the system. Whereas explosions are enjoyable, they should not be on the expense of a superb story. You probably have a separate bass or sub management, attempt turning it down. It’s also possible to attempt putting the sub in an optimum place with this information.


The Klipsch Reference Theater Pack is a set of ultracompact 5.1 encompass audio system with a wi-fi subwoofer.

Sarah Tew/CNET

AV or stereo system with audio system

You probably have tower or bookshelf audio system, attempt shifting them away from the partitions and corners, after which level or “toe” them in in the direction of the center the place you sit. Eradicating speaker grilles can even increase the midrange by a few decibels. These little modifications alone will not be sufficient to remodel Sly Stallone into Laurence Olivier, however could possibly be sufficient to discern what an actor is drawling about.

The opposite factor to attempt is a calibration — whether or not by way of your receiver’s menu or app, or handbook. I want to do them by ear as automated calibrations virtually at all times want handbook tinkering anyway. See CNET’s information to calibrating your sound along with your cellphone.


The Inventive Stage is a funds soundbar that may simply enhance your TV sound.

Sarah Tew/CNET

3. Purchase a brand new soundbar

If the earlier choices aren’t chopping it for you, it could be time to spend money on some new tools. Fortunately glorious soundbars aren’t very costly, and virtually something will sound higher than a TV speaker. The Inventive Stage, for instance, is barely $80 and affords HDMI connections and a subwoofer. Vizio additionally makes a wonderful vary of soundbars.

Learn extraFinest soundbars to reinforce TV dialogue

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How to improve your TV’s dialogue


There are some soundbars specifically designed to make speech more intelligible. For instance, when Zvox branched out into hearing aid design the company brought the tech to its range of AccuVoice soundbars. The company has models starting at $100, and it includes the flagship Zvox AV357.

Going the next step and buying a surround system also has added benefits — especially if the system has a dedicated center channel speaker. In surround mixes dialogue often comes primarily from the center channel, and being able to increase its volume independently can really help.

More sound system recommendations

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