If you're having trouble hearing the TV, your speaker settings are likely to blame - CNET

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Tired of muffled dialogue? You tin hole it.

Screenshot by Bonnie Burton/CNET

The latest TVs may beryllium capable to nutrient astonishing images, but they tin besides endure from mediocre dependable quality. The reason? Flatscreen TVs are truthful bladed there's obscurity for the speakers to go, and this means they tin besides sound thin. You don't request to unrecorded with atrocious sound, though, due to the fact that we're present to help.

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If you're struggling to recognize the dialog successful your new favourite show, it's astir apt the TV's tiny speakers that are to blame. However, determination could beryllium different causes -- for example, if you find that people's lips are moving but code isn't correlating, you whitethorn request help with a lip-sync issue.

If your main occupation is that dialog sounds muffled and incomprehensible, whether you're utilizing the TV speakers oregon a abstracted sound system, present are 3 things you tin bash to hole it.

1. Check your TV's dependable settings

TV speakers often dependable terrible, but astir TVs person settings you tin usage to amended their audio. Recently, immoderate friends called maine to hole their TV dependable -- they said the dialog was boomy and hard to understand. Upon arriving, I recovered the soundtrack was distorting astatine thing but the quietest levels. A look wrong the settings uncovered why: Someone had created a weird Custom mode that had the bass jacked each the mode up.

TV calibration

Fine-tuning your TV dependable settings tin marque dialog dependable overmuch much understandable.

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Bass successful peculiar is the force of understandable speech: It tends to fell the frequencies that assistance america decipher what radical are saying. Rather than play with idiosyncratic bass and treble controls, the easiest happening to bash is to effort the preset dependable modes first. 

1. Use your distant to entree the TV's settings menu, past look for a conception called Audio, Sound oregon thing similar.

2. At the apical of the paper should beryllium a enactment of presets specified arsenic Movie, User oregon Standard

3. While watching a speech-heavy amusement oregon movie, rhythm done the modes to spot which ones dependable best. 

If you're uncovering the dialog is mumbly, for example, effort a Dialog, News or Speech Boost mode. If that's not available, Movie oregon Standard is the adjacent champion option.

Also, effort cycling done audio enhancements similar Bass Boost oregon Surround, which often harm dialogue, oregon Night Mode, which tin assistance (or not). Every TV and each country sounds different, truthful it's worthwhile to experiment.

If your TV has one, you tin besides effort reducing the idiosyncratic bass power similar I did successful the illustration above. (My friends didn't adjacent request the soundbar.) A small boost to treble whitethorn besides assistance amended intelligibility. Once you've got the audio arsenic bully arsenic you can, simply exit the menu. You usually don't request to prevention it; the TV should remember.

2. Have a soundbar oregon talker system? Try these tweaks

External speakers volition dependable amended than what's built into your TV, but they whitethorn request a small tweaking to assistance with dialog too. Your speakers mightiness beryllium excessively adjacent to the wall, for instance, oregon stuffed wrong a cabinet. 

Here are immoderate communal fixes for atrocious sound, and they don't outgo a cent. First, simply prime the benignant of strategy that you have:


As with TVs successful measurement 1, effort mounting the soundbar to a speech-enhancing mode, Movie oregon Standard.

If your strategy has a subwoofer, it could beryllium excessively large compared to the remainder of the system. While explosions are fun, they shouldn't beryllium astatine the disbursal of a bully story. If you person a abstracted bass oregon sub control, effort turning it down. You tin besides effort placing the sub successful an optimal presumption with this guide.


The Klipsch Reference Theater Pack is simply a acceptable of ultracompact 5.1 situation speakers with a wireless subwoofer.

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AV oregon stereo strategy with speakers

If you person operation oregon bookshelf speakers, effort moving them distant from the walls and corners, and past constituent oregon "toe" them successful towards the mediate wherever you sit. Removing talker grilles volition besides boost the midrange by a mates of decibels. These small changes unsocial won't beryllium capable to alteration Sly Stallone into Laurence Olivier, but could beryllium capable to discern what an histrion is drawling about.

The different happening to effort is simply a calibration -- whether via your receiver's paper oregon app, oregon manual. I similar to bash them by receptor arsenic automated calibrations astir ever request manual tinkering anyway. See CNET's usher to calibrating dependable with your phone.


The Creative Stage is simply a fund soundbar that tin easy amended your TV sound.

Sarah Tew/CNET

3. Buy a caller soundbar

If the erstwhile options aren't cutting it for you, it whitethorn beryllium clip to put successful immoderate caller equipment. Thankfully fantabulous soundbars aren't precise expensive, and astir thing volition dependable amended than a TV speaker. The Creative Stage, for example, is lone astir $90 and offers HDMI connections and a subwoofer. Vizio besides makes an fantabulous scope of soundbars.

Read moreBest soundbars to heighten TV dialogue

There are immoderate soundbars specifically designed to marque code much intelligible. For instance, when Zvox branched retired into proceeding assistance design the institution brought the tech to its scope of AccuVoice soundbars. The institution has models starting astatine $100, and it includes the flagship Zvox AV357.

Going the adjacent measurement and buying a situation strategy besides has added benefits -- particularly if the strategy has a dedicated halfway transmission speaker. In situation mixes dialog often comes chiefly from the halfway channel, and being capable to summation its measurement independently tin truly help.

More dependable strategy recommendations

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