Watching TV is meant to be an enjoyable experience. Whether it be by yourself or with loved ones, watching TV is something that is meant to be a main source of entertainment within your home.
While there have been major improvements in the visual quality of television that are easy to notice, being able to hear the TV properly is still somewhat of a mystery to most.
Visual adjustments seem to be quite a bit easier to understand and correct than audio adjustments basically because you can see it right in front of you. Settings like brightness, screen size, proper hue and resolution are settings that be done based off your own personal preference.
Audio settings can be a little trickier making it harder to hear the TV dialogue more clearer. Although there are often several different options in the audio settings for your TV, some of them aren’t anything to do with changing what you hear. So, you need to figure out which ones are important for altering the sound output.
The three main areas you should look out for are:
- Sound Modes
The main thing you should think about before you start playing around is, what are you trying to achieve?
Do you want to make the dialogue clearer, or do you just want to make the sound a bit bigger and more exciting? Your end goal will determine which are the best settings to change.
Also, you may only need to change just one of these settings – or you might tweak them all. It depends on what gives you the result that you want.
When changing your sound modes it allows you to quickly change what you hear. In many cases, if the other sound modes don’t give you what you want, you would just leave things on the Standard setting and move on to compression and equalization.
Most TV brands will also offer some form of compression. It may be called auto volume or auto gain control. The idea is that it will compress the sound so that there is less dynamic range between the loud bits and the quiet bits.
If your aim is to make voices clearer, then some compression might help. You should find the voices are less likely to be overpowered by sound effects and music.
When dealing with equalization, a graphic equalizer has a fixed range of frequencies that you can boost or cut in order to change how everything sounds. You can make things brighter by increasing the higher frequencies, or get more bass by increasing the lower frequencies.
On some TVs, rather than a graphic equalizer, you may just get a simple two-stage bass and treble frequency control. The more options you have for controlling certain frequencies, the more control you have over the sound.
The clarity of a voice is found in the mid-frequencies, from 2 kHz to 6 kHz. Therefore, you can try boosting the frequencies available in your graphic equalizer around this area.
Another way of approaching this is to cut around the 300 - 800 Hz range. While this can give warmth to a voice, it can also make things muddy. So, by cutting in this region you might be able to make voices a little clearer and fix a muffled sound.
One thing to remember is that sound is a very personal experience. It’s hard to get two people agreeing on what sounds good. So, this process should be seen as a trial and error situation. Try a few changes and see if everyone agrees that it sounds better.
Don’t be afraid to experiment and find out what works best for you.