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Sound newbie questions

Old 09-14-14, 11:28 AM
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Sound newbie questions

I don't care a whole lot about sound, but one thing that always bothers me with TV speakers is how music and sound effects frequently drown out spoken dialogue. I don't want to break the bank buying a sound system, but I would like to fix that issue at least.

I have a small ~600 square foot apartment, so I don't need big sound. (And living in an apartment complex with big sound would probably get me evicted anyway.)

A 5.1 system seems a bit much in my case. Plus I don't want to mess with a lot of wires. Would a 2.1 system fix the drowned out dialogue issue? From what I gather, the center speaker is what makes dialogue better, so would I actually need a 3.1 system? Is there even such a thing as 3.1? I have heard of 2.1 and 5.1, but never 3.1.
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Old 09-14-14, 01:08 PM
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Re: Sound newbie questions

You might want to check out a ZVOX. They have a feature for making the dialogue easier to hear. I haven't tried it yet, but I've been thinking about getting one for my parents. And I've read a lot of great reviews.


Setting A New Standard For Vocal Clarity

ZVOX systems are known for their remarkable vocal clarity. The 555 adds a stunning new feature: Dialog Emphasis (DE). When you push the "DE" button on the remote control you engage a circuit that mimics the functions of a hearing aid. The frequencies used by human voices are emphasized and compressed, while other frequencies are minimized. No other speaker system provides such an easy-to-use and effective method for improving the intelligibility of television dialog.

Taming Commercials That Are Too Loud

If you've ever been blasted out of your chair by a too-loud commercial, or by a cable channel that's twice as loud as another channel, you'll love the new Output Leveling (OL) feature on the ZVOX 555. Just push the "OL" button and a sophisticated compression system takes over, making soft sounds louder and loud sounds softer, so there are fewer jarring moments when switching channels or when commercials come on.
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Old 09-14-14, 08:45 PM
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Re: Sound newbie questions

LOL, marketing!! "No other speaker system." But yeah, that should improve dialog over TV speakers, just like any surround system should. TV and movie producers went way over the top with the capabilities of surround encoding, didn't always bother thinking about basic TV-only setups. Or, local stations can just do a cock-up job of processing and sending it out.
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Old 09-15-14, 08:18 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 355
Re: Sound newbie questions

I agree most TV speakers these days are terrible ( everyone is competing on price ) But you do get awesome picture quality - so audio can be fixed.

I have heard ZVOX in the showroom and they are pretty good for what they do. (visit Best Buy - they usually have them hooked up in their Magnolia section)

Since price is a concern and you are basially in an apartment - You could for now just use Computer speakers and save the money towards a future decent sound system.

Here is one


Here is another option if you would like to spend a little more. I have these speakers for my computer, and they have nice detailed, and warm natural sound

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