I don’t have enough digits on my hands and feet to count the times I’ve heard my wife shouting at me from the bedroom to turn down the sound when she’s trying to sleep. Nine out of 10 times, it’s the music that sounds like it’s been cranked up to full volume in the middle of a show.
A common reason why the music on a TV is louder than the dialogue is due to incorrect audio settings on the TV. Most TVs have adjustable built-in stereo and surround sound features, along with a few preset sound modes which can be selected based on personal preference.
Tired of straining to hear what they’re saying on the TV and then being blasted by the theme tune just before the ads come on? You’re not alone. There are specific reasons why music often sounds much louder than everything else. Not all of it can be helped, but there are some things you can check.
TV Audio Systems, How Do They Work?
All TV brands and models come with their own set of features and sound enhancements. There is, therefore, no point in going into too model-specific detail.
Every TV comes with a user manual and an instruction booklet which includes the basic setup. You would need to refer to the documentation supplied for detailed model-specific information.
Historically, the old CRT (Cathode Ray Television) TVs used simple architecture and technology to produce sound. Sound quality improves when the space and volume of air surrounding the speakers are larger.
The old box-type CRT TVs had plenty of space for speaker placement. The speaker size could also be bigger, producing great sound.
Modern plasma, LCD, and LED TVs are designed with an emphasis on a thinner profile and a narrower bezel, which limits the size of the speakers that can be installed and how the sound travels from the built-in TV speakers themselves.
Due to space limitations, modern TVs come with a host of audio and video connection options to accommodate external peripheral devices such as home theatres, HiFi auxiliary inputs, and, more popularly, sound bars. A common way to connect these devices is via Blue Tooth technology.
Try a soft reset
A soft reset, is where you turn off the TV and unplug it from the wall outlet. You then usually have to wait for 60 seconds then you can put the plug back in and turn the TV on again. Performing a soft reset clears a device’s internal memory of running programs, which often clears up any technical glitches.
Try a hard reset
A hard reset involves completely resetting the TV to its factory defaults. Most TV models have specific instructions. However, if you have a Samsung TV here are the steps to follow:
To perform a factory reset:
- Head to Settings > General.
- Select Reset.
- Enter your PIN > then select Reset.
Note: If you didn’t change your PIN initially the code is 0000
Do External TV Audio Devices Improve Sound?
Due to the physical properties of the built-in speakers that often produce poor sound quality on many TV models, a good option for improving overall sound is to purchase external speakers.
Good quality external sound devices will usually come with several connectivity options, ensuring compatibility with your brand and model of TV.
One great option is to connect a 2.1 or 5.1 external surround sound system to your TV. These usually come with multiple connection choices, including the 3.5mm headphone jack, RCA cables, HDMI ARC, and the S/PDIF optical output, which is great if you’ve got Dolby Digital TV support for surround sound.
Many speaker systems and soundbars come with Bluetooth wireless support, which is a great option as it allows you to place your subwoofer and speakers anywhere in the room based on your preference, as long as you have a reliable line of sight.
You must go into the TV’s sound system settings and select the connectivity type. Some TVs will allow both internal and external sound, meaning all the available speakers will be used.
Based on the TV model and architecture selected, you should be able to adjust the sound so that the music is dampened and the speech or dialogue enhanced, ensuring a more pleasant listening experience.
Check Your TV’s Sound Settings
While an external sound system can do wonders in improving your overall TV viewing experience and give you more control over music volume, not everyone has external sound equipment. It may not always be necessary either.
Although the quality and size of your onboard speakers will have the last say, you can tweak some TV settings to a more or less limited degree.
With some TVs, you can make a significant difference to the sound. There is more to your onboard sound controls besides the standard up/down volume control.
Higher-end, more advanced TVs typically offer a host of embedded preset sound and picture modes—the more expensive the TV, the wider range of choices it’s likely to have.
Although the basic guidelines should help, you would have to look at the user manual for details about the specific TV that you own.
When setting up your TV for the first time, you will generally find the sound settings default to the standard sound mode, with no enhancements. Grab your remote and press the home or menu button, select sound, and check what modes are available for selection.
Usually, you will find one or more of the following: standard, theatre or cinema, music, speech, late night, or clear voice III (available on late models such as LG OLED).
Each mode has preset settings designed for the type of content you are watching. For example, speech or clear voice will usually dampen loud music if you watch news channels rather than movies or music videos.
If none of the sound modes available to you are ideal, try setting the graphic equalizer manually. The standard or user mode usually allows you to select or deselect surround sound and allows you to adjust the different frequencies based on your preferences. Start with all frequencies set to flat or zero and move each one up or down until you get the ideal response.
Nothing Seems To Work, The Music Is Still Loud
All too often, this volume difference is due to how the movie or soundtrack is mixed in production. Called dynamic range, the producers and sound engineers deliberately increase the range between the softest and loudest sounds for audiovisual impact. A good soundbar will usually improve the acoustics to a certain degree.
Also, our ability to regulate and discern certain sounds decreases as we age. You may have some age-related hearing loss and therefore watch TV with the sound turned up loud to listen to speech. So, when the music or advert comes on, it plays at full blast.
Most modern TVs come with adequate sound modes and settings to allow for adjustments between music and speech.
In addition, there are numerous peripheral audio devices and equipment on the market that help with the adjustment of TV sounds that will suit your requirements. Many are very reasonably priced, and it only requires a little shopping around.