Increase Dialogue Volume Without Blowing Your Neighbors Away

By Jason Fitzpatrick on May 5th, 2011

We’ve all been there: you’re watching a movie, you can’t hear what the actors are saying, so you crank up the volume. Moments later, the bombs go off. Work around the dialogue/action disparity with a simple speaker hack.

Unpluggd, a home-centric technology blog, shares a really simple hack that makes a big difference. When movie audio is mixed for DVD/Bluray playback the dialogue is almost always piped through the center channel.

By doing one of two things (or both) you can increase your ability to hear the dialogue without risking the next fight scene in the movie shaking your neighbors (or kids) out of bed. First, you can temporarily move the center channel closer to you. Second, you can–if your system allows for channel-by-channel tweaking–set the overall sound at an lower volume and then increase the center channel so you can hear the actors better.

For more information, including a calculator to help you figure out just how near or far you should place the center channel to get the sound boost you desire, hit up the link below.

Maximizing Dialogue Without Maxing Out the Volume [Unpluggd]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 05/5/11
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