How to increase voice clarity

Stag1928

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Jan 3, 2010
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I'm looking to see if there is anyway to better the clarity of voices- I've got a Panasonic TV running to an Insignia soundbar through an optical cable. I have to raise the sound or turn on subtitles when streaming to my Chromecast because dialogue is too hard to hear over other sounds. I was wondering if adding a sub would clear things up by removing the bass from the soundbar.
 
I would suggest visiting a store near you that has soundbars on display. Turn the TV volume down to determine which has the best sound. The one that is clearest at the lowest volume is the one you want. Adding a subwoofer or rear speakers is not going to help you. You may need to up your budget since many manufacturers assume that you want loud home theater sound instead of clarity.
 

kanewolf

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Voice data is between about 200 to 4000 hz (telephone uses 300 to 3000). You need to minimize frequencies outside this range. You may be able to do this via tone controls (equalization). Adding a subwoofer would do just the opposite of what you want because it would make low frequencies more audible. Bluetooth headphones might be an option for you...
 

No no no no. While it's true that most of the voice frequencies fall in that range, it's the higher 4k-14k frequencies which help you distinguish one consonant from another. If you cut off those higher frequencies, you end up with a muddy garbled mess which is harder to understand. The only reason telephones leave out those higher frequencies is to reduce bandwidth. 200-4000 Hz is 4.3 octaves, so is pretty efficient in terms of bandwidth per octave. Encoding 4000-8000 Hz takes more bandwidth than encoding all of 200-4000 Hz, but only gives you 1 additional octave.

Here's a video showing the difference between regular voice calls and HD voice (50Hz - 7kHz). Those higher frequencies really help (they're a natural distance filter because these higher frequencies attenuate much more quickly in the air, so background noise contains very little of these higher frequencies). This is the same reason why a female voice is almost always a better choice than a male voice for your GPS.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXEIi2JwgR4

It sounds like you don't have a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker system. What sort of A/V equipment are you using to produce the sound signal? If it's piping 5.1 or 7.1 sound through soundbar speakers, you may be including a lot of background sound which is supposed to be played only through surround speakers. If you're using an AV receiver, try switching it to stereo mode.
 

Stag1928

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All I've got is this soundbar http://www.insigniaproducts.com/products/home-audio-systems/NS-SB212.html which is mediocre at best. I was debating ordering this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SMBGP76?colid=U5ZVHE4HJIEQ&coliid=I2LQIYHKRKWHY2&psc=1&ref_=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl but I need to figure out if the ARC on my TV spits out 5.1 audio or not. Turning on subtitles is getting old though and having to blast it to deduce whats being said is also not enjoyable.
 
I would suggest visiting a store near you that has soundbars on display. Turn the TV volume down to determine which has the best sound. The one that is clearest at the lowest volume is the one you want. Adding a subwoofer or rear speakers is not going to help you. You may need to up your budget since many manufacturers assume that you want loud home theater sound instead of clarity.
 
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