View Full Version : DVD Sound too low

07-18-2005, 06:12 PM
It seems to me that DVDs output low sound. The quality is good, I can just barley hear it. Actually, I find the music is fine, just the dialogue. Recently I purchased the Escaflowne movie, but I couldn't hear a word Folken was saying. I changed the dialogue to Japanese and the voices were crystal clear... even though I don't speak japanese, lol.

Im just wondering if their is a solution. I've noticed this before, on DVDs such as the Last Samurai, and others. Its particularly bad with Escaflowne.

Maybe the recordings were just louder in Japanese, but whatever. Ive played with sound options, but I would like a permanent solution. And subtitles don't help much either because they display the literal Japanese translation, and obviously to synchronise everything properly they changed the wording in the English version.

This happens on 2 different TVs with 2 differnet players, and on my computer.

Thanks for any help


07-18-2005, 06:23 PM
Be sure the sound output settings on the DVD match your speaker setup. Most DVDs these days seem to default (at least on my systems) to Dolby Digital or some other surround mode.

If you only have a stereo speaker setup, don't choose Dolby Digital 5.1 for the playback mode, as the voices are encoded for the center speaker you don't have. Choose a standard stereo setting if it's available on the sound menu screen.

Many foriegn-language dubs are stereo-only, which is why they may sound better.

If you do have a surround system, turn up the level of the center speaker and down on the left, right, and surrounds; or choose DTS (if available on the disc and your system supports it.)

07-18-2005, 06:53 PM
I only have two speakers, on all the TVs tested, and my PC. The English dub of Escaflowne is only recorded in Dolby Digital 5.1. The Japanese is in both Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby DTS 5.1... whatever that is. So yeah, I guess I either hook up a third speaker, or something. I wonder if I can find some kind of splitter.

07-18-2005, 07:44 PM
Ok, I tried to use a splitter, but it didn't fit :-\ I was going to plug two sets of speakers into it and see what would happen, maybe get surround sound or something...

Surely a company wouldn't release a popular movie on DVD with sound volume as low as this?

I mean, it is a japanese movie, dubbed, but its animated and edited so it doesn't show. And I've experienced problems like this with other movies (this is just a bit worse) I have read on other fansites that the audio quality is better in English than Japanese, so it has to be my set up.

On my tv, turning the volume up to around 19 or 20 is normal. But for a DVD I have to crank it up to around 30.

07-18-2005, 08:49 PM
Could be... not all DVD masterings are created equal. In this case it sounds like the English version was the afterthought, and not the other way around.

DTS is high-bit uncompressed 6-channel discreet recording.
Dolby is compressed CD-quality (or lower) matrixed recording.

DTS almost always sounds superior.

Spliiting won't work for the Dolby stuff, you need to decode it, and for that you need a surround reciever.
In theory if you run a Dolby Digital mix into 2-channel equipment it will sound perfect in stereo.
In practice, I find that if you have the option on the DVD of a stereo-only mix, and the Dolby mix going down into 2-channel, the stereo-only is going to sound better every time.

However: It's sounding to me that it's a problem with the audio mix on that DVD though, and not your gear.

07-19-2005, 07:13 AM
Well, there are options in the DVD player program I am using called "Power DVD" Even media player and InterActual have some problems with sound.

Under the Audio options of the program (not the DVD) there was a stereo option, Direct X option, and a Dolby Option, I tried all 3. Stereo did seem a but louder, but not a huge difference.

Oh well, thanks anyways. ;)

07-19-2005, 07:46 AM
There's certain DVDs you can always trust to sound correct, pretty much anything THX-certified. I always test my sytems against a Pixar or Lucasfilm DVD to make sure all the balances are correct. (If a Star Wars or Pixar DVD sounds right on your system, then your gear is OK. If not, then you might have a problem with the connections somewhere.)

If there's a problem after that, then I can be pretty sure it's on the disk, not my gear. Some soundtracks are just badly mixed or printed wrong, and there's very little you can do about it except suffer through it.

I have a couple of DVDs with this same problem. 'Master and Commander' is one I can think of. The effects and music are crazy loud, and most of the dialog is barely audible. I think I watched that one with captions on, even after turning the level to the center speaker all the way up, and all the other speakers way down.
I noticed the same thing with the modern re-make of "The Alamo"

07-19-2005, 10:34 AM
I have updated my Sound Card drivers and that has seemed to helped a bit. I have noticed little sounds I didn't notice before, and Folkens voice wasn't drowned out like it was before. I watched my favorite seens, and the best battles and it sounded pretty good.

I have 10 DVDs up here, and all of them are Dolby, not one THX Certified DVD...

I snuck around and found a THX DVD- Beauty and the Beast... of course Disney wouldn't cut corners. Well, as you probably already guessed, there was a perfect balance between music and dialogue.