Every day speech with real people is comfortably decipherable--by the way, have you noticed that old people frequently mumble? that's a subject for another day--but for television I often still must turn on closed captioning. More people with normal hearing are also using the feature.
“If you have people talking or shouting during the adventure scenes, the explode-y sounds are way higher than the dialogue,” said Melanie Brooks, a 43-year-old professional musician in Boston. Catching some of the lines in her favorite fantasy and adventure TV series is hard without captions, she added.Movie sound technology has outstripped the capabilities of the speakers on home devices, including TV's.
People tend to blame their flat-screen TVs for bad sound. The tube TVs of decades past had front-facing speakers that sent audio toward you, while new, super-thin models have speakers that are behind the screen or point downward, bouncing sound away from you. But your TV is just one of the culprits.
The rest of the problem lies within virtually every other step of the audio process, from a studio’s production choices to the device used to watch the content, said Richard Nevens, senior director of audio-hardware product management at Avid Technology, which specializes in audio- and video-editing tools.
It's a relief that I don't have to upgrade my hearing equipment.
Meanwhile, I'll be setting closed captioning to "on."