Question Does room treatments improve dialogue?

Gremlins

Active Member
I have a pretty casual home cinema, a 3.0 system, mostly intended to improve dialogue, since modern movies have such high dynamic range which makes the important plot conversations hard to hear.

I am willing to treat my room with various acoustic plates and such. But is this worth it in terms of dialogue? Or is it rather intended for bass and other aspects that I'm not that keen on? :p

Thank you, and sorry for this beginner question.
 

The Dreamer

Distinguished Member
Lowering the noise floor will make the biggest difference to dialogue. By this I mean getting rid of any extraneous noises, so being able to shut out the sound of the dishwasher running, or a neighbour cutting the grass, or traffic passing by. So ‘sound-proofing’ the room as much as is practicable will allow you to listen at correct volume settings and still pick up the nuances of the soundtrack.

That said, room treatments (as opposed to sound proofing), will also help in focusing the dialogue from where it‘s supposed to be coming from, and preventing reflections from muddying the sound in general, but dialogue in particular. Assuming your speakers are in the right place to start with!

HTH
 

Damp Squid

Active Member
Before you go spending money on room treatments. Is your centre channel speaker in an optimal position. Do you have room correction.
 

Gremlins

Active Member
Before you go spending money on room treatments. Is your centre channel speaker in an optimal position. Do you have room correction.
Yes, sorry I should have stated so. The center is pointed towards my head, three way center, which is why I'm wondering if the dialogue is instead an inherent problem.
 

Gremlins

Active Member
Can you take a photo of where your speakers are located?
Sorry for my incredibly late reply. If you or anyone have some thoughts on this setup, please give any tips. I will be better a taller TV bench so the center will sit taller and can angle upwards, but I'm still wondering if room treatment is worth it in term of dialogue?
 

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shortcuttomoncton

Standard Member
I've asked a similar question a few threads down the page, although I didn't get any responses. Also a fairly live room, and from everything I've read--yes, room treatment is supposed to help 1) lower the noise floor, and 2) stop those extra reflections that muddy the dialogue frequencies and make it harder to hear. Again, this is only from my online research, but I'm seeing that equipment in a "live" untreated room with low-dialogue problems will not have that problem when moved to a treated room.

Depending on your receiver, you can also boost either the entire centre channel, or the dialogue frequencies (typically on more expensive receivers). My receiver only does the first option, and while it does improve the situation it does make the overall sound structure a little unbalanced--the dialogue frequencies only sounds like it might be a better idea. This really isn't an ideal solution though, as fixing the live-room problem is a better option if you can do it.
 

Mr Andy

Active Member
With your centre so close to the floor you'll get some very early reflections, which won't be good for dialogue. Ideally you'd have it just under the TV.
 

mb3195

Distinguished Member
Acoustic panels make a big difference, but first thing you need to do is optimise the position of your LCR to get them positioned as best as possible.

ideally they want to be at the same height as each other, ear height is perfect. If this isn’t possible (it isn’t normally with a TV), then have them as close as possible with the centre speaker angled up towards you.

Once you done this, you need to figure out where to put your acoustic panels, the first place to treat is the first reflection points, this will clear up your dialogue issues no end (increasing the centre channel volume isn’t a good solution, it causes other issues).

Take a look at the video below on using a mirror to figure out where your reflection points are:

 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
In a room of that size with the L/R speakers that distance from the TV, I would ditch the centre and run phantom. It really is adding nothing other than another audio source and you are probably a bit close for it to be integrating well.

As others have said, your front 3 speakers all need to be level with one another unless you apply speaker and room correction. You will get phase errors otherwise which will affect intelligibility.
 

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