(lack of) quality of sound of various BBC programs


Novice Member
Hello All,

Is it just me or does the BBC has a problem with their quality of sound channels on various programs, especially voice.
BBC news as example , the sound quality of various reporters varies widely. It especially is an issue when using Dolby Audio -DD audio channels option.
Sometimes it sounds like someone speaks through a tube or it sound like sound is recorded via a cloth covered microphone.

I use a sat receiver that is capable of passing audio channels directly via HDMI to my AV-receiver.
When setting the option to downgrade the sound to downmix it to AC3 on the sat receiver, sometimes the sound improves somewhat.
I use a Denon 2700H receiver and used all available tuning options to see if I can obtain any improvement, no success.
Anyone have any tips here?
Other broadcaster do not suffer from the same issue, like ITV ( very clear) or Dutch TV channels ( excellent sound quality).

The sound quality of some of the BBC series seem really bad, like The Responder, Hidden Assets. I've given up on those.

I saw a post of someone noticing that left and right channels are sometimes swapped by the BBC, might this (partly) explain some of the issues observed?
Last edited:


Active Member
Once upon a time the interviewee would be invited to a studio, or an outside broadcast team would be sent to do the interview. Since the advent of Covid it is all done by internet using mobile phones and services like Zoom. I have a feeling it will likely become the norm for the foreseeable future.

The BBC used to be the King of broadcast sound, the gold standard that the world looked up to. They had their own research laboratories and designed their own speakers which were built by such firms as Kef, Spendor, Rogers, Harbeth and Rogers.

Currently the sound of their home grown programs are OK but many of their dramas are outsourced or made by independent studios with less than stellar sound. You only have to watch the BBC and ITV made dramas from the eighties and nineties on afternoon TV where the sound is faultless to see how standards have dropped.

This applies to films as well where some studios seem to be making a determined effort to produce low quality sound by removing the bass and limiting the dynamic range, pandering to mobile phone users and streaming services with limited bandwidth.

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