I've watched one too many movies thinking I should turn the subtitles on to understanding half of what the actors are saying. It's all a garble and a mumble. Music is great, no problems there, and I'm quite picky, been an audiophile for 20 years.
I've been living with this situation for many years and have not had the time or money to address it. Perhaps it's time to take action.
Here's the room (run, it's a square!): 11.5' x 11.5' with one corner cut off for the doorway. The ceiling has a fan/light that takes over a large area. Wall to wall pile carpet with pad. The room is also an office, so the walls are lined with desks and monitors, racks, etc. There is a window with wooden louvers at the opposite side from the LCR speakers, and a pair of the typical glass closet sliding doors on the the side wall.
Here's the gear:
Speakers: DIY left, right with high dollar Scandinavian drivers and massive cabinets. I know a thing or two about building speakers, at least I used to when I had more time. Center channel: Dynaudio C120+. Cost $700 plus tax. This is a horizontal MTM and it is sitting underneath a large projection screen on top of a solid wooden cabinet with drawers.
Electronics: Panasonic SA-XR57. This replaced a Denon AVR-5700 and high end Adcom amp. Sounds about the same, maybe a little more detail on the Panny, even though it cost me a small fraction of what I paid for the older gear (bought long ago when these pieces were current, not second hand). Dialog problem remains unsolved. Source: HDMI output from a computer running XBMC. Speaker cables are DIY 12 GA OFC with gold plated connectors. Pretty sure based on experimentation over the years that cables are cables.
I've read on and off over the years about using things like convolver and REW, etc., to test a room and establish a filter. That's all well and good, but how to practically apply the equalization to 6 speakers? The solutions I've seen only work with a subwoofer. And, if that were to be addressed, how to practically use the filter with modern DVD/Blu-ray playback software assuming a software solution?
The Audyssey system looks interesting, but I'm not convinced based on many expert opinions that it is more or less just a gimmick.
So, room treatments for first reflection points are probably a good option, but the fan/light fixture is probably in the way. I have not actually done the mirror test though, but it's likely. And the side walls are pretty much covered with miscellaneous objects as mentioned previously, none of which would be suitable to stick a treatment onto.
Please share your thoughts and suggestions.