Best way to isolate vocals in a home theater - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-31-2019, 09:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Best way to isolate vocals in a home theater

Hi all,

My wife is hard of hearing some I'm trying to figure out a peculiar setup for her. I'm hoping to set up something like the Bose "Dialogue mode" that feeds to a bluetooth transmitter for her with her own volume control while simultaneously leaving the audio on the surround sound for the rest of the family...

I was thinking an optical splitter (or HDMI audio extractor) to send one branch to the receiver for the normal speakers, then find some magic vocal filter / bluetooth transmitter thing. I don't think that magic box exists though. Does anyone know of a box or collection of things that might fit the bill?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-31-2019, 10:10 PM
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I have an old klipsch center speaker ksf c5 I believe that is just so good as a center channel speaker. many speakers just plain suck as a cc. I dont think anything can be done if its a ****ty center speaker.

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post #3 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 02:53 AM
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What is your setup now?
(Speakers,reciever,room)


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post #4 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 05:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xartle View Post
Hi all,



My wife is hard of hearing some I'm trying to figure out a peculiar setup for her. I'm hoping to set up something like the Bose "Dialogue mode" that feeds to a bluetooth transmitter for her with her own volume control while simultaneously leaving the audio on the surround sound for the rest of the family...



I was thinking an optical splitter (or HDMI audio extractor) to send one branch to the receiver for the normal speakers, then find some magic vocal filter / bluetooth transmitter thing. I don't think that magic box exists though. Does anyone know of a box or collection of things that might fit the bill?



Thanks!
I don't have am answer but some AVRs enhance dialogs by boosting mid frequencies. If you have an AVR with Audyssey xt32 or similar and can change the frequency response, you can try this.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 07:57 AM
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Exclamation

@xartle
The biggest impact on dialogue clarity has the amount of direct sound (vs reflective sound).


Direct sound can be increased by moving closer to the speakers (in that case to the center speaker), or by reducing reflections in the room (HUUUGE positive impact on overall sound quality!) or a combination of both.

Good sound is always the result of engineering. And engineering always starts with measuring. Consumer industry and mainstream will never tell customers about that: improvements in room acoustics are worth roughly ten (10!) times the amount spent on equipment like speakers and receivers. For example: only $500 in room treatment is worth more than spending $5000 (fivethousand) on equipment.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xartle View Post
My wife is hard of hearing some I'm trying to figure out a peculiar setup for her. I'm hoping to set up something like the Bose "Dialogue mode" that feeds to a bluetooth transmitter for her with her own volume control while simultaneously leaving the audio on the surround sound for the rest of the family...
Good advice from folks, but carefully read the OP's post.

Perhaps something like this:
https://www.tvears.com/5-0-analog
PrimeTime, craig john and djp2k7 like this.



If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough – Albert Einstein
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xartle View Post
Hi all,

My wife is hard of hearing some I'm trying to figure out a peculiar setup for her.

My mother has/had the same problem. The best solution by far was a pair of RF wireless headphones. Frys had a JVC set on sale for $40, they're great. She will wear them all day without realizing they're on her head.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 11:06 AM
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Alright buddy, Today is your lucky day. I just thought through this as a theoretical for a different family member, they decided to just stop watching tv instead though.

Forget your hdmi splitters and audio strippers and all that. You're just asking for HDCP headaches. Sure they might work at first but a firmware update later to something and there goes the signal because there's a new HDCP scheme.

Instead, run the hdmi from the blu-ray/xbox/cablebox/whatever to the receiver as normal. Then wire speakers as normal and hdmi to your tv. Now, what you want, is a receiver that has "Zone 2" or "multizone". Bam, there's your magic sauce. Take the zone 2 pre-outs and run those to any eq device you desire and you can tune as you see fit to boost dialogue. From that just run to any wireless headphones for TV. Most all of them take a Left+Right signal and stream wireless to headphones with their own volume control.

I'd look at a basic minidsp 2x4, but any EQ unit should work. Heck, you might not even need the external unit, some receivers have tone controls for Zone 2 built in though I don't know how fleshed out those are.

And there you have it. You keep your surround sound, no need for a finnicky bluetooth dongle as there's loads of quality options for wireless headphones, no HDCP headaches, separate volume for the wife. Checks all your boxes.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 02:18 PM
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ZVOX ... soundbar/base or headphones.

It's a VIRTUAL channel unless stated otherwise.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-01-2019, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great feedback!

I actually already do have a receiver with a second zone (it's an older HK, I don't recall the model at the moment, but it's the AVR series). I don't know why I didn't think about using the second zone but that is way more straight forward. Maybe I'll just pull out the manual and see if I can do any equalizer stuff in the receiver. It certainly would be more straight forward than any of the stuff I had been thinking about.

Also, the ZVOX gear sounds interesting too. Has anyone used it? I'm curious if it's noticeable better than just boosting the mids. I have a hard time telling the difference with the Bose dialog mode honestly, but my wife swears it's better than playing with the eq.

Thanks again!
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-02-2019, 05:50 AM
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Dialog mode probably cuts bass as well as boost midrange. If you have a measurement mic you could use REW to see what the difference is before and after. Or ask around on the forums for someone willing to come help. I don't see your location set so hard to say if anyone is near.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-03-2019, 05:48 PM
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-05-2019, 05:54 PM
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xartle have you seen the bone conduction type headphone? I use these on a road bike for personal enjoyment with music but can also hear all surround sound like some cars coming. My suggestion is place those on your wife and transmit those only the center sounds there, but how can you do that?, If you can power the preout and speaker post same time it is easy, but I dont think that will be possible, so what about line level conveter on speaker post?? I am suggesting this because after tweaking maybe it can be the most smooth technique just for increasing clear voice but can also have normal surround enjoyment with family.
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-06-2019, 10:04 AM
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Bone conduction headphones radiate a lot of sound outward as well in my experience. No problem for a bike, but may be annoying in a family sitting room. Just FYI.
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-06-2019, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mushroommunk View Post
Bone conduction headphones radiate a lot of sound outward as well in my experience. No problem for a bike, but may be annoying in a family sitting room. Just FYI.
Yes it could be a pitfall of this technique and it will depend on personal setup and taste. On another hand if wife always need to check about important voice scene he is also making a lot of sound outward Actually I am interested to try by myself because anyway I got those headphones and maybe it is useful for visitors one day. Only I do not have any ideas how to form the connection from bluetooth. If I am lucky to have separate amplifier I can easily try Y splitter but anyway delay is the true problem
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