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I'm doing initial scouting for a new receiver/amplifier.

It seems that every few years when I look into the technologies coming along for home entertainment, the video gets improved (more pixels, richer color, improved refresh rate, etc.) in a "just better" way but audio -- while improving with more channels, bandwidth, etc. -- doesn't seem to tackle the "I can't hear what they are saying" problem.

Sure they separate the channels a bit and let you get closer to what content providers intended but.. despite all that... *often* when I'm watching a show they pump up the explosions and the ambient audio but I can't hear what the 2-3 people that are the focus of the scene are actually saying.

Has there been any progress on this front? Is there any tech out currently that allows you to focus on voice content so that I don't have to do the "few seconds rewind" dance several times when I, family, and friends miss the dialogue because the rest of the soundtrack is overdone?

The workaround I've been using lately is closed captioning which "kind works" and is definitely a whole new category of entertainment (let's call it "poetic license" interpretation in what is typed).

Thanks.
 

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That problem was fixed a long time ago with the center channel. Are you sure what you're watching has the center channel active? If so, you can use your AVR to control the volume of it.
 

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AVRs using Audyssey will have Dynamic Volume which can be used to raise lower level dialogue and Dynamic EQ Reference Level Offset to reduce the increased bass/surround boost at lower volume levels which will also improve dialogue. Another tip is to elevate your center speaker (if located on a lower shelf below the TV) such that it is angled upwards towards your head (instead of your knees). And lastly, you can also raise the volume of the center speaker. Keep in mind the center speaker should be at least as good a quality (if not better) than the FL/FR speakers.
 
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