Video Games & Consoles forum


PS3 audio problems (muffled center channel/dialogue)

by jasontricci / July 6, 2011 4:06 PM PDT

Have PS3 hooked up via Playstation HDMI cable to Samsung 46" LED HDTV. I actually have two PS3's, both of them hooked up in the same manner, only to different televisions. Both of them are expressing the EXACT same problem. It appears as though the center channel in way muffled and being cut out. The action scenes are significantly louder. i've tried EVERYTHING, at least I think. Configured audio settings both automatically and manually, messed around with dynamic range control, boosted the audio in the PS3's menu to +4. There are So many settings within the PS3, could I be missing something. Something just doesn't sound right, clearly. Both PS3's I have hooked up are exhibiting the same issue, and both are hooked up the same way, via HDMI directly to my televisions. I don't see how this could be a compatability problem, since both are having the same audio problems. Just can't figure out why the spoken dialogue/center channel seems muffled, as though it's being dropped. i know my TV's only have two speakers, so I only have 2 channel selected in the PS3's menu (configured both manually and automatically). I really need guidance here. It's been driving me mad for years!!!!!!!

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All Answers

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Is it on all games
by Jimmy Greystone / July 6, 2011 11:27 PM PDT

Is it on all games, or just a few?

It sounds like it's probably just a case where the game developer was simply lazy, or blew the majority of the game dev budget on the graphics, leaving little for anything else. So, what I'd suggest is you try some game that has the audio mixed rather well. Final Fantasy XIII and Uncharted come to mind. Maybe rent them, borrow them off a friend, or just buy them since they're both great games.

Also, I know on games like Uncharted, there are multiple selectable audio tracks. Since I have a full fledged home theater setup, I make sure to select the DTS 5.1 audio track, but if I were just going to be using my TV speakers, I would want to drop that to stereo or I'd be missing out on everything that wasn't on the L and R channels. So, be sure to check the game options, make sure the audio isn't set to some kind of surround sound track.

But since we're experiencing the same problem with two different consoles and two different TV sets, that really only leaves the game as being the problem.

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sound settings
by harrie12l / July 16, 2011 8:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Is it on all games

The PS3 sound settings are linear PCM and I checked all the boxes in the
optical output screen to enable various audio output formats (Dolby
Digital 5.1, DTS, etc.). Now when I am in the initial PS3 screen showing
all the games on my hard drive, there is sound. However, when I
actually play the games there would be no sound. Things get weirder when I play DVD.

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That sounds normal
by Jimmy Greystone / July 16, 2011 11:03 PM PDT
In reply to: sound settings

That sounds normal. Generally speaking, TVs do not have a Dolby Digital or DTS decoder chip in them, so they would not be able to process those audio formats. When you tick off those boxes, it tells the PS3 to send the raw surround sound data, and to assume that you have some device on the other end with a decoder chip for that format.

You want to disable everything except stereo, unless you know for a fact that yours is a TV set that has a built in surround receiver which I think has been demonstrably shown not to be the case, so that way the PS3 will decode and collapse the surround sound data into two channels. If and when you get a surround receiver and 5.1/7.1 speakers, then you can enable Dolby 5.1 and DTS audio options. However, until that time, enabling them is only going to lead to problems. Disable all audio formats EXCEPT stereo, because all your TV supports is stereo and mono.

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Tried, but thanks for the insight!
by jasontricci / July 17, 2011 4:44 PM PDT
In reply to: That sounds normal

Thanks for the informative response. Actually, I've attempted this with no improvements. As of now, all I have selected are 2 channel sound options configured "manually" under sound settings on the PS3. TV sounds fine with my Comcast Cable. It's only when using the PS3 for EITHER DVD's and Blurays does sound become a serious dissapointment, which leads me to believe there is a setting I am missing. Just sounds "muffled" and soft dialogue is REALLY hard to hear. There HAS to be. There's no way two different PS3's hooked up in the exact manner to two different TV's that would exhibit the exact same problem. Thus, I've concluded that there is a setting I'm missing in BOTH of the PS3's that I've simply overlooked.

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by Jimmy Greystone / July 17, 2011 11:15 PM PDT

Or, it's just poor audio mixing in the games. Also, a lot of times with movie DVDs/BDs, you can select the audio track, so make sure you're not selecting some surround sound format. The PS3 is perfectly capable of using such formats, it's just a matter of whether or not your TVs are without the help of a receiver or something to decode the signal.

Also, linear PCM isn't really going to help either. That just sends an uncompressed audio signal directly to each speaker, but you can do surround sound with that just as easily as any other format. You want to find something specifically marked stereo or 2ch/2 channel. I haven't tinkered with the audio settings on my PS3 in ages, so can't say where exactly to look, but you sound capable enough to be able to manage this on your own.

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My solution to this
by Bern1974NL / September 28, 2012 4:58 AM PDT

I had the same problem, sound ok but no spoken word. Chose sound > multiple audio out > on on my ps3 and this seemed to help. I know have my spoken word back.

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