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Friday, March 24, 2023

What technology? : Closed Captioning | Entertainment

What technology? : Closed Captioning | Entertainment

Baby boomers might blame listening to ’80s rock music through headphones for not being able to hear the dialogue in movies and shows, but why are 20-somethings watching TV with closed captioning?

Not because of hearing loss. That’s because of thin TVs, and even thinner TV speakers.

A study last May found that 70% of Gen Zers said they almost always use subtitles or closed captioning. That’s even more than baby boomers.

A big part of the problem is that today’s thin TVs have thin speakers. These speakers cannot distinguish between sound effects and music.

You may have noticed too.

Many companies are now releasing external speakers. They add voice to dialogue to help people enjoy their shows and movies.

An Asian company unveiled the Mirai Home speaker at this year’s CES. The speaker’s curved shape produces clearer, or at least more amplified, sound. A dial on the speaker adjusts the volume of dialogue, so it can be heard through sound effects and music. Dialogue coming straight from the TV speakers, even without the monster growls, can be a little harsh. With the Mirai speakers, the difference is noticeable.

The Mirai Home sells for about $200 on Amazon.

ZVOX has a number of sound bars and speakers that use their own technology to work a bit like hearing aids. So to speak, reducing background noise and the sound of music while bringing the conversation to the front.

clips from the movie played, warrior, when the protagonist walks into a noisy gym. We can barely understand what the actors are saying. When the same scene was played back through the ZVOX Accuvoice soundbar, every word was clearly discernible, while the noisy boxing sound was reduced by a few decibels.

The ZVOX soundbar allows you to increase dialogue at different levels, so you can still hear some music and sound effects. If adjustments are not required, the ZVOX soundbar also has surround sound settings. They start at around $100.

Today’s ultra-thin TVs make sound bars an essential part of a home entertainment setup. If you’re having trouble understanding conversations, a soundbar with hearing aid technology can keep you from constantly asking “What did he say?”

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