DVD--Voices very soft, all other sound very loud

I haven’t noticed this with other DVDs being played on this player, but then, I haven’t used this player very many times.

Anyway, as the title says, the voices in this movie I’m watching are very soft, and all other sounds are extremely loud in comparison. It’s almost impossible to watch the movie as a result.

Is this something that can typically be fixed by looking at settings in the DVD player? Or is this just how some DVDs are due to poor mixing or something?

I ask instead of figuring it out myself because I’d have to go find batteries to put in the remote to look at the settings involved (the player itself has no button to access anything like that) and being lazy, I was hoping the question could be answered a priori so to speak…

You are missing your center channel audio.

If you have a surround set-up, check your center speaker connection.
If you don’t, change your audio from 5.1 to stereo.

A hitch at our local $1 theater resulted in exactly the problem you describe. No dialog, plenty of background music and sound effects. Amazingly, the plot of 2012 was not seriously hindered.

Ditto on the centre speaker. Happened to me once.

I’ve wondered about that. My sister always has to have her DVD player turned up really loud to be able to hear the voices. She’s gotten to the point where she turns on the subtitles by default. I thought DVD players that didn’t have surround sound capabilities would automatically convert the surround sound to stereo.

I’ve never seen a DVD player that didn’t have at least an optical audio out.

Somewhere in the audio setup in the menu screens on a lot of DVDs there is an option to select between Stereo and 5.1 Audio (and maybe commentary tracks and the like). If you have a stereo setup and the audio is defaulting to 5.1 this will happen.

I have just a normal stereo (no 5.1, yes I’m a neanderthal) and have this problem when the DVD defaults to the other format. Yes, it’s annoying.

I have noticed this too, voices quiet but music and sound effects VERY LOUD. I never considered that some DVDs would default to 5.1. Stupid idea.

You may want to look through the DVD player menus for something called “dynamic range compression” or DRC in the audio controls. It’s a feature that’s used for just the problem your speaking of. It makes things that are overly loud reduced in volume while making thigs that are hard to hear louder.
I believe the default setting is “off” and you can set them at medium or high.

That’s really designed more for watching, say, an action movie in the middle of the night. So you don’t wake up the baby when there’s an explosion or a barrage of gunfire you weren’t expecting. (If it’s what I’m thinking it is, I know my receiver does something like this but I don’t remember what it’s called).
I’m going to put in another vote for surround sound being turned on. It could be as easy to fix as a hitting the audio button on your DVD remote, or you may have to go in to the audio settings.
If you have a receiver a setting on that could have been accidentally changed as well.

I’ve noticed the voice problem before. Now I know why. The movie is doing 5.1 when I only have stereo. I’ve been wondering why they made the sound effects to loud.

I noticed this problem on my in-laws’ TV specifically while playing a DVD of The Dark Knight. Doesn’t seem to have been a problem with any other movie.

I have this problem occasionally with DVDs, and I have a 5.1 surround system with a central speaker that works fine.