Why does background noise drown out dialog on my Vizio TV/sound bar?

I have a Vizio E550i-B2 TV connected to a Vizio VSB200 sound bar with an optical audio connection. On some programs, especially CBS, background noise drowns out the main dialog, which suggests something to do with the audio on the actual broadcast. I have tried various combinations of TVOL and TSHD on and off without much luck. TV audio output is set to PCM as specified in the sound bar owners manual. Is there any way to mitigate this problem?

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All I have is the Sony TV - no gadgets or extra speakers. The surround sound is ‘OFF’ but the background and foreground noise on every program makes it impossible to hear the dialogue. TV makers must start producing TV’s that will not accept dubbed on noise, or else a class action should be taken against program producers for destroying the hearing of TV customers. You want to become a millionaire overnight? Invent a ‘dubbed sound muter’ !!!

Noise is a modern plague that will result in children of the future being born without ears


Since originally posting this issue back in 2016 I have replaced my Vizio VSB200 with an LG SH3K sound bar. It is far superior to the Vizio in all respects and was available at a great price during Best Buy’s 2017 Black Friday deals. Now I hardly ever have dialog drowning audio issues and could not be happier!


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This is what Vizio has to say regarding the problem if it occurs on the internal speakers of the TV perhaps it may be applicable to the external audio speakers as well.

''Volume Fluctuates (background noises too loud, voices too quiet)

If your television is having issues with background noises being too loud, voices being too quiet, or fluctuating audio, the following steps may help to remedy the issue:

Turn the DTS TruSurround setting off in your Television

Press the menu button on your VIZIO remote; use the arrow keys and the Okay button to select the ‘Audio’ menu.

Arrow down to the ‘Surround Sound’ option and use the left and right arrow keys to change the setting to off.

If the issue is still occurring, try turning off DTS TruVolume.

Press the menu button on your VIZIO remote; use the arrow keys and the Okay button to select the ‘Audio’ menu.

Arrow down to the ‘Volume Leveling’ option and use the left and right arrow keys to change the setting to off. Note: If the setting was already set to off, you may be able to remedy the issue by turning it to ‘On’.''

If you have already seen this and tried it apologies.

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This does help somewhat. I also tried changing the TV/sound bar connection from optical to analog (red and white cable). Then when I turn TruSurround on there is less background interference.



According to the specs for your sound bar (https://support.vizio.com/s/article/VSB2...) it supports DTSTruSurroundtm and DTS TruVolume.

Just wondering were these both enabled in the sound bar when you used the optical connection. So if they were on in the TV and on in the sound bar, being a digital signal connection they may have been self cancelling and that is why you had the background/dialogue noise problem. When you switched to an analogue connection it may not be a problem?

Did you try with the optical connection turning off the DTS in either the TV or the soundbar so that it was off in one but on in the other to see if it works and you can use the optical (digital) connection which hopefully may sound better.

just a thought and I hope it makes sense.


Thanks for your suggestion. I have tried turning off TVOL and TSHD on the TV and sound bar with minimal results. So the analog connection seems to be the one thing that helps and I'm not unhappy with the sound quality so far.


Hi, Thanks for the feedback.


I'm having the same issue on regular TV it's works fine, but when I watch a DVD/Bluray or even play on PS4 I hear no dialogue. I hear music and background noise.


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Jan Hermanns wird auf ewig dankbar sein.
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