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Fixing Sound Issues With A Nintendo Wii

Michael in Sims, North Carolina want to know why Netflix movies don't sound right

Michael asked: “I’m still watching the old Tube TVs. I watch mostly Netflix through my Wii. Whenever I watch movies, the music is very loud, but when people are talking, it’s very low. Do you have any suggestions?”


Two things may be happening here, you may have a problem with your sound settings, or you may be picking movies that are not mixed for home use. If the distributor has sent Netflix theater-mixed movies, then you’ll hear really loud ambient sounds and not so loud dialogue, there’s not much you can do about that, the person in charge of sending Netflix their content is just incompetent and sent the wrong mix. However, you say this problem is happening whenever you watch movies, so it’s probably not the problem.

Your sound issues probably come from the Wii’s sound settings

Your sound issues probably come from the Wii’s sound settings, the Wii offers mono, stereo, and surround, but it doesn’t directly support surround sound, it only has stereo outputs. That means that you’d need to have a surround sound system set up that you can run your Wii’s audio through to get any real surround sound. If you don’t have a system like that, even Nintendo recommends that you use the stereo setting. It may seem like a worse setting to you, but what really matters is that it will sound better with your audio setup. Just go to the Wii’s settings, then sound, and then change your audio output to “stereo,” and movies should start sounding better.

The tech reasons behind this

And if you’re wondering about the tech-speak explanation for this, it’s that dialog occupies the center channel on a surround sound system, along with the very low tones destined for the subwoofer. They use a crossover to send the correct frequencies to each device. The voices in the remaining stereo mix are really just ambient sound designed to make them sound full and natural, to give them some stereo separation. As Chris said, configuring your Wii for stereo instead of surround sound SHOULD take care of this volume discrepancy for you.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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