Why Are Volumes So Different Between Apps?
You can’t figure it out. You are watching one app (or a movie from your UHD player, or a game from your console) and you get the volume just fine. But switch to a different app (or device), and suddenly the volume is way too high or low. What’s the deal? Why are volumes so different between apps?
The Real Deal
We’ve talked about reference volume before. As a quick reminder, reference volume is a standard that is used for mixing movies. This is so that all movies (generally) will be the same volume when your AV receiver is at the same level. Not every movie or studio adheres to this standard (looking at you, Disney). This is why there are lists of “best movies” to show off your home theater (we even have one).
The thing is, no one else pays attention to reference volume. App manufacturers certainly don’t. When they design their apps, keeping the volume consistent isn’t really a priority. The different app makers? They aren’t talking to each other about volume. Heck, there is no guarantee that an app on one device will have the same relative volume as the same app on a different device!
Is There Any Fix?
So, what is the solution? Keeping the remote handy is the best one. Learn where you like the volume on each of your apps. Maybe start a petition to get the different app manufacturers to set some sort of volume standard (or adhere to reference volume).
We can tell you what WON’T work though. Upgrading or buying a center speaker won’t make a difference. It isn’t about room acoustics or slap echoes or having the wrong center. Even enabling your AV receiver’s dynamic range compression won’t make much of a difference. This isn’t a problem with eARC (or ARC), switching streaming devices won’t help, and there isn’t a setting somewhere you missed. This is what happens when apps are built by different people with no standard or communication about what the standard should be in maximum and sustained volume.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. So…you know…just don’t lose your remote.