Accuvoice, or how to listen to television dialogues better

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If you have problems listening to dialogues on television due to external noise, Accuvoice can be your new best friend

Accuvoice, or how to listen to television dialogues better

One would think that a device that offers to raise the volume when people talk on television, to hear better what they say without the other sounds of the environment interfering, is something taken from Star Wars.

Leer en español: Accuvoice, o cómo escuchar los diálogos de televisión mejor

A lot happens when one is watching a television program or a quiet movie in the house at night and, suddenly, one has problems listening to what they are saying. Sometimes one, with good reason, can blame the poor mix of sound, because it is not unusual for an explosion, a blow or a loud sound to overshadow the dialogue and one cannot listen to what they said. Other times, unfortunately, it is entirely the fault of old age and how we have abused of our ears.


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However, there is a solution to this. We are in the 21st century, please, we can make video calls with people in Argentina, Sudan, Costa Rica and Japan. How is there not going to be a speaker that amplifies only what is spoken, no matter how complicated that sounds? We say complicated, because, at least for us, that a speaker is able to only amplify the voice without increasing the other ambient sounds seems a quite impossible task.

How is it possible for a machine to recognize what is spoken and what is not to potentiate one and leave the other sound intact? Well, the North American company ZVOX offers this service thinking about those with reduced hearing capacity.

Sound bars

ZVOX was born in 2003, in the hands of Tom Hannaher, to offer a new product that sought to compete with the already established home theater packages: the sound bars. However, this company was not the pioneer in this. Five years before the founding of this company, the also producer of North American speakers, Altex-Lansing, launched to the market the first sound bar that pretended to unseat the spacious and expensive home theaters.

Although neither this company nor others that launched sound bars like SoundMatters or Niro managed to position their innovative products in the sound market, this new product generated a lot of curiosity among the new producers of speakers, according to Cnet.

In essence, the sound bars go under the screen and offer the experience of a home theater without the high price or the installation that consumes hours. Being simply a bar, with nothing additional, the promise becomes almost impossible to fulfill, since if you think a bit it would seem that physically it is impossible for a bar to cover the entire environment as several speakers and a subwoofer do.

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ZVOX's succes

The sound bars that the aforementioned companies launched to the market did not affected the home theaters packages, not even the first sound bar that ZVOX released in 2003, the same year of its foundation. Although that model, the Zvox 315, offered an enveloping sound atmosphere at a reasonable price of $ 200, it could not compete with its competitors. Hannaher himself could not understand, and it is not that he was proud: how is it possible that a cheap alternative, with such a good bass definition that does not need a subwoofer, without the need to install additional speakers, does not attract the attention of families?


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Even if ZVOX was not the creator of the sound bars, they were the first to create the first commercially successful sound bar. The years passed and the company remained firm in its goal of perfecting its product and unseating the complicated home theaters. However, the funny thing is that its success is not happening because, indeed, it is beating the giants of surround sound, but because it offers a technology that facilitates listening to the dialogues: the Accuvoice.


This was patented years after the success of the first sound bar, but it was from the beginning and was a fundamental part of the ZVOX's success. "We realized that what we sold as home theater was actually acquired as a device that clarified the dialogues," Hannaher said in statements collected by Digital Trends. Realizing this, ZVOX workers researched and worked hard to perfect this technology and completely conquer the market of those who suffer from poor listening.

According to the Popsci portal, this product is essential nowadays because TVs, being thinner and with better definition, are increasingly neglecting the quality of internal speakers. This is also due to the wide range of external speakers that create an unimaginable sound atmosphere. The other reason is that the babyboomers, that generation born at the beginning of the Cold War, are becoming deaf.

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It is neither by genetics nor by some rare chemical with which they coexist day by day; this was the first generation that listened to really hard music, that went to concerts in the first row without protecting their ears, that listened to rock with the headphones at full volume. Eventually those ears had to fail.

ZVOX managed to perfect the technology and baptized it as Accuvoice, so it goes without saying that for the moment they are dominating the market in terms of speakers that make it easier to listen to the dialogues without other sounds getting in the way. Nevertheless, the question remains: exactly how is it possible to highlight the dialogue and that the other sounds do not interfere if the sound that comes out of the television is mixed all in one?

The Accuvoice technology contains an algorithm capable of recognizing sound frequencies related to human speech, so, when recognizing them, it increases them so that the words are heard more. This is a very superficial explanation, since if we explain it in technical terms, surely you would be lost. Even us would be lost.


LatinAmerican Post | Pedro Vergara

Translated from "Accuvoice, o cómo escuchar los diálogos de televisión mejor"

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