Dialogue boost, the new Prime Video feature


It is hard to know exactly why the dialogue in films and series can be difficult to hear. It is a rather complex problem that some believe has been made worse by the audio compression used by streaming services.

When the hearing impaired come to the aid of movie fans

Prime Video has taken this issue seriously, announcing a new accessibility feature called Dialogue Boost on April 19, 2023. Initially launched on select Amazon Originals movies worldwide, Dialogue Boost increases the volume of dialogue over background music and effects. Originally developed for the hearing impaired, this feature should please with many viewers (whose hearing is perfectly fine) who cannot understand all the dialogue in movies.

An inclusive streaming experience

“At Prime Video, we are committed to creating an inclusive, fair and enjoyable streaming experience for all of our customers,” states Raf Soltanovich, vice president of technology at Prime Video and Amazon Studios. He adds, “Our library of captioned and audio-described content continues to grow, and by leveraging our technology capabilities to create breakthrough innovations like Dialogue Boost, we are taking the next step in creating a more accessible streaming experience.”

On the movie Jack Ryan, the Dialogue Boost option can be activated in the languages and subtitles menu.
This option requires artificial intelligence processing of the audio. For the moment, only a few films and series benefit from this option, which will gradually become a standard.

Dialogue Boost analyzes the original sound of a movie or series and intelligently identifies where dialogue may be difficult to hear over background music and effects. Models are then isolated and the sound is improved to make the dialogues clearer. This approach, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to improve certain parts of the dialogue in a targeted manner.

Dialogue Boost is available on all Prime Video enabled devices. Amazon Originals movies and series with Dialogue Boost include Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Harlem, as well as films such as The Big Sick, Beautiful Boy and Being the Ricardos. Amazon says the feature will be available for other titles this year.

How to activate the Dialogue boost mode on Prime Video

To access the function during playback, select the level of dialogue enhancement in the audio track and subtitle drop-down menu. The audio tracks are called “English Dialogue Boost: Medium” and “English Dialogue Boost: High”.

“At Prime Video, we are committed to creating an inclusive, fair and enjoyable streaming experience for all our customers.”

 Raf Soltanovich, vice-président de la technologie chez Prime Video

What solutions for other services?

Some manufacturers have thought of introducing “voice modes” or equalization curves directly into their systems. Sennheiser has equipped the Ambeo SoundBar Plus with this mode. At JBL, “PureVoice” technology optimizes voice clarity and is present in the JBL Bar 300 soundbar. Samsung provides the Voice Enhance Mode for its soundbars. AV receivers feature similar modes or equalization settings, but they also offer the possibility to increase the center channel where the vocals are located. These settings can be found on most AV receiver, including models from Marantz, Denon and Onkyo.

If you don’t have a special mode for boosting voices, boosting the volume of the center channel may help you hear dialogue a little more clearly.

If this setting is not appropriate for your situation, HDSX has also developed a “sound optimizer” in a small electronic device. The latter guarantees a stable volume level and clear dialogue when watching movies and series. Practical, these devices are easily connected between the source and the television. Proof that Prime Video wasn’t the first to find a solution for this problem!

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