Eli5: Sound volume of commercials



Why does it seem adds/commercials are always way louder than the show or content you are listening too?

In: Technology

Most TV shows will have a dynamic range in their sound – highs and lows in overall volume based on what is going on in the show. The commercials, however, use what is called a compressor to reduce the dynamic range – the compressor sets a maximum volume and then increases _all_ of the sound up to that maximum volume without exceeding it.

This means that the perceived loudness is higher than the TV show, even if the actual volume has the same high end limit.

They do this to grab your attention.

Advertisers knows that you zone out whenever the commercials come on. You turn to others in the room for a chat, you check your phone or laptop, you leave to grab something in the kitchen, etc. So they make commercials intended to grab your attention and shove their message down your throat even if you try to avoid it. And the best way to do this is to crank the volume up to 150% to create a wall of sound that you are unable to escape. The sound quality is usually very bad due to the compression they use. However they try to compensate for this a bit by changing the sound settings to mono and lowering the screen resolution in order to get as much bitrate to the sound as they can.