Sound matters: Getting it right for our audience

Audience research shows that nearly sixty percent of viewers have had some difficulty hearing what was being said in programmes.

Some viewers may complain, but many more may simply switch over.

Viewers with hearing loss will have even more difficulty.

According to the charity Action on Hearing Loss the condition affects almost one in ten of the UK population

Making a difference

BBC programmes need to be of the highest quality and that means paying just as much attention to producing beautiful, clear, audible sound as it does to produce stunning visuals. 

According to BBC research, it turns out that there are four key factors that can make it hard for viewers to hear what is being said.

  1. Unclear speech: Mumbling or muffled dialogue, people talking over each other
  2. Unfamiliar accents: Viewers find accents they're not used to harder to understand
  3. Background noise: Locations with heavy traffic, babbling streams, farmyard animals
  4. Background music: Particularly spiky, heavily percussive music or lyrics that cut across dialogue

Any of these can create problems for viewers, but when factors combine then people struggle to understand.

Best practice

On this site you'll find practical advice in order to get the sound right on your production.

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