Originally Posted by blastermaster
I just finished watching it now. Much like many others who have already posted, the sound is mixed low. That doesn't mean it's bad. It just means that you have to turn it up. It turns out you have to turn it up a fair bit. In my case, 6db higher was what sounded right to my ears relative to most of my other movies. At that level I felt like I could then judge its dynamics. It was good, but not great. Bass was definitely there in some scenes and the dialogue was very clear, but normally I would "feel" punches in action scenes in other movies and it was just a bit flat in this one. The timing of the music was great, though. Led Zepplin? C'mon.
As a side note, I just have to wonder how many (probably not as many on AVS) people equate "loud" with good sound. The new Blade Runner, for example, is so bloody loud I had to turn it down by 5db to get to a normal listening volume. Yes, it was still great at that level, but man there is such a volume discrepancy with some movies...
The funny thing is that is usually the case with music which as NO STANDARDS for dynamic range (the progression with "popular" music has been to compress it more and more since the 1990s to the point where digital got a bad reputation due to sheer lack of dynamic range compared to LPs which can only take so much compression before the needle tends to pop right out of the groove thus FORCING the record companies to limit the compression (still WAY too high of course, but not INSANE like most digital anymore).
Movies, however, were SUPPOSED to be different with a standardization based on Dolby recommendations most (if not all) of the time. This means you SHOULD be able to calibrate your audio system once and then leave the volume setting at the same point for virtually ALL movies. With a D&M product, this means one smart setting to rule them all to set volume! Sadly, however, this is a MYTH of epic proportions! I don't think most of the review sites out there actually watch movies of they would know it was a myth LONG before Disney started royally screwing up soundtracks in recent years! Movies are better about it than music, but let's face it, "louder is better" usually wins the day even if it means sneaking a few dB more compression here or there. The WEIRD thing about Disney, however is it's been just the opposite! They have LOWERED average volume levels! You'd think this means they have crazy good dynamic range now (they do own Skywalker Sound who came up with THX standards, after all!) but this is sadly NOT the case. It appears they are actually creating ONE soundtrack for both disc and streaming release and are lowering standards to the streaming level. Streaming doesn't have to sound any worse in dynamics than a disc (yes the average bitrates with DD+ is lower than TrueHD, but that has nothing to do with dynamic range or even the inclusion of Atmos!) But I'm thinking they are figuring on the lowest common denominator (the way the music industry thinks) and don't want to blow out your "Homepod" speakers or soundbars or whatever crap they assume most people have these days. I can think of no other explanation for the sheer INEPTIDUDE I've been witnessing from Disney.
The worst thing is reading a review on a site like this one that purports to be about high-end quality, but then gives a movie like Thor Ragnarok a freaking 92 for sound quality.... It's mind blowing how that can happen and anyone expect this site to be taken seriously for the official reviews. I don't want to argue about it with the author, but it's SO FAR off the mark it's unbelievable. Even with the volume level corrected, the audio has problems with dynamic range and bass equivalence. I'd give it no more than an 82 at best (admittedly it's hard to know how much to subtract for purely "digital" problems with a soundtrack compared to traditional sound quality issues like noise and use of surround channels). But if you compare this movie to something like the Atmos re-releas of the original Jumanji, it's not even funny how SUPERIOR Jumanji by comparison, made even more impressive by the fact it's a retrofit of a MUCH OLDER title! If this is a 92, then WTF is Jumanji? A 112??? You see? It leaves no room for improvement when there is clearly a LOT of room for improvement here.
As for the movie itself, the 3D version had great quality 3D and the movie itself was a lot of fun (if you can accept Thor with a lot of GOTG type humor; personally I thought it was GREAT compared to the moody/depressing atmosphere of the previous titles by comparison). Adjusting the volume gets rid of a lot of of the problems, but clearly not all when you compare it to much better sounding titles. I'd LOVE to move the Atmos soundtrack over to the 3D version on my Zidoo (that can play it off a hard drive), but based on the comments I've read, there's no real point to buy the 4K version (at some cost) JUST to get an Atmos soundtrack that will clearly disappoint. I've read better things about the use of Atmos with The Last Jedi so I'm tempted to buy the 4K version there to try with the 3D version I already own, but it'll have to come down in price to at least $15 before that happens (even if it's just used). $30+ is ridiculous for a double dip just for the soundtrack when I want to watch the 3D video. I did buy the 4K Valerian to move the Atmos soundtrack over to the Indian 3D video (PITA aligning it, but it does work and is possible!), but even though THAT film is of questionable story-value, it's still
probably better than The Last Jedi.... (sad I know).