Hulu is notorious for having ridiculously loud ads compared to the volume levels of its shows. The streaming platform has said that this is a glitch it’s been working on, but for years members have been blasted with a stark contrast between whatever they’re watching and ad breaks.
While Hulu has a great video library with thousands of hours of films and series available, many turn away from the service specifically because of the ad volume. And it can be a bit sneaky too, starting off with some ads playing at the same volume as the video while steadily increasing the sound.
Recently, Reddit users have been noticing volume levels are comparable to the videos they’re streaming. Some noted that if the software is up to date on certain models, their ads played at a reasonable volume without having to take additional steps. Others noted the volume of their selections was quieter, so they had to increase for shows and in turn the ad volume was still obtrusive. Some state that they notice a difference in ad volume between series or films, meaning perhaps not all content Hulu provides is privy to this feature.
Usually, the volume is so loud I rush for my remote to mute the TV whenever an ad break occurs. This time, I decided to hear them out. While I personally did not notice a huge difference, I did notice a slight decrease in volume comparisons. Instead of my eardrums threatening to burst, I only had to decrease the volume by approximately six notches to find a comfortable range. And I agree, the volume of the series was quieter than I remember.
Whether Hulu’s ad volume is a glitch or a feature to inspire members to upgrade to one of its ad-free tiers, it breaks the 2010 Commerical Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, which deems it illegal for commercials to be significantly louder than programs.
For members who are frustrated with the vast volume differences, most Smart TVs have an Auto Volume feature that can easily solve this problem. This volume regulator feature allows people to adjust the decibel changes so if you’re sick of muting ads and watching out of the corner of your eye for your show to restart (possibly missing a few moments as the show resumes), this could be a simple solution. Check your TV’s settings to find this option.