Why Are Commercials So Loud on Hulu? (10-20 Decibels Louder!)
It can be incredibly annoying when you’re watching Hulu, and the commercials are SO much louder than the regular content.
In some cases, the commercials can be 10-20 decibels louder than Hulu media! Is there anything that you can do to fix loud commercials on Hulu? I’ll help walk you through some possibilities.
Why are commercials so loud on Hulu?
Commercials on Hulu are loud mostly for marketing purposes. Loud content is more likely to grab viewers’ attention. To reduce the volume of commercials on Hulu you can subscribe to ad-free Hulu, enable Auto Volume on your TV/streaming stick, install an ad-blocker, buy an audio compressor, or mute the TV.
Unfortunately, Hulu’s loud commercials have been an issue for a long time, and countless customers have complained about it.
The company doesn’t seem to be making much progress with balancing the audio levels on their end. Hulu has stated that they’re aware of the issue and are looking into solutions.
Interestingly, a law known as the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) made it illegal for TV commercials to be louder than the average channel volume.
However, that act only covers services such as cable TV, and it does not apply to online streaming services.
For that reason, streaming services can get away with overly loud commercials. It’s a frustrating issue that is extremely common on Hulu.
How to Fix Loud Commercials on Hulu
Luckily there are a few ways to get rid of loud commercials on Hulu…
Subscribe to Ad-Free Hulu
One way to get rid of the loud commercials on Hulu is to simply subscribe to their ad-free membership.
Hulu’s no ads plan costs $12.99/month, and you can start with a free 30-day trial. If you’re a regular Hulu user, the ad-free Hulu plan is your best option.
Bear in mind, even on the ad-free plan, there are still some commercials, although they’re usually either at the beginning or end of a show.
However, if you don’t want to spend more money, there are a few other things you can try…
Install an Ad Blocker
If you’re watching Hulu on a web browser on Windows, you can install an ad-block browser plugin.
AdBlock can block most of Hulu’s commercials, allowing you to get right back into your show or movie without any interruptions.
Ublock Origin is another option.
There’s also a plugin for Google Chrome called Hulu Ad Skipper which works quite well.
Bear in mind, that this option will only work if you’re watching Hulu on a computer. You can’t put an ad-blocker on your TV to block ads from the Hulu app.
If you have a spare laptop, you could hook it up to your TV via HDMI to watch Hulu with an Ad Blocker.
NOTE: this option won’t work with the Hulu app, it only works with the web browser version.
Enable Auto Volume on Your TV
Some TVs have a feature in the audio settings that will automatically adjust the volume if it detects extreme variations.
The “Auto Volume” feature can automatically lower the volume of commercials by about 12 decibels.
To enable Auto Volume on your TV:
- Samsung Smart TVs: Look under Settings > Sound > Expert Settings > “Auto Volume.”
- LG WebOS TVs: Look under Settings > Sound > Volume Mode > “Auto Volume.”
- Vizio SmartCast TVs: From the menu, go to Audio and turn on Volume Leveling.
Unfortunately this feature is not available on every TV, and it might be under a different name or menu, depending on the TV’s brand.
Something else to keep in mind is the Auto Volume feature often conflicts with external speakers, such as sound-bars.
Either way, it’s worth testing to see if it can at least slightly lower the volume of Hulu commercials.
Enable Automatic Volume Leveling on Your Steaming Device
If you’re watching Hulu on a streaming device (or a Roku/Fire TV), you can enable the Automatic Volume Leveling feature, which works the same as the one mentioned above.
This feature will reduce the volume of loud noises, while boosting quiet sounds, like dialogue.
- Roku sticks and TVs: Press * while playing video, scroll to Volume mode, and choose “Leveling.”
- Fire TV devices: Go to Settings > Display & Sounds > Audio > Advanced Audio and enable “Volume Leveler.”
- Apple TV: Head to Settings > Video and Audio, then enable “Reduce Loud Sounds.”
Again, this feature is not exactly designed to reduce the volume of commercials, but it does work for particularly loud commercials.
If you don’t already own one the streaming devices mentioned above, you could consider buying one to test out the Automatic Volume Leveling feature.
Just be aware with the automatic volume setting enabled, certain sound formats such as Dolby Digital may default to stereo audio.
While the audio quality won’t be as rich, the volume on Hulu commercials shouldn’t be as loud.
Use an External Audio Compressor
While not the most practical solution, you could consider buying an external audio compressor (also called an audio limiter) that automatically regulates your TV’s volume.
These devices can be a bit pricey, but it’s possible to find second-hand ones for around $100 or so.
An audio compressor not only reduces loud noises, but also boosts quiet sounds. It’s a good way to regulate volume because you can control all the limits using the various knobs on the compressor.
In other words, when you use an audio compressor, the audio will stay within the designated volume range.
While an audio compressor can reduce the volume of Hulu commercials, it’s a bit inconvenient to buy one solely for that purpose.
Admittedly, it would be easier to just subscribe to Hulu premium, which doesn’t have commercials. Nevertheless, it is a possible solution!
For more information on how to set up an audio compressor, watch this video.
Hulu commercials can be obnoxiously loud.
Luckily, there are several ways to reduce the volume:
- Subscribe to Hulu premium (ad free!)
- Install an Ad-Blocker if you’re on a computer
- Enable the Auto Volume setting on your TV
- Enable Automatic Volume Leveling on your streaming device
- Buy an external audio compressor
I believe the easiest solution is to subscribe to Hulu premium. You can always cancel at any time.
Hulu is aware of the issue and has supposedly been looking into a solution, but so far there hasn’t been any meaningful progress made on their end.
Were you able to successfully lower the volume of commercials on Hulu? If so, let me know in the comments section below!