Increasing voice volume

gatorguy 196 Points
For anyone that feels the voice instructions are not quite load enough, there is a way to increase them. Make sure you have a backup of the file you're changing before proceeding.

Connect your nuvi to the USB port and wait for the drive to be discovered.
Open your text editor. If you don't have one, there are several free including Crimson Editor, Edit Pad, VIM and others. Browse to the nuvi drive, Garmin>voices. Open the voice file (*.vpm) of the one you want to edit. Scroll nearly to the end of the file. (btw, they're quite large). I'll give american jill as an example. You should see a line that reads <voice_volume>65</voice.volume>. The number you want to change is the 65. In my case, I changed it to 80. You can go higher, but will probably start noticing some distortion if you do. Save the file via the text editor. This may take a bit, a minute or two. You should notice a much better voice volume. I also did Australian Karen (my favorite), which was already at 85, and raised to 90. Both voices are louder. If you want to try a different number, just repeat the process. Be sure to "safely remove hardware" before disconnecting the nuvi. Also, I can't stress enough to be sure you have a backup of the file you're changing before starting this. Stuff happens and I'm not responsible.

Comments

  • infama 0 Points
    Hacking a Garmin????

    :roll: :wink:
  • raaurora 0 Points
    now this is why I read these forums.

    thanks!
  • junioor 81 Points
    nice
  • Tim 1296 Points
    Can we confirm which series devices this works on? Perhaps all of them, but it would be nice to document if you have a 200, 300, 600, 700, or 800 series device.
  • Tim 1296 Points
    I might as well test a couple I have around here... The 200 appears not to work. The vpm file doesn't have a voice_volume tag.
  • YourFun2 0 Points
    Thanks Gator!

    It worked on my Nuvi 360. I was unable to edit on the unit itself, using a Macintosh. I copied the vpm file to the Mac hard drive, edited it and then replaced the file on the Nuvi. I did 90 on Jill and 99 on Karen. Sounds Great!

    Rich
  • gatorguy 196 Points
    Tim, I think this should work with any of the nuvi series TTS voices. The voice volume line is "one-click" above the end of file.
  • Tim 1296 Points
    Correct, and the one I checked didn't have TTS.
  • Finally found it neat.
  • Francisco 0 Points
    My comments:

    1 - Do not edit the *.vpm files with Wordpad. I did that without any apparent problem, but the result was that the two voices that I edited disappeared from my Garmin 760; were no longer shown as available to be used. Restored from backup, and the voices again became available as originally. Close call, I guess...

    2 - I then downloaded the Crimson Editor, which did not work because when I tried to open any of the large *.vpm files the result was a message indicating "Word Count Overflow - some parts of this document contain more than 32,768 words in a line" etc.

    3 - I then downloaded the VIM editor which seems to have worked perfectly. However, it takes a very long time to save the file after editing. Be patient. Go do something else, come back in a while, and then keep waiting...

    4 - I edited the "voice volume" setting to 99 on various *.vpm TTS files: Emily, Jill and Karen in English, and also Isabel and Paulina in Spanish. All seem to be working fine.

    5 - Unfortunately, I find the increase in volume to be minimal, if any. Certainly not as I hoped, I'm not sure if the change helps any. The volume of the Garmin 760 voices still is about as loud as my new TomTom 930 at a 70% to 75% volume setting, nowhere near the TT930 at 100% setting (the Garmin 760 screen is much brighter than the TT930, however).

    6 - While I was in my Garmin->Voices folder, I erased all files for all languages except English, Spanish, and Italian (erased 94 files, originally there were 122 files in that folder, now only 28). That results in a much shorter menu when changing the voice in the Garmin 760, which I think is very convenient. And of course I do not expect to ever use those languages that I erased, in which I do not know one single word.

    7 - Before doing anything to the files on your GPS, please make sure that you have a full working backup of all files, because you will need the backup to restore your original files if anything goes wrong, as indeed happened to me initially.

    8 - All the above are my own personal experiences and opinions based upon the modifications that I made to files in my own Garmin 760. No negative consequences of which I am aware to date. But of course I will not guarantee and I am not responsible for whatever will happen if you try any of this in your GPS.

    Good luck!
  • weezedog 0 Points
    Use a hex editor, like XVI32. It only takes about 1/2 second to save the file after editing it.
  • Francisco 0 Points
    Thanks, but no thanks. I downloaded XVI32, used it to open one of the Garmin .vps files, and frankly I have no idea about what I'm supposed to do with that file in that editor. I rather leave the file as is (not edit it), or edit with VIM which as I said worked fine except that it took a while to save the file. I am NOT a programmer and I do not understand anything about hex files or hex editors. Sorry. Thanks again.
  • weezedog 0 Points
    Thanks, but no thanks. I downloaded XVI32, used it to open one of the Garmin .vps files, and frankly I have no idea about what I'm supposed to do with that file in that editor. I rather leave the file as is (not edit it), or edit with VIM which as I said worked fine except that it took a while to save the file. I am NOT a programmer and I do not understand anything about hex files or hex editors. Sorry. Thanks again.
    You would edit it just like in a text editor, just ignore the hexadecimal stuff. The text appears on the right-side, and you will do the modifying there. You click Search-->Find. Then make sure text string is selected and put in voice_volume, uncheck case sensitive, and click OK. You will see voice_volume on the right and you will click on the the number to change and just type in the new number then save.
  • Francisco 0 Points
    Thanks, sounds good.
  • RobCTNY 0 Points
    Any way to increase the volume of the attention tone that earlier nuvi models have ?
  • ordertwo 0 Points
    Changing the TTS Volume Level Higher Did it get rid of the sounding like there talking into a tin can ?
  • nuvifan 0 Points
    The most common complaint I read online about the Garmin Nuvis is that the volume of spoken instructions is too low: It seems to me that at a minimum, the recent Nuvi models 2xx, 7xx, 8xx suffer from this flaw. I have read many users who insist that they are returning their Nuvi because of difficulty hearing it.

    I offer the following small sample of current reviews at Costco.com regarding the 855 model: Of 46 reviews, 3 stated the low volume was a main reason for returning it; 12 others complained of low volume, and about 6 specifically found the volume at least satisfactory. This is an admittedly very small sample, but I believe similar results would be found in tallying Amazon reviews for different Nuvis: However, I respectfully decline to tally those several thousand possibilities. :roll:

    I just had the good fortune to use a Voice Editor program that allows a user to alter the volume of individual voices on the Nuvi 855: This program is titled “TTSVoiceEditor,” and is available by free download at: http://turboccc.wikispaces.com I have also read that several other voice editors can perform the same function.

    I just modified the six English speaking voices on my 855, raising them all from Garmin default levels of 65 or 85…up to my choices of 90 and 95: These levels exist deep in the computer programming for individual Garmin “Voices.” Previously, my Master Volume level (with the – and + volume slider, adjustable in 10% increments) had been set at 100%, and was difficult to hear unless the windows were closed, and radio set low. My “American Jill” voice is now easy to hear, even with two car windows open and stereo on moderate volume; I also find NO problem with voice distortion. It is no longer necessary to strain to hear the instructions. I can even foresee situations in the future when I might adjust the “volume slider” to less than 100%.

    This program apparently works on a broad range of Nuvi models (series 2xx, 6xx, 7xx, and 8xx), and is also very easy to use. I have also reprogrammed the term “recalculating,” so that now it is supposed to say: “Oopsy booboo! Let’s turn around.” However, I haven’t yet had a chance to test drive this new feature! Perhaps some further modification will prove necessary. Virtually all spoken instructions in the Nuvis can be modified with this program.

    I cannot understand why Garmin continues to produce its Nuvi line (for several years now) with default voice volume so low. Wouldn’t you think that Garmin MUST be well aware of the complaints by now? Given the frequency of the online complaints I read about Nuvi volume in various discussion forums (and Amazon user reviews), I believe that there could be several hundred owners who have complained, among all models; I also frequently read of new Amazon owners who insist that they are returning Nuvis to their vendors for refunds.

    I think it is a terrible shame that Garmin continues to produce otherwise good Nuvi products, but which consistently feature volume that is too low for many customers. I also regret that most of those disappointed new owners never know of the TTSVoiceEditor, and how it could greatly improve their satisfaction with a Nuvi. I was initially very reluctant to fiddle with my 855, but actually had no problem with the simple instructions, and it was quick.

    I had previously “learned to live with” the low volume of my Nuvi, but am now much happier with the louder instructions…and hope that these comments lead you to consider making your own volume modifications.

    I first read about the TTSVoiceEditor here. Once again (and over and over), I salute this forum for all the wonderful information I have read here...and all that I have learned about Nuvis.
  • Thanks for the link! I will try and raise the volume on my 265WT. Im going to make a backup first just in case I screw something up.
  • Thanks for the link! I will try and raise the volume on my 265WT. Im going to make a backup first just in case I screw something up.
    Backing up files is always a good thing. But even if you don't back up the voice file you don't have anything to worry about. Because you can always download the voice files again using Garmin's webupdater.
  • Gotcha--didnt know that
  • zmanzbo 0 Points
    Just tried this on my new 855 and it was extremely easy and worked great. I used the TSSVoiceEditor program and it was a breeze. Thanks for posting the link to that software.

    I also noticed that Garmin put out some Garmin Matt voice and it is extremely loud but does not speak street names. Maybe they are finally catching on to the low voice volume and will release updated voices soon. :lol:
  • BullieverBulliever 0 Points
    The most common complaint I read online about the Garmin Nuvis is that the volume of spoken instructions is too low: It seems to me that at a minimum, the recent Nuvi models 2xx, 7xx, 8xx suffer from this flaw. I have read many users who insist that they are returning their Nuvi because of difficulty hearing it.
    This "complaint" really puzzles me because I suffer from profound hearing loss in my left ear and severe loss in the right ear and have never had a problem clearly hearing the spoken instructions while driving or or using my Nuvi elsewhere without using my hearing aids. I have used the 260W, 750, and 2 different 755T's. I keep the volume control set a 80%.
  • NetPro 0 Points
    The issue of volume will never come to a close because there are several variables;
    Is the vehicle a quiet one? I drive a Toyota Avalon quite quiet and I don't need to turn the radio very loud to listen to it well. Likewise, when speaking with people riding with me, I don't need to raise my voice or them theirs.

    Riding with the windows down? This will definitely force you to use a louder volume.

    Even the road type has a bearing on this, as some road's surface is much more noisy that others.
    The acustics of the vehicle is also something to consider.
    And of course, how loud are other devices in the car; cell phones ringing, radar detectors, radios, etc.
  • flipper 0 Points
    edited July 2009
    I downloaded and re-downloaded the TTVoiceEditor file and it won't run. I get the error message "This application failed to start because MSVBM60 .DLL was not found"
  • wscott52 0 Points
    My comments:

    1 - Do not edit the *.vpm files with Wordpad. :!
    You can probably use Wordpad but you will have to be careful. Wordpad by default saves files as .rtf files which changes the extension and adds formatting code. If when you save the altered file you choose Save As/Text or maybe Text for MS DOS it should save it without formatting. It may still change the extension to .txt but if you change it back to .vpm you should be okay.

    If you have Wordpad you should have Notepad which is just a text editor, instead of a word processor, and probably a better choice if you don't have a hex editor.
  • SergZak 222 Points
    I also noticed that Garmin put out some Garmin Matt voice and it is extremely loud but does not speak street names.
    The non-TTS voices are always louder and clearer than the TTS voices due to the way they are produced. The TTS voices use a speech engine to convert text to speech while the non-TTS voices are actual recorded voice samples.
  • NetPro 0 Points
    I downloaded and re-downloaded the TTVoiceEditor file and it won't run. I get the error message "This application failed to start because MSVBM60 .DLL was not found"
    This was a common error a long time ago. It refers to a missing Microsoft Visual Basic runtime file (Dynamic Link-Library) and is easy to fix.
    You can do a Google search for "msvbm60.dll" and the top (for me, this time) hit was a direct link to download the file. You can put in the Windows\system32 folder (it needs to be "in the path" and this directory is)

    Hopefully, this will be the only missing file the application needs. If more are needed, it will keep displaying the file name and you can repeat this procedure until it works.
  • flipper 0 Points
    Thank you.
  • mrdave 0 Points
    Thank you all, It worked on my Garmin 755t, now I can almost hear it in my old Impala SS.
    Dave
  • mortfe 0 Points
    Ok guys, Im on a mac. Files are all PC. Any help for me? Tried an external speaker - didn't work. I heard the fm traffic receiver really increases the volume but if you have to charge the unit, you have to disconnect the traffic. Garmin really screwed this up good.
  • Roll 0 Points
    For anyone that feels the voice instructions are not quite load enough, there is a way to increase them. Make sure you have a backup of the file you're changing before proceeding.
    . . Also, I can't stress enough to be sure you have a backup of the file you're changing before starting this. Stuff happens and I'm not responsible.
    Gator....

    How about a hack to show the address of your location as you drive down the street or the next cross street coming up? Can that be done? You seem to be the go to guy when it comes to editing garmin os files.

    Thanks! :)

    Roll
  • mortfe 0 Points
    YourFun2: How did you edit it & what did you use? I tried Text Wrangler & was grayed out? After you copied to desktop, then what? After replacing, does it delete the orig file?
  • gatorguy 196 Points
    Roll, I'm definitely not the go to hack guy. My original post came from hints from a member at another forum. I simply played around using his basic instructions until I found settings and editors that worked. The guy that truly took it several steps farther was TurboCCC. First guy I'd run across that took the time to dissect Garmin's file system and came up with several ways to create some voice workarounds. I don't see him in the forums that often anymore, but he does pop in and post every couple of months if not more. He'd be the guy here if anyone is. There's a couple other people who have successfully modified some of the Garmin features, and they too pop in once in awhile. Even tho working with Garmin's proprietary OS sometimes requires working with one eye closed, perhaps someone will take the challenge. In the meantime, you can check out some of TurboCCC's work at turboccc.wikispaces.com
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