How To Turn Off Audio Descriptions On The Amazon Firestick
Last Updated: February 5, 2020
If you are visually impaired, audio descriptions can be an incredibly valuable accessibility feature that allows you to enjoy content in the same way everyone else does. If you’re not visually impaired, audio descriptions can be intrusive. This tutorial will show you how to turn off audio descriptions on the Amazon Firestick and how to use other accessibility controls when you need them.
Accessibility still has a long way to go but is currently better than it has ever been on the Amazon Firestick. Those with hearing or sight impairments can now enjoy media in a much more inclusive way.
Audio descriptions help the visually impaired by describing what’s going on within a scene. That might include the setting, actors, any subtitles and what’s going on. All alongside the default audio track. It can be hard to follow until you’re used to them but if you don’t need this extra help, it does get in the way.
The Firestick has a pretty good audio description setup with a wide range of titles supporting the feature. If you need this feature, Amazon has a page that includes titles that have audio descriptions to make it easier to find them. There are apparently over a thousand titles in the current list so you should find something to watch!
Enable and disable audio descriptions on the Amazon Firestick
Back to the matter at hand. Enabling and disabling audio descriptions on the Amazon Firestick. It’s a simple setting that makes it easy to turn on or off. Sometimes too easy as it is very simple to turn it on accidentally during playback.
- Start a movie or TV show on your Firestick.
- Swipe down on your remote to access Subtitles and Audio.
- Select the option for Audio Description.
You should see two options, an audio track with Audio Description and one without. Selecting the one with Audio Description turns the feature on and selecting the track without turns it off. If you don’t see the option for descriptions, it may not be available for that title.
Enable Closed Captions on the Amazon Firestick
Closed Captions are another useful accessibility feature. This time for the hearing impaired. Closed Captions are much more detailed subtitles that will describe a lot more of what’s going on to help follow the action. They are identified by a ‘CC’ logo in the video description.
- Start a movie or TV show on your Firestick.
- Press the menu button on your Firestick remote.
- Select Subtitles and Audio.
- Toggle Subtitles and Captions to on to enable Closed Captions.
- Press the menu button again to watch your title.
Once you’re done with Closed Captions, just repeat the above and disable Subtitles and Captions to turn them off.
If you use subtitles or Closed Captions, you have some extra options where you can change the font, font size, color and more. Select Subtitling Preferences from within Subtitles and Audio to change these settings to meet your needs. Your options are fairly limited but you can customize how subtitles look and feel from this menu.
Using VoiceView on the Amazon Firestick
VoiceView is a menu narrator that helps visually impaired user navigate the Firestick and use menus and apps. It is another well-implemented accessibility feature that you can use to make it as inclusive as possible.
VoiceView uses remote control shortcuts to enable or disable. Hold down the back and menu buttons on your Firestick remote to enable VoiceView. You should hear ‘VoiceView Ready’ to confirm it is working. You can repeat that button combination to turn VoiceView off once you’re done with it.
Using Screen Magnifier on the Amazon Firestick
Screen Magnifier does exactly what it says on the tin. It magnifies portions of the screen that can be selected using the remote. If you need the extra help, it can be very useful. It is another accessibility option that is too easy to enable by mistake though.
- To enable Screen Magnifier, hold the back and fast forward button on your Firestick remote.
- Use the directional buttons on the remote to move the magnifier around the screen. Press menu and fast forward again to zoom in.
- Press menu and rewind to zoom out.
- Press back and fast forward button to disable Screen Magnifier.
While not perfect, the Amazon Firestick is quite an accessible device. It has a range of options to help with both visual and audio impairments that are easy to access and control. There is still work to do but overall, the Firestick makes a solid go at being a device for everyone.