Best way to tell if she's dramatic or not is play the same disk in your bedroom 2 channel player.
I don't think burnig faster should change the sound.
I personally only burn at 4X, but that's just my preference. Use only quality media or you'll be doing it over again. If speed is important to you try burning a bit faster BUT NEVER EXCEED the media's listed maximum speed.
When something works well for you stick with it, some burners like some media over others. My Liteon burner loves Taiyo Yuden media so that's what I try to use, I've experimented with others but never got the same consistent results.
The AC-3/2 is on there for other audio features such as directors comments.