Surround sound has been around for a long time, but the latest buzzword in the "immersive audio" industry that goes beyond the traditional 7.1 speaker layout to deliver a three-dimensional audio experience. Dolby was the first to step out of the block with its 3D audio offering when it announced Dolby Atmos in 2012. Since then, many other companies have announced their wraparound surround sound formats, including DTS: X, which was launched last year from DTS Inc., a California-based technology engineering company, so if you want to learn more about the subject, here is our in-depth look at DTS: X and what it promises to do in the home theater market over the next few years:
What is DTS: X?
DTS: X a Object-based audio codec, which aims to create a multidimensional sound that "moves around you like it would be in real life". The technology has its roots in the 3D surround sound format developed by Santa Ana, a California sound engineering company SRS Labs, which was later acquired by DTS in 2012. DTS: X works with "any configuration of speakers with a hemispherical layout", thanks to the use of the Multi Dimensional Audio (MDA) platform, which is an open and free standard that allows sound technicians to isolate each individual sound object and control its position, movement and volume separately regardless of channel assignment or speaker layout.
What is DTS Virtual: X?
In simpler terms, DTS Virtual: X aims to provide the three-dimensional surround sound of DTS: X without all the extra speakers . The company does this by using special digital signal processing instead of reflecting the sound of the walls to simulate the surround sound experience. To achieve the desired effect, DTS: X uses only two channels and a separate sub-woofer. However, like photos and videos, digital processing can only replicate real-world scenarios to a certain extent, but it offers a relatively immersive acoustic experience even if your house or apartment has an open floor.
What is the DTS: X headset?
As evident from the nomenclature, DTS Headphone: X brings the DTS: X to a headphone 3D surround sound experience close to you. The technology can simulate the 3D environment of the original mixing stage of any audio input in order to produce 12 channels of binaural surround sound, thus creating an engaging cinematic audio experience for the listener.
Other 3D audio formats
While DTS: X is a compelling 3D surround sound technology, competing in an increasingly competitive market, with technologies like Dolby Atmos, Auro 3D Audio, Audyssey DSX / DSX2, etc. Who compete for mindshare and consumer market sharing. However, the real battle between Dolby Atmos and DTS: X, since many A / V manufacturers prefer to stay away from Audyssey DSX / DSX2 and choose instead to go with DTS: X and Dolby Atmos, although, unlike these two formats, Audyssey DSX does not require specific coding on the source side. As for Auro 3D Audio, it can be added to compatible A / V receivers via a firmware update. However, it has proven to be a bit tough over the years, as unlike DTS: X or Dolby Atmos, the Auro 3D firmware actually has a fee which typically is around $ 199 in the United States and 149 in the euro area.
DTS: X vs Dolby Atmos: how does it compare?
Very similar to DTS: X, Dolby Atmos is also a relatively new surround sound technology that promises to deliver dynamic audio by adding a height element to a typical surround sound system to create a multi-dimensional 3D audio experience. However, one of the main differences between the two technologies lies in the speaker configuration that is necessary to implement them. While Dolby Atmos requires the addition of additional overhead channels to a standard 5.1 or 7.1 setting, DTS: X works with standard surround sound settings immediately out-of-the-box, eliminating the need for additional speakers. If you want an in-depth perspective on some of the main differences between DTS: X and Dolby Atmos, keep an eye on our detailed comparison which should be fairly early.
Compatibility, devices and availability
With DTS: X is already becoming quite popular, most of them new home theater receivers are starting to be shipped with format support immediate. Some of older ones are potentially compatible with the technology subject of a firmware update. Several respectable brands, such as Anthem, Arcam, Denon, Krell, Logitech, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, Trinnov and Yamaha offer DTS: X-compatible A / V receivers, and many have already released new firmware to make their old device compatible with the new technology. There are also a myriad of options available if you are looking to purchase DTS: X compatible speakers and DTS Headphone: X compatible headphones.
For technical reasons, we must mention that DTS: X requires the Blu-ray player to support DTS-HD Master plus bitstream audio, but since these features are found on virtually all Blu-ray players released in the last decade, you're probably not too concerned about that. it is probable that in reality it is not necessary to invest in a new Blu-ray receiver or reader for the immersive DTS: X experience.
In terms of content, dozens of films published by major Hollywood studios such as Paramount, Universal, Lionsgate etc. They are encoded with DTS: X, including well-known titles such as Apollo 13, Snow White and the Huntsman, Fifty Shades of Gray, The Bourne Quadrolody (Identity, Legacy, Supremacy and Ultimatum) and Zoolander 2, among others.
DTS: X The Future of 3D Surround Sound?
DTS: X has some new features that are not available with some of the other 3D audio formats. Furthermore, in most cases it is not even necessary to update the hardware for the complete DTS: X experience. Everything makes it a lucrative proposition for consumers, but as in the case of most format wars, the success or failure of both depends more on the support it receives from its OEM partners than on how the public really perceives it. At the moment, too early to declare winners and losers, but it will be interesting to see how DTS: X competes with all its competitors in the future. With Dolby Atmos ahead ahead of its previous launch, DTS Inc. is a little behind the 8-ball, but with all that remains to be played, it will be interesting to see which platform triumphs when the dust settles on it which promises to be a much fighter competition than Betamax vs VHS or HD-DVD vs Blu-ray. In case you are already using a DTX: X based surround sound system or have an opinion on the subject in one way or another, play in the comment section below, because we love to hear from you.