We have discussed DTS many times in the past in various articles here and our partners publications. Both DTS and Dolby have been toe to toe in the competition of bringing crisp, clear and jaw dropping sound to home AVRs for years. Recently last year, Dolby released their Dolby Atmos technology and DTS had only been rumored to have their new bag of tricks coming soon, right around the corner. What was once believed by us to be called DTS-UHD, finally broke out of its shell and took the spotlight as the new DTS:X format.
The new format delivers sound as object-based vs channel, giving the mixer more flexibility when creating a track and allowing for a more fluid transition between speakers. There is no limitation to 5.1, 7.1 and so forth. You simply have DTS:X, which will be one format, for all speaker configurations. No need of having to program multiple tracks. A good comparison would be the latest Android OS or the upcoming Windows 10 OS, which can adapt to whatever device it is on, without having to have multiple versions of that OS on the market.
Headphone:X technology, obviously allows you to experience DTS:X on multi-channel capable headphones. We don’t know yet if Headphone:X can or will be able to be decoded using *any* pair of say, 7.1 headphones…or if you will require a Headphone:X supported (new) set of ears; but, we will make sure to update on the subject as soon as the information is available.
Personally, we found this to be extremely entertaining to the ears, and are excited to hear more about it as it enters the market later this year. The demonstration for DTS:X for AVRs was brief, but definitely made its point. What felt like a true 360 degree coverage of sound, it brought it right into what we were watching. We can only imagine what it would be like in a larger room, with more speakers. The Headphone:X display made use of smartphones and tablets in addition to the headphones to deliver the media. It sounded great, and the spacing of sounds was amazing, creating what sounded like a true 7.1 experience on-ear.
At the moment, DTS only planned for a soft announcement at CES, allowing attendees to experience what it sounds like via demonstrations in both the AVR and headphone side of the market. More information will be released by DTS once they are ready to share.
Plan for more information probably sometime within the second quarter of this year. Most likely you will start to see the technology enter the market by later summer/fall time period, which is usually when the current year AVRs begin to roll onto the shelves. This information is strictly speculation on our part, as DTS couldn’t comment on this just yet.
One of our teams at CES had a great discussion and interview with DTS. You can view that here: