Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, and other immersive surround-sound technologies have made movie-listening even more realistic by adding height channels to home theater audio. You not only hear a jet move across the room from left to right, but from above your head. In the past creating this experience required placing speakers in the ceiling or speakers designed to bounce the audio off the ceiling.
A new technology from DTS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation, promises to create this same experience from a single soundbar—no additional speakers required. Called DTS Virtual:X,, the technology delivers the perception of up to 7.1.4 content through traditional speakers in the horizontal such as a soundbar. In other words, with DTS Virtual:X, height speakers aren’t necessary to enjoy an immersive audio experience.
This summer Yamaha will be one of the first to launch a DTS Virtual:X-ready product, the YAS-207 soundbar.
“Our mission at DTS is to make the world sound better and deliver premium audio solutions to our partners and consumers,” says Joanna Skrdlant, general manager, home audio at Xperi. “With the introduction of DTS Virtual:X technology, listeners can enjoy height and surround sound with simply a sound bar, making it more accessible and affordable than ever to experience the benefits of immersive audio at home.”
DTS’ research shows that fewer than 30 percent of consumers that purchase multichannel A/V receivers actually connect the height speakers and fewer than 48 percent of consumers connect the rear surround speakers, for a variety of reasons. DTS Virtual:X technology in an A/V receiver will provide an immersive sound experience without the need for rear surround and height speakers while still allowing consumers to upgrade for an even better immersive sound experience when they’re able to add additional speakers to their system.
A/V receivers featuring DTS Virtual:X technology will be available this fall from a number of brands.
As televisions have become lighter and thinner, the demand for larger screen sizes has increased. In the U.S. market alone, 86 percent of US consumers now own a TV greater than 40 inches, and 18 percent now own a TV of over 60 inches, according to the Consumer Technology Association’s 19th Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study, published April 2017. While larger screen sizes provide a more immersive viewing experience, the audio experience from a TV alone is compromised due to the market’s desire for a thin form factor, which limits speaker driver size and placement. DTS Virtual:X technology provides an immersive sound experience without the need for larger drivers or additional speakers added to the television.
Televisions with DTS Virtual:X technology are forecast to be available in early 2018.
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