Audio and video technology has changed a lot over the years, which has led to a lot of specific sorts of surround sound. There are a lot of new formats that can be used to make things look more realistic and show more detail.
People are now using DTS surround sound in their homes, and it’s quickly becoming the most important and powerful technologies in home theater. It can be hard to understand if this is your first time working with spatial audio codecs and software like DTS:X and DTS Sound Unbound.
But, what is DTS? And what do you really have to have to start? Let us show you.
The History of Surround Sound at Home
There was a time when VHS was the only option available to people. Discs, digital TV broadcasts, and streaming information have supplanted cassettes as the primary means of storing audio and video data these days. A new generation of audio engineers has emerged to increase the quality of surround sound in the home.
There was no separate audio information for various channels in the early incarnations of surround sound. From two-channel (stereo) signals, instead, they derived surround sound information. Initially, four speakers played back the “matrixed” channels, but ultimately five speakers and a subwoofer were added.
Different channels in more complex surround sound codecs encode separate sounds. As a consequence, the language is more comprehensible; the images are more expansive, and the overall realism is enhanced.
What is a Spatial Sound?
First, let’s define what spatial sound is so we can better understand what DTS:X is and how it works.
Spherical sound is a method of producing sounds that surround the listener in all directions. It implies that you can hear noises coming from all directions from your gadgets. Planes fly above in movies, and the sound of their engines may be heard over your head. Gunshots fired from the left side of the room can be heard.
Speakers and televisions use object-based spatial sound, whereas headphones use binaural spatial sound. Because the names of the various DTS spatial sound technologies might be a little perplexing, we’ll go through the most important ones here.
A little about DTS
Digital Theater Sound (DTS) is a group of digital audio encoding systems used in movie theaters, home theaters, and video games. The following is a quick rundown of DTS’s relevance in home theater development:
To compete with Dolby Laboratories, DTS was developed in 1993 as an audio encoder, decoder and processor technology provider for the home theater and movie theater industries.
When Jurassic Park premiered in theaters in 1997, it was the first film to use DTS audio surround sound technology. The 1997 LaserDisc edition of Jurassic Park was the first to use DTS audio in a home theater. The Legend of Mulan was the first DVD to have a DTS audio track in 1998 (made for video, not the Disney version).
DTS Digital Surround: An Overview
Both Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS (also known as DTS Digital Surround or DTS Core) have its origins in the LaserDisc format, which DTS shares with the other home theater audio standard. When the DVD format was introduced, both audio and video files were transferred to it.
Like Dolby Digital’s requirements, DTS Digital Surround demands the use of an audio receiver with five channels of amplification, as well as a subwoofer (.1) at the listening end of the system.
A sample rate of 48 kHz and 24 bits is used to encode DTS Digital Surround. It’s capable of a maximum data transmission rate of 1.5 Mbps. Dolby Digital’s sampling rate is limited to 20 bits, whereas the maximum data transmission rate for DVDs and Blu-ray discs is 448 Kbps and 640 Kbps, respectively.
In contrast to Dolby Digital, DTS Digital Surround is also used to mix and reproduce musical performances, and DTS-encoded CDs were available for a brief period of time.
Compatible CD players can play DTS-encoded CDs. To decode a DTS-encoded bitstream, the player must have either a digital optical or digital coaxial audio output and the requisite internal equipment. Because of this, DTS-CDs cannot be played on CD players, but may be played on DVD or Blu-ray Disc players that have the DTS compatibility required to play the CD.
Select DVD-Audio discs have DTS as an audio playing option. These discs can only be played on DVD/Blu-ray players that are compatible with the discs they contain.
Home theater receivers and AV preamplifier/processors with built-in DTS decoders are required if you want to play DTS-encoded CD, DVD, DVD-Audio Disc, or Blu-ray discs. DTS pass-through (Bitstream output through a digital optical/digital coaxial audio connection or via HDMI) is also required for a CD, DVD, or Blu-ray Disc player.
DTS Surround Sound Format Variations
In spite of its widespread use, DTS Digital Surround is only the tip of the iceberg. Additionally, DTS 96/24, DTS-ES, and DTS Neo:6 surround sound formats are also available for DVD.
Blu-ray Discs may also benefit from DTS HD Master Audio, DTS Neo:6, and the newer DTS:X.
There’s also DTS Virtual:X, which is another DTS variant. The DTS:X format gives some of the advantages of this format, but it doesn’t need specially encoded material and doesn’t require a lot of speakers, making it a feasible alternative for soundbars.
With its DTS Headphone:X format, DTS also provides surround sound for headphone listening.
How does DTS Work?
Most DTS audio compression systems deal with spatial sound, to put it simply. Computers, game consoles, and even normal headphones may use these headphones. As a result of their lower compression ratio than Dolby Digital, DTS files need more disk space.
DTS:X, DTS Sound Unbound, and DTS Headphones X are the three most popular for frequent users.
Let’s see how they individually do.
DTS Neo:6: What Is It?
DTS Neo:6 is a post-processing format, as opposed to DTS Digital Surround and Dolby Digital, which must be encoded and present in the source material. Since it doesn’t need to be encoded in a particular way to extract the necessary channel assignments for the sound mix, it doesn’t need to be encoded.
It instead makes use of a specific DTS chip found in most 5.1 or 7.1 channel home theater receivers to examine all of the audio cues in a two-channel soundtrack mix that hasn’t been encoded (usually from an analog source). A 6-channel home theater speaker system is then used to disperse the sound components as precisely and consistently.
Six speaker channels (left front, center, right front, left surround, center-back and right surround) plus a subwoofer are included in a standard DTS Neo:6 speaker configuration.
You won’t miss any sounds if you have a 5.1 speaker system since the processor automatically folds in the sixth channel (the center-back).
A DTS Neo:6 system considers the left-back and right-back channels as one, so both speakers get the same sound information.
About DTS: X
DTS:X is an audio codec that “moves about you as it would in real life,” according to the official definition. Height speakers may be used with this “object-based” encoding, but they are not required. The DTS:X sound track may be used in both cinemas and home theaters. See Dolby Atmos for more information on this.
As a general rule, it’s a versatile codec that can function with most speaker configurations from the previous five to six years since it was debuted in 2015. It has a maximum of 32 speaker positions and an 11.2-channel system.
In order to use this service, you do not need to purchase any additional gear, such as surround speakers for your television or computer, or a Blu-ray player.
A standout quality? Dialogue can be made considerably easier to hear in noisy movie sequences by adjusting the loudness of just one sound item, such as a voice.
It may sound like Dolby Atmos, but DTS:X doesn’t need any extra overhead channels. If you want to have the same sound quality and experience as with Dolby Atmos, you need to add additional overhead channels to your current 5.1 or 7.1 speaker configuration.
Denon, Pioneer, Marantz, and Onkyo are just a few of the many high-end and mid-range AV receiver manufacturers that provide DTS:X functionality. When renting an IMAX Enhanced movie, you’ll also receive the DTS:X sound experience, since these editions have an unique DTS:X codec that replicates the theater sound.
In what way is DTS: X Pro different?
As in early 2020, DTS: X Pro will bring the number of DTS: X playback channels from 11.1 to a whopping 30.2 channels, including the highest-level height, the highest-level surround, and the center-front height.
There’s no need to acquire all those speakers; DTS:X Pro works with a wide range of layouts and is compatible with more conventional Dolby Atmos setups like 7.1.4.
With Neural:X, the spatial remapping engine that works in combination with the DTS renderer, non-object based formats may be upmixed to DTS and non-object based formats, from both DTS and non-DTS, with no additional media formats required.
What is DTS Virtual:X, and how does it work?
Dolby Atmos Height Virtualization and DTS Virtual:X are both methods of achieving three-dimensional surround sound without the need of additional speakers.
Virtual:X is a post-processing method that tries to generate the impression of a 7.1.4 surround set-up (that’s 11.1 channels, including four height channels) using a soundbar or normal 5.1 speaker system. No special, upward-firing speakers are required for Virtual:X to function.
DTS states that Virtual:X may be used to increase older DTS material independent of the audio source’s standard.
For the effect, you’ll need new hardware that has the Virtual:X engine. The Yamaha YAS-207 was the first product to incorporate Virtual:X. Virtual:X technology is used in LG’s SL5Y and SL6 soundbars.
Things to Know about DTS-HD Master Audio
For home theater usage, DTS has created the DTS-HD Master Audio high-definition digital surround sound format. The dynamic range, frequency response, and sample rate of this DTS surround format are all greater than those of previous DTS surround formats, allowing it to handle up to eight channels of surround sound. Dolby TrueHD is the most direct rival.
DTS-HD Master Audio, like Dolby TrueHD, is most often found on Blu-ray Discs and Ultra HD Blu-ray Discs. The HD-DVD format, which was later abandoned, also made use of it.
The soundtrack is bit-for-bit identical to the original uncompressed recording thanks to DTS-HD Master audio encoding. To qualify as a lossless audio format, DTS-HD Master Audio must meet the following criteria: (a claim also made by Dolby Labs for Dolby TrueHD).
DTS-HD Master Audio has a sampling rate of 96 kHz and a 24-bit depth. Up to 24.5 Mbps on Blu-ray and 18 Mbps on HD-DVD are supported by the format (for those that still have HD-DVD discs and players).
It’s possible to have up to eight audio channels with DTS-HD Master Audio (seven full channels and one subwoofer channel), but it also offers 5.1-channel and even 2 channel options (although the 2-channel option is rarely used).
DTS HD Master Audio is backwards compatible. If your Blu-ray player or home theater receiver isn’t DTS-HD Master Audio compatible, but you have a Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray disc with a DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, you may still listen to the normal DTS Digital Surround soundtrack. The digital optical or coaxial connectors may also be used to access conventional DTS digital surround if your home theater receiver does not have HDMI.
DTS-HD High-Resolution Audio
As a substitute for the more often used DTS HD Master Audio, the DTS-HD High-Resolution Audio is occasionally employed (DTS-HD HR). It has the same bit depth and sampling rate as DTS-HD Master Audio, but with a lower bit rate of 3 to 6 Mbps. Due to the provision of additional video or soundtrack choices on a Blu-ray or Ultra HD Blu-ray Disc, it may be utilized when there is not enough room for lossless DTS-HD Master Audio. 7.1 channels at 96/24 or stereo at 192/24 resolutions are supported by DTS-HD formats, which can also be played on earlier DTS Digital Surround gear. In order to faithfully replicate the original studio master, both DTS-HD High Resolution Audio (DRA) and DTS-HD Master Audio (DMA) support bit rates between 1.5 and 6 Mbps.
Even if you don’t have a home theater receiver capable of decoding the high-resolution DTS-HD HD Master Audio format on your system, you can still enjoy the benefits of DTS-HD HR.
What exactly is DTS Headphone:X?
It is the goal of DTS Headphone:X to reproduce the directional and spatial audio effects of DTS:X on multichannel speaker systems on headphones. Using Microsoft Spatial Sound, this program provides exact sound localization and may be used with any pair of headphones. To help you get the most out of your headphones, DTS offers a library of more than 500 custom-tuned headphone profiles.
Increased bass rendering and audio clarity as well as improved proximity cues and hi-res audio compatibility are included in the latest version of DTS Headphone:X 2.0. Currently, it is most often employed in the gaming industry, where immersion and precision may provide an advantage.
When it comes to immersive surround sound, the DTS Headphone:X 7.1 system uses a dongle or transmitter as the hardware processor.
A one-time purchase of £19.99 ($19.99) is required to utilize DTS Headphone:X, although a 14-day free trial is also accessible via the DTS Sound Unbound app (Windows 10 and Xbox One and Xbox SeriesX/S).
Play-Fi is another another DTS-branded entertainment technology, in addition to its surround sound formats.
DTS Play-Fi is a multi-room audio platform that works wirelessly. Music streaming services and music stored on PCs and media services may be accessed using an iOS or Android smartphone app.
DTS Play-Fi-enabled wireless speakers, home theater receivers, and soundbars can stream music wirelessly from those sources.
A few DTS Play-Fi speakers could be used as wireless surround speakers for only certain Play-Fi-compatible home theater receivers and soundbars that can also play music through the speakers.
Which is better, DTS or Dolby
It’s difficult to say “Which is better, DTS or Dolby?” since it depends on personal choice and cost.
For the money, Dolby is the better choice, but audio experts say that DTS has a little greater audio bitrate, so aficionados should keep that in mind.
Alternatively, if you’re a casual user on a low budget, there’s no contest. The licensing fee for DTS Sound Unbound is $20, which may sound steep at first, but bear in mind that it covers numerous devices and includes DTS:X right out of the gate.
In our view, sound quality is always a worthwhile investment, regardless of how many devices you want to use it on or how significant your audio experience is.
The Bottom Line
Trying to figure out which home theater surround sound format to choose can be a little scary for people. This makes it hard to figure out which one to use for each listening experience.
Can you tell the difference between all of the different types of DTS sound formats? To be able to tell, I think you’d need very good ears. It also has to do with how well the home theater receiver, speakers, and room acoustics work.
This fAQ is here to solve some of your problems regarding DTS sound system. let’s find out more!
Is DTS sound worth it?
For games, DTS for headphones is thought to be the best way to make sound move around. Most gamers say that it gives them a sound experience that is like nothing else. Because even though most gamers think DTS is the best, that doesn’t mean it is for you.
Is DTS better than Dolby?
On paper, DTS is better than Dolby, but Dolby says its audio compression technology is more efficient than that of DTS, which makes it look bad. Since it can offer better sound quality even if the bit rate is low, it can do this.
How do I set DTS sound?
Before you do anything else, connect your Xbox to your DTS:X sound bar or home theater receiver with multiple channels. Then, download the DTS Sound Unbound app from the Microsoft Store on your Xbox to start. Afterwards, when you’re setting up your Xbox system’s audio, choose DTS:X for Home Theater as your bitstream format. You’re ready to go now.
Do all headphones support DTS?
Another good thing about this software is that it works with all kinds of headphones. If this is the case, you won’t have to buy a new set of headphones to hear it. A company called DTS says this technology also comes with a database of more than 500 custom-tuned headphones profiles.
Does Netflix use Dolby or DTS?
Netflix allows you to stream movies with better audio quality so you can enjoy them at home. Most movies and TV shows have high-quality audio that can be streamed, like 5.1 surround sound or Dolby Atmos.