Two years ago introduced a competing DTS audio technology Dolby Atmos, called DTS: X . This ‘3D audio format’ provides an even more impressive surround experience by placing audio objects in the room. Recently, however, we have also seen products with DTS Virtual: X appear, including sound bars. But, what exactly is DTS Virtual: X and what can you do with it?
What is DTS Virtual: X?
Earlier this month, Yamaha introduced the YAS-207 , the world’s first soundbar to use DTS Virtual: X. The idea behind this technique is to produce virtual object-based audio effects from almost any source, without the need for special height channels in your speaker setup. It is thus a kind of ‘up mixer’ that simulates surround sound with height channels from any stereo or multi-channel source.
What is the difference with DTS: X?
DTS Virtual: X is actually quite different from DTS: X. Namely, the latter is a codec, while the former is an audio processing technique. Audio must first be decoded to be able to hear it, then DTS Virtual: X makes it sound much better on systems that don’t have surround speakers and / or height channels.
On which devices do we see it back?
We see Virtual: X on all kinds of devices, from sound bars to receivers and televisions. The device featuring DTS Virtual: X supports any input from stereo up to 7.1.4 (11.1ch) and works with all DTS codecs, including DTS: X. The expectation is that we will see more and more devices with the new technology in the coming months, especially because manufacturers also want to offer consumers who cannot realize an extensive speaker setup with surround and / or height channels an impressive surround experience. This means that receivers will also offer support, which is ideal for those who have a 5.1-channel setup, for example. The great thing is that the technology can be added to products already launched by means of a firmware update
How does it work in TVs and sound bars?
Now you may ask yourself how this works with a small soundbar or even a TV with a relatively mediocre audio system and little spread of sound. However, DTS indicates that the audio reproduction must also improve drastically with these products. Products that have such a ‘difficult’ speaker placement are provided with, among other things, special corrections in the audio reproduction and improved bass response to ultimately ensure an audio reproduction that surrounds the user. Now, of course, this part has yet to prove itself and will never approach a real surround experience, but it sounds promising.