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DTS has revealed more information on its new object-based, surround sound technology, DTS:X. The new format will be made available for some current home cinema receivers as a firmware upgrade, and will also feature in a number of new 2015 models from various manufacturers, including Pioneer and Yamaha.

Unlike Dolby's rival format Atmos, DTS:X doesn't require a set number of speakers or specific configuration. Instead, DTS claims that its new technology is more adaptable and flexible with the DTS:X remapping engine able to support "any speaker configuration within a hemispherical layout".

John Kirchner, chairman and CEO of DTS saiys: "Until recently, sound in movie theatres and in our homes has been dictated to by a standardised speaker layout. Through the use of object-based audio, DTS:X is able to scale immersive soundtrack presentations across a wide range of playback systems... this approach delivers the most authentic three-dimensional audio experience ever, making the audience feel as if they are in the centre of the action."

DTS:X moves objects to and through specific locations and uses the company's license-free open platform, MDA (Multi-Dimensional Audio), which allows movie makers to control the placement, movement and volume of sound objects.

The company says it is already working with several major studios and mixing stages in Los Angeles and Canada that are evaluating DTS:X. Announcements on DTS:X content will be made in due course.

MORE: DTS:X: What is it? How can you get it?

Backwards compatible

A home cinema amp with a DTS:X decoder will be able to support standard DTS-HD Master Audio soundtracks found on Blu-ray discs, as well as the DTS:X mix where required.

According to DTS, its new decoder can "spatially reformat" 2.0, 5.1 or 7.1 content to make the most of the number of speakers in your system i.e. you'll still be able to enjoy the DTS:X experience even when you're watching content without a DTS:X mix.

Legacy home cinema receivers with a standard DTS-HD decoder will also be able to decode the new format, although they won't be able to position the sound in the same way as a DTS:X-equipped amp.

More after the break

Additional features

With a DTS:X soundtrack and compatible receiver, you'll even be able to control specific audio elements of the soundtrack. For example, theoretically you could "lift" dialogue out from background sounds, but only if the movie maker chooses to add this particular feature to their mix.

Like DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS:X supports lossless audio - up to 24bit/96kHz for object mixes and up to 24bit/192kHz for stereo and multi-channel mixes.

DTS has confirmed that products such as the Denon AVR-X7200W and Marantz AV8802 will be made DTS:X compatible via a firmware update later in the year, while Onkyo, Pioneer and Yamaha will be launching DTS:X ready models in the coming months. 

MORE: Dolby Atmos: everything you need to know


Chris's picture


I guess we can count Sony out of this equation then?! Technologically they seems so far behind the times lately I wonder if they'll ever support such a feature. You only have to look at Dolby Atmos to get an idea of how slow they are to take on board these ideas. Sony is quite possibly one of the only manufacturers who has yet to launch a Dolby Atmos Receiver let alone a firmware upgrade which many users are asking for. I wonder how DTS:X will fair in Sony's strive to stay at the forefront of technology? Hopefully it stands a better chance than Atmos!



DrJohnRead's picture


These guys have a lot to prove...I'm just not sure replication can either match or beat true overhead sound, from speakers mounted above. Pioneer's attempt with upfiring speakers  is already second choice in results...so let's see what trickery DTS can pull out of their hat. Popcorn anyone?

Glacialpath's picture


Surround Back channel be it 1 pr 2 really help with the deffinition of sounds behind you instead of the surrounds having to do all the work.

It is interesting that DTS have gone for a codec that doesn't require extra speakers but which will have the best deffinition? We shall see.

Series1boy's picture

Up firing speakers

I wander if you can use upfiring speakers if you already have a Dolby atmos system setup this way?