On June 12, at the 2013 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, I had the opportunity to demo a new technology from DTS aimed at the smartphone, gaming, and headphone market, DTS Headphone:X.
The Technology “promises to faithfully reproduce the home theater surround sound experience using only a pair of headphones.” The DTS meeting room at the convention center was equipped with speakers arranged in a 7.1 configuration with seats in the center. Attendees were then instructed to wear the Sennheiser headphones and watch the display monitor at the front of the room. A speaker check was played, with a voice indicating which channel was being utilized. We were then asked to remove our headphones, and were then told that the only audio that was played was fed directly to our headphones, and that none of the speakers were used. I was quite amazed, as my perception of each sound was that it was coming from the indicated speaker.
We were then told to put the headphones on again. This time, we listened to various audio sources (music, games, movies), first with isolated speaker channels, then the entire 7.1 mix. I was sold, as I was totally immersed in the audio and was convinced (at least my ears were) that I was not wearing headphones but actually in a well-equipped theatre setting.
DTS Headphone:X is currently available on the Deluxe Edition of the Man Of Steel soundtrack as a bonus download to be played back using the Z+ app for iOS and Android devices. Unfortunately, the app is not compatible with my Samsung Galaxy S Vibrant, so I was unable to demo the material first-hand. The good news is that Turtle Beach will be the first headphone manufacturer to feature DTS Headphone:X in select lines of their media headsets. DTS is also currently working on licensing this technology to various smartphone, headphone, portable audio, and home theater equipment manufacturers.