DTS and Sound United Partner to Deliver ‘World’s First’ Virtual Immersive Audio

DTS has collaborated with Sound United to integrate DTS Virtual: X into select A/V receivers from Denon and Marantz via firmware upgrade. The new technology is intended to deliver a virtual height or rear “rich, immersive” surround sound field, without the need for actual speakers to do the job.

DTS claims that, according to its research, less than 30% of consumers who buy multichannel A/V receivers actually connect height speakers and less than 48% of consumers connect rear surround speakers. The Virtual: X solution allows home theater equipment buyers to simulate the presence of height and/or rear immersive audio speakers until they upgrade to an “even better immersive sound experience when they’re able to add additional speakers to their system”.

“We are excited to partner with the Denon and Marantz brands to integrate DTS Virtual: X technology into A/V receivers for the first time,” says Joanna Skrdlant, general manager of DTS parent group Xperi Corporation. “DTS Virtual:X technology provides consumers an immersive sound experience even if they only attach stereo, 5.1 or 7.1 speakers to their AV receivers. Our partnership with these legendary brands reinforces our continued commitment to deliver consumers premium sound in the comfort of their home.”

As of today’s announcement, the DTS Virtual: X firmware update is available for the following Denon and Marantz receivers:  Denon AVR-S730H (US only), Denon AVR-S930H (US only), Denon AVR-X1400H, Denon AVR-X2400H, Denon AVR-X3400H, Marantz NR1608 and Marantz SR5012. Further models from Denon and Marantz are expected to be added to the firmware-ready lineup in January and February 2018 respectively.

“We are proud to announce that our customers will now be able to update select A/V receivers to incorporate DTS Virtual:X technology,” said Richard Velazquez, global head of brand for Denon. “It proves our constant mission to offer brand new technologies to existing products, adding value for our trusted customers.”

DTS Virtual: X is deliverable from any input source from stereo to a 7.1.4 configuration, and will support an immersive audio experience over speaker layouts from 2.0 stereo, up to 5.1 and 7.1.

Published by

Martin Dew

editor

7 Comments

  1. I installed the firmware update this morning on my Denon AVR-930H after reading this, could not find a way to enable DTS Virtual X, then came across this article on Denon's UK Support site:

    DTS VIRTUAL:X NOT AVAILABLE

    The sound mode DTS Virtual:X is not available although I have a unit that is equipped with this feature?
    Please note that DTS Virtual:X only works with speaker configurations that do not contain any Height-, ceiling or Dolby Atmos speakers. If you have set up such a system, DTS Virtual:X will not be available as sound mode.

    Due to the license agreement, Dolby prohibits to use any third party 3D virtualisation technology such as DTS Virtual:X with any Dolby source material. Therefore, if the input signal is Dolby Digital (1.0 to 5.1), Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Atmos, DTS Virtual:X cannot be selected as sound mode. You may set the set the source player to output a decoded Dolby signal (such as PCM or Multichannel PCM) – if possible – to use the DTS Virtual:X sound mode.

  2. OK – gave DTS Virtual:X a try by going into my receiver's settings, backed up my current config to USB, then disabled all speakers except my front Left and Right and sub. Changed my Blu-ray to output PCM only. Inserted Game of Thrones: Season 7, Disc 3.

    I have to say, I was very impressed! Virtual heights were not as present as I had hoped, but I actually had to walk up to my surrounds to make sure they were turned off! Is it as good as the real thing with discrete speakers? No, but compared to every other virtual surround process that I've tried, this one wins top honors for actually delivering without sounding hollow. So much so, that I'm inclined to actually recommend to those on a tight budget to get a receiver with this mode and spend the rest on a pair of really good bookshelf or tower speakers and a subwoofer, and add on surrounds and heights as you can afford it.

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