While dts recently jumped into the object-based sound mixing fray with dts:x, we’ve been enjoying the company’s dts headphone:x format since the release of ‘man of banda original sound of the movie steel.
If you’re not familiar with headphone:x, it’s a specially encoded two-channel mix that, when heard through any standard pair of headphones, synthesizes an 11.1-channel surround sound experience for listeners.
Reading: Dts x headphone demo
don’t you believe me? Click through to the dts headphone:x page with a pair of your favorite headphones and watch the third video, which walks through the 11-channel speaker locations. there are also a couple of music videos.
very good, right?
The problem I’ve had with dts headphone:x so far is the lack of content. the sheet music for ‘man of steel’ sounded amazing, but the z app it plays in has a lot of bugs, so i haven’t been listening to it much. plus, i would also say that the full feel of surround sound is better suited to film and tv content that features active surround panning rather than the orchestrations of a movie score.
dts now includes a headphone:x track on blu-ray releases with dts-hd and dts:x master audio. think of this option as an added benefit for someone who needs to watch a movie in silence, but doesn’t want to miss out on the full surround experience. The only drawback to this, however, is that you’re tied to your AV receiver. IMHO dts headphone:x would be perfect for digital downloads and streaming, and I hope it becomes an audio option in these markets.
if you own a copy of ‘ex machina’, ‘the hunger games: mockingjay part 1’ or the latest blu-ray release of ‘terminator 2’, you already have access to the dts headphone:x tracks. For the rest of you, dts and lionsgate have provided two dts headphone:x clips on the ‘ex machina’ website (click here to access, sorry can’t embed). Pay special attention to Ava’s internal motors in clip one, as well as the automatic warning voice when the power goes out in clip two.
also of note. I should get my hands on a new av receiver capable of decoding dts:x in the near future. my plan is to compare the ‘ex machina’ tracks dts:x and dts headphone:x (to see how well headphone:x compares to the real thing), which should also be fun to explore.
what do you think about headphone:x and where would you like to use it more?
let us know in the comments below or on the forums.update: There’s also a cool imagine dragons headphone:x music video available here.
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