DTS has recently announced their new Virtual X technology. A few weeks ago, I had the chance to demo the new Yamaha Yas-207 Soundbar, one of the new and Virtual:X ready products with the DTS team. With Virtual:X technology, the Yas-207 soundbar can distribute sound in multiple dimensions. The listener may feel immersed in the sound, or feel like it’s coming from above them. The Virtual:X technology is available via a software update.
Sound bars are the fastest growing home audio category as consumers continue to adopt them for improved audio for their TVs or in lieu of a full home theater system.
During the demo I noticed how the room sound became noticebly fuller. It’s difficult to put into words, but you can feel where the sound is coming from. We demoed 2 movies and while you won’t get the full experience, from a few minutes, of watching; there’s definitely a shift in sound. It does a good job of immersing you even though the speaker is front and center. It’s an affordable way to do upgrade the sound system in a room without having to upgrade your television or investing in an expensive sound system.
Click to read press release
DTS First Virtual:X Product
DTS, a global leader in high-definition audio solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of Xperi Corporation (Nasdaq: XPER) (“Xperi”), is pleased to announce the world’s first DTS Virtual:X®-ready products will be launching in the market this summer. DTS Virtual:X technology can be implemented in a variety of products to provide an immersive sound experience without the need for additional speakers.
“Our mission at DTS is to make the world sound better and deliver premium audio solutions to our partners and consumers,” said Joanna Skrdlant, general manager, home audio at Xperi. “With the introduction of DTS Virtual:X technology, listeners can enjoy height and surround sound with simply a sound bar, making it more accessible and affordable than ever to experience the benefits of immersive audio at home.”
DTS Virtual:X technology supports any input source from stereo to a 7.1.4 layout (11.1 channels), and is optimized to work with all DTS codecs, including the flagship DTS:X. For legacy content, an efficient upmixer is included to provide a natural, immersive experience. The flexibility of its architecture enables product manufacturers to utilize one or more features concurrently, including Virtual Height, Virtual Surround, Bass Enhancement and Multiband Hard Limiter.
Yamaha will be the first brand to deliver a DTS Virtual:X-ready product with the release of the YAS-207 sound bar, available for purchase in July with the DTS Virtual:X firmware update in August. Additional OEMs integrating DTS Virtual:X technology in sound bars, as well as A/V receivers and televisions, will be announced in the coming months.
DTS Virtual:X in Sound Bars
Sound bars are the fastest growing home audio category as consumers continue to adopt them for improved audio for their TVs or in lieu of a full home theater system. Leveraging DTS’ extensive research and development in virtual surround sound, DTS Virtual:X technology delivers the perception of up to 7.1.4 content through traditional speakers in the horizontal plane, such as a sound bar, creating the immersive sound experience that consumers have come to expect from today’s content.
DTS Virtual:X in A/V Receivers
DTS’ research shows that fewer than 30 percent of consumers that purchase multichannel A/V receivers actually connect the height speakers and fewer than 48 percent of consumers connect the rear surround speakers, for a variety of reasons. DTS Virtual:X technology in an A/V receiver will provide an immersive sound experience without the need for rear surround and height speakers while still allowing consumers to upgrade for an even better immersive sound experience when they’re able to add additional speakers to their system.
A/V receivers featuring DTS Virtual:X technology will be available this fall from a number of brands.
DTS Virtual:X in Televisions
As televisions have become lighter and thinner, the demand for larger screen sizes has increased. In the US market alone, 86 percent of US consumers now own a TV greater than 40 inches, and 18 percent now own a TV of over 60 inches, according to the Consumer Technology Association’s 19th Annual Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study, published April 2017. While larger screen sizes provide a more immersive viewing experience, the audio experience from a TV alone is compromised due to the market’s desire for a thin form factor, which limits speaker driver size and placement. DTS Virtual:X technology provides an immersive sound experience without the need for larger drivers or additional speakers added to the television.
Televisions with DTS Virtual:X technology are forecast to be available in early 2018.