Headphone:X surround sound headphones is “a Home Theater in your Pocket (HTiP) solution” for mobile audio from DTS. This new technology uses the acoustic characteristics of the mixing studio or acoustic lab in which multi-channel audio is created to faithfully reproduces the home theatre surround sound experience in a wide variety of conventional headphones. Listeners can personalize their listening experience. “Presets emulate the DTS reference listening room or a professional Hollywood mixing stage, instead of a blind stereo upmix”.
Surround content is encoded as a DTS-HD bitstream, with the room information embedded in the stream. Headphone:X calibrates the headphones, and the reference data is decoded and enhanced with post-processing “to deliver a truly amazing, home theatre quality surround sound experience over headphones”.
Michael Enayah’s iTheater is a hands-free personal cinema for the iPhone 5 that features a small high-resolution personal cinema screen attached to a pair of headphones. It’s not elegant, it’s not very practical, but it appears to be quite effective. If you’ve had a chance to try the system, please let us know what you think.
Soundbars are gaining a lot of market share, especially in homes where space is at a premium, or where ‘the technology police’ has banned multiple speakers and all the trailing wires that come with them. But, for some, a soundbar is a compromise too far, and the virtualised surround they produce is not enough.
Enter Philips and its new Fidelio HTL9100, which features detachable wireless side speakers that can be moved to the back of the room during viewing, and a wireless subwoofer. The audio is transmitted to the wireless speakers uncompressed, which should ensure that the quality is maintained, and the wireless speakers’ batteries – which re-charge automatically when re-attached – operate for up to 10 hours when detached.
The 2013 CEA Innovation Award-winning Fidelio HTL9100 contains an intelligent Orientation Sensor that recognise whether the unit is lying horizontally on a shelf or TV cabinet or wall-mounted, and, using smart equalisation, automatically adjusts to deliver the best sound performance in either position.
The HTL9100 has two HDMI ports allowing a media system or games console to be attached, and connects wirelessly to any Bluetooth-enabled device, further reducing the cable count.
As well as Audi with its B&O-powered Q7 concept 24 speaker three-dimensional audio system, Harman got in on the act at CES, with its QuantumLogic 3-D audio system, which was fitted into a new BMW 7-series. The system pumps out 2,000 watts of power to 25 speakers, including five integrated into the headliner, using Harman’s patented digital-processing technology 3D surround sound from virtually any source.