DTS technology to make expensive headphones redundant

Headphone:X at MWC

DTS announced at MWC this week that its Headphone:X technology will be used on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon processor, and which promises to make the need for expensive headphones a thing of the past.

Starting with the Snapdragon 800 series, Headphone:X will begin to appear on smartphones during the latter half of 2013.

What’s remarkable about the Headphone:X technology is that it re-creates home cinema surround sound in any pair of headphones. It does this by externalising sound, which means that instead of hearing it inside our heads, which is how traditional headphones work, we think that it’s coming from high quality speakers from all around us.

DTS has achieved this by using post-processing techniques on the device itself, which is why you don’t need a fancy set of headphones. This means that if your mobile phone has the Snapdragon 800 processor on board, it will have the power to transform your listening experience.

We were treated to a demo of the Headphone:X technology this week and it was seriously impressive stuff. We sat in a quiet booth in a busy MWC conference hall and were played music through a conventional 7.1 surround sound speaker system. We were then given a pair of conventional headphones and treated to the Headphone:X experience.

I had to take the earphones off as I didn’t quite believe the DTS team when they said that what we were hearing wasn’t coming from the speakers. Telling the difference between the two was extremely difficult and ably demonstrated the power behind the technology.

DTS and Qualcomm have collaborated before and this announcement represents a continued expansion. In June of last year, DTS and Qualcomm worked together to successfully implement DTS’ codecs onto the Qualcomm Hexagon DSP platforms.

Article by Damian Carvill.