DTS has been wowing trade show attendees for years with Headphone:X, the company’s strikingly-real virtual surround sound technology. But it’s been virtually (no pun intended) impossible for most consumers to get their ears on the tech — until now. DTS today announced that Headphone:X is now available on a host of 2015 Samsung TVs, turning any pair of Bluetooth headphones into a virtual surround sound adventure for one.
Loaded into Samsung’s 2015 “7 series” TVs and above, Headphone:X is primed to deliver 5.1 surround sound content from anything you feed into your TV — be it a video game console, Blu-ray player, or locally-streamed content from services like Netflix and Amazon — and send a Bluetooth virtual surround sound stream to your wireless stereo headphones.
With Headphone:X, it doesn’t matter which brand of cans you prefer, the sound is already surround-ified once it hits your ears, allowing you to enjoy a more realistic experience with your favorite content — even after the family has gone to bed.
So what exactly does Headphone:X sound like? While we haven’t had a chance to go ears on via Bluetooth from Samsung’s latest TVs as of yet, the company’s demo at CES the last couple of years is a strikingly surreal experience. Sitting in a room encircled by speakers, DTS sends the demo soundtrack first through the actual speakers, then asks attendees to listen again with the headphones on. Almost without fail, one or two listeners will pull the headphones off to see if the speakers are still on.
While the Headphone:X demo offers 11.1 sound, the Samsung experience with your Bluetooth headphones will top out at a virtual 5.1, though DTS tells us that’s more of a limitation of today’s TVs then the Headphone:X tech: Very few TVs now exist that can decode anything beyond 5.1 surround. However, that still gives a lot of leeway, allowing you to send any 5.1 codec (including soundtracks from DTS’ primary competitor, Dolby) through your boob tube, and pull a wireless virtual surround sound mix out the other side.
While Headphone:X will work with any Bluetooth headphones, you’ll need a brand new Samsung TV to experience it for now. DTS claims there will be more TV brands touting the tech in the future, but the company has a strong relationship with Samsung, setting up the debut of Headphone:X from a trusted partner.
A list of all Samsung TVs reported to offer Headphone:X streaming is below:
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