Dolby Pro Logic IIz vs. Audyssey DSX vs. DTS Columbia SC
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Dolby Pro Logic IIz vs. Audyssey DSX vs. DTS
September 23, 2009 By Geoffrey Morrison
Wall of Sound: Three new surround formats from Audyssey, Dolby and DTS aim to bring your theater sound to a whole new dimension. Literally.
You want me to buy more speakers? Yeah, I get that. To be honest, that was my first thought when I heard about height speakers. Just a gimmick, right?
Well, to find out, I journeyed up and down the California coast visiting the headquarters of the formats’ creators.
Along the way, I learned a little something about height channels, and a little about myself.
Ha. Just kidding. But how funny would that article have been?
Yamaha, for ages, has had height effect channels. These aren’t exactly what we’re talking about here.
Yamaha's height channels primarily added reverb to make your room sound like a concert hall; that kind of thing.
Generally, though, they were on to something. We humans have an incredible capacity to localize sound objects in front of us.
For most people, they can pinpoint a sound within a few degrees of accuracy. This diminishes significantly as the sound moves behind you (between 15 and 20 degrees of accuracy). Chalk this up to the hunter part of hunter/gatherer.
So adding more speakers up front makes sense: We’re more perceptive to changes there.
From a pure logistic standpoint, this is beneficial as well. It’s a lot easier to convince your spouse to run a few more wires up the front wall behind the TV than running long cables somewhere behind the sofa (if you even can).
So Audyssey, Dolby and DTS are all talking height, and in one case, width. I had the idea to go to the source and hear these formats at each company—a sort of “best case scenario.”
If I couldn’t be convinced at that level, there was no way the end product in a regular room would be able to pull it off.1 2 3 4 next › last »