Audio Standards

Published Date
01 - May - 2007
| Last Updated
01 - May - 2007
 
Audio Standards
So many standards, logos, and you don't really know what it's all about! Well, digital standards for the audio industry are divided into two distinct mediums, Dolby and THX.

Dolby Pro Logic IIx
The era of 7.1 surround sound is upon us, and the Dolby Pro Logic IIx helps us come even closer to replicating original sound quality. This format is not only reserved to play movies encoded in the surround sound format; what it essentially does is expand any existing stereo or 5.1 channel audio to a 7.1 channel output.

There are three distinct listening modes integrated into this format-Movie, Music, and Game-which allow you to tailor the audio to your listening preferences. Dolby Pro Logic IIx also comes with other patented technologies such as Dolby Center Width, which adjusts the balance of the main vocals in the centre and front channels. Another option is Dolby Panorama, which creates a complete, wrap-around surround sound effect, which gives better audio clarity to any surround sound media. Dolby Dimension lets you set a deeper or shallower surround sound field depending on the size of your room.

Dolby TrueHD
This is Dolby's next-generation lossless technology developed for high-definition disc-based media. It delivers realistic and identical sound reproduction comparable to the studio master copy.

The main features here are 100 per cent lossless coding technology; the standard supports up to eight full-range channels of 24-bit/96 kHz audio, though theoretically, it can support more. This will ensure a better audio surround sound experience. Since it uses High-Definition Media Interface cables, there is no loss of data between player and speakers. The Dynamic Range Control technology incorporated into TrueHD allows you to customise audio output to reduce peak volume levels, so that there are no loud surprises.

THX
It's important to note that THX is only a measure of quality that works together with various surround sound formats (like Dolby Digital TrueHD) to increase the quality of the sound presentation to its highest standards.  THX in itself is not an audio standard; it's a quality assurance system.

To ensure the highest possible audio quality in home systems, THX defines stringent soundtrack requirements for audio transfers from DVD/CD to speakers. Such DVD/CD albums are labelled "THX Digitally Mastered for superior sound and picture quality" or simply "THX Certified".  THX also defines these standards for audio components such as DVD/CD players, receivers, preamplifiers, power amplifiers, speakers, interconnect cables, speaker cables, etc.

For the everyday consumer, the "THX" label means that the highest standards have been used, whether the product is a DVD/CD-Audio title, or an audio component.

2.1 THX Ultra2
One of the latest benchmark certifications for audio performance in the home surround sound genre. This certification is reserved for receivers that have the power to deliver sound to a wide viewing area in large home theaters and media rooms. The recommended room size for THX Ultra2 Certified AV receivers is 3,000 cubic feet or larger, with a minimum 12-foot distance from video display to primary seating positions.

THX Ultra2 uses 7.1 specifications, and in the newer THX Ultra 2 Cinema mode or THX MusicMode automatically converts 5.1 channel sound or higher to be playable through four surround speakers-two at the side and two at the back. The THX Ultra2 certified receivers and controllers feature Boundary Gain Compensation, which improves bass when the listener is near a wall.

THX Select2
Audio components certified with this standard are designed for small-to medium-sized residential living rooms, approximately 2,000 cubic feet in size with a 10-foot distance from video display to seating position. THX Select2 Certified receivers incorporate product design and performance specifications that ensure superior audio quality, product usability, and interoperability. Every THX Select2 Certified receiver features THX playback technologies designed to compensate for the acoustical errors that occur when movies, music, and games are translated from the professional studio to the home environment. THX Select2 also has listening modes-THX Cinema, THX Music, and THX Games Mode, which allow you to tailor the audio to your preferences. THX Select2 addresses the needs of those who need DVD/CD quality music and video game experiences, but don't require a home theatre surround sound system.  




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