What is DTS Headphone:X? The headphone technology explained

DTS has been synonymous with great cinema sound for decades, and recognized more recently for delivering cinema-quality surround sound to home theaters through the latest DTS:X technology. But that amazing audio is not limited to content people watch at home – it’s for people who play, and watch on-the-go, too.

With DTS Headphone:X all a user needs is a pair of headphones to enjoy a superior surround sound experience whether they’re watching a movie, TV show or playing a video game. But what really makes DTS Headphone:X so exceptional? We talked with Greg DeCamp, Director of Product Management for DTS, to find out.

What makes DTS Headphone:X different? 

Greg DeCamp: What we know as surround sound today is really just two-dimensional sound, front and back. DTS Headphone:X introduces a third dimension into the mix and that makes all the difference in the world. The 3D audio of DTS Headphone:X creates a true surround sound experience, one that’s pretty much as close as you can get to how we hear sound in the real world, with just two speakers wrapped around your ears. It gives gamers a huge advantage because with 3D sound they’re going to know where the competition is coming from. And it’s great for watching movies, too. I’ve actually seen people turn their heads while watching and playing while wearing headphones with DTS Headphone:X.

How does DTS Headphone:X create an immersive gaming experience?

Greg DeCamp: To say DTS Headphone:X puts users in the action is an understatement. Its 3D technology really immerses gamers in whatever world they’re exploring. Take Red Dead Redemption, for example. If you’re walking through a campsite, you’re not just going to hear the crunch of your own footsteps. You’re going to hear people talking around the campfire, the crackling of that campfire, a train in the distance. It will sound as if you are really walking through that campsite. And this heightened sense of sound will give you an advantage other players don’t have. In other words, the immersive capabilities of DTS Headphone:X create a world where you can lose yourself in it.

What type of games benefit from DTS Headphone:X?

Greg DeCamp: Any and all. Certainly, first person shooter games like the aforementioned Red Dead Redemption, Starfield, Dead Island 2, and Hogwarts Legacy benefit from DTS Headphone:X. But so do third person POV games. And whether the game is sports, RPG, racing, sim, great sound is going to make the gameplay that much more enjoyable and that’s exactly what DTS Headphone:X delivers.

What gaming platforms does DTS Headphone:X work with?

Greg DeCamp: DTS Headphone:X is a multi-platform solution that was designed and built to work on PC and Xbox Consoles. And now when paired with our DTS Sound Unbound app, users can also unlock DTS Headphone:X for Microsoft Spatial. We’re proud to be one of the very few partners that has a 3D audio solution in Windows and proud of our 4.6 app rating on Microsoft which shows how much gamers love DTS Headphone:X too.

Is DTS Headphone:X customizable?

Greg DeCamp: DTS Product and Engineering work closely with our partners to integrate DTS Headphone:X in their devices. Our flexible Software Development Kit (SDK) allows custom integration. As a result, our partners can choose from a breadth of customizable options that make the most sense for their consumers, whether creating their own preferred listening mode with a variety of settings, or labeled content modes based on tunings optimized for different content types. Partners can also choose to provide users with a trio of configurable stereo preferences (Wide, Front, Traditional) and a consumer editable 10-band EQ for further personalization. So, yes, DTS Headphone:X is definitely customizable. In the end, we think gamers will agree that DTS Headphone:X provides an incredible experience.

Does DTS Headphone:X work on every headphone?

Greg DeCamp: The beauty of DTS Headphone:X is it does work with any kind of headphone. Again, DTS works closely with our partners to create the best possible tuning profile for their specific hardware that gets integrated into a partner’s audio driver. However, if a partner doesn’t have bespoke drivers and applications, we can leverage the DTS Sound Unbound app to allow the consumer to access the DTS Headphone:X solution via USB VID/PID detection or in-box codes. Since exceptional audio makes all games better, codes can also be applied beyond headphones to other peripherals such as game pads and gaming steering wheels or other PC and XBOX devices. 

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