Why DTS Headphone: X Isn’t Ready For Fans of Surround Hi-Fi



Audioholics Master Chief
It's been a few years since the official unveiling of DTS Headphone: X, a new technology that promises to change how we listen to music, movies, and television using our favorite headphones. Now, that technology is finally starting to roll out, with the most recent introduction of the Nubia Z17S Android smartphone, initial reviews are mostly underwhelmed. With a limited and expensive music library thus far, will DTS Headphone: X make waves in hi-fi, or is it destined to remain just another smartphone app?
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Read: Why DTS Headphone: X Isn’t Ready For Fans of Surround Hi-Fi
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I can’t locate the Z + Music app in the appstore.
Help please


Audioholic Intern
I agree with you in your criticism of the Z+ app and its regressive ploy of charging for tracks that are locked to the app. However, it’s not fair to knock DTS Headphone:X as a technology because of Z+. If Z+ were the only means available of listening to music/soundtracks encoded in DTS Headphones:X, I’d grumble but I’d understand your criticism. But this simply isn’t the case.

Besides the fact that several computers and mobile devices (not Apple’s) have DTS Headphone:X decoders built in, there is another iOS app called nPlayer Plus that has a decoder AND a built-in browser. So, buy the app for $8.99 (specifically the Plus version), then go to settings and activate DTS Headphone:X, then use the built-in browser to browse to the DTS website, where you can find at least 5 video clips with DTS Headphone:X encoded audio tracks. Watch them, and voila! Note that alternatively to you can download them, place them on a DNLA server, and play them back in nPlayer Plus via DNLA

The only thing to be aware of when using the nPlayer Plus browser to watch video clips with DTS (or Dolby, for that matter) is that after they start playing in the browser window, you’ll need to click the ‘play’ button in the lower right corner to get the video to open in a dedicated browser window. Then, click the codec logo (DTS:X, Dolby Atmos, whatever) to activate the codec. Finally, you’ll be prompted to disable Quicktime, which you must do. It’s a little more complicated than it needs to be, but it works.

Lastly, I *think* you are factually mistaken when you write that DTS Headphone:X is a mobile technology. If my understanding of the DTS literature is correct, any audio encoded in DTS:X is reducible to Headphone:X. If so, presumably you just need to configure your DTS:X capable receiver to output 2 channel, then use stereo pre-outs to run signal to your Headphone amp. (Admittedly, I haven’t tried this.)

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