When it comes to gaming, many gamers will want to properly hear every sound effect that the game they are playing has to offer. From the simple footsteps of the character’s avatars they are using, the reloading sounds of the virtual gun they are using in a First Person Shooter (FPS) game, to the roaring engine sounds of the vehicles that they use in racing games, and the mayhem that they instill in various open-world games.
However, aside from properly hearing the sounds of their favorite games, many gamers also want the sound output quality to be the best when they are also communicating with their friends and teammates when playing. Therefore, choosing the proper surround sound system setup for your gaming desktop or laptop is essential.
In the world of modern gaming today, there are two well-known surround sound system setups that are heavily connected to it, namely the DTS Headphone X and the Dolby For Gaming, respectively. Both are virtual surround sound system setups that are compatible with many modern gaming titles in the market today. Additionally, both setups are also capable of providing high-quality audio output to the systems that they are installed into.
In this case, which one of the two should you choose? Are there notable advantages and disadvantages of one over the other and vice versa? This is what we are going to check out in this article today.
What is DTS Headphone X?
The first virtual surround sound setup, the DTS Headphone X, is well-known for many digital audiophiles and music lovers alike as the “3D of audio”, largely thanks to the multi-channel setup it uses to produce sounds with the best quality. Aside from gaming, this is also perfect for watching movies and other video multimedia files, thanks to the surround sound it produces.
As the name suggests, this surround sound setup works best with over-the-ear headphones, ones that completely cover both of your ears when used. That eliminates the need to buy an expensive physical surround sound system that you need to purchase and install inside your gaming room or area. All you need is high-quality, mid-tier to high-tier gaming headphones to fully experience what DTS Headphones X can provide to your gaming experience.
Another great feature of this particular virtual surround sound setup over its competitor is that it doesn’t need a multi-channel capability to achieve a surround sound effect when in use. That is thanks to the drivers and the software itself, as both are capable of producing virtual surround sound without the multi-channel capability.
Aside from that, it also allows users to adjust the volume of voices of the audio they are listening to anytime they want. This is very useful, as other sound setups tend to drown the volume of vocals over the sounds of other instruments, such as heavy bass.
DTS Headphone X: Key Features
There are additional key features that the DTS Headphone X have against other virtual surround sound setup in the market today. It is best to take note of the listed features below if you want the perfect surround sound setup for your next gaming experience:
1. The default setup of this virtual surround sound is tuned for the best home theater experience. It does so by taking into account the room your device is placed in with the installed virtual surround sound setup, then creating a spatial surround sound that bounces audio towards you.
2. The current software and drivers of the DTS Headphone X supports 7.1 Surround Sound, which will support the playback of spatially enhanced stereo audio. That results in an impressive and immersive surround sound experience, even if you are just using over-the-ear headphones.
3. It contains the feature wherein it automatically adjusts the audio quality output for any brand and kind of headphones and earbuds. It additionally provides a separate setting for each headphone and earbuds that you use with it. This feature is perfect for extreme audiophiles and music enthusiasts, as it gives them freedom and control over the sound output of their audio devices.
4. Since this virtual surround sound setup is more geared towards the usage of headphones, and it is currently compatible with over 450 brands and models of headphones worldwide. This allows users to choose the specific brand and model of headphones that they want to use with it.
DTS Headphone X: Best Headphones To Use With
Listed below are the brands and models of some headphones that work best with the DTS Headphone X virtual surround sound setup. Do take note that the list below are some suggestions, and you can still choose your own brand and model of choice that isn’t included.
- HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset, 7.1 Surround Sound
- SteelSeries Arctis 5 – RGB Illuminated Gaming Headset
- Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 Fully Wireless PC Gaming Headset
- Dolby Dimension Headphones
- Plantronics Gaming Headset, RIG 800LX Wireless Gaming Headset
- JVC EXOFIELD Theater Personal Home Theater System, XP-EXT1
- COWIN E7 PRO Active Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise Cancelling
- Beyerdynamic DT 1770 Pro Studio Headphones
What is Dolby Atmos (Dolby Gaming)?
Over the competition, the Dolby Atmos and its gaming-centric features is another virtual surround sound setup that many gamers use with their gaming desktop or laptops. Surprisingly enough, there are even modern and latest smartphones that use Dolby as their sound output, like, for example, Samsung’s previous flagship smartphone models, the S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, respectively.
Just like with the DTS Headphones X, the Dolby Atmos is initially made for home theater systems and setups. However, over time, it found its way to many gaming setups and the latest gaming titles the industry has made over the past few years. That means that the presence of having this virtual surround sound setup with your device and your game ensures that the sound output that you will be hearing will be of high-quality and top-notch.
It provides a three-dimensional audio output by delivering sounds from the sides, back, and above your hearing space. That means you will be hearing sound effects as if they were happening near you, from a simple sniper shot from Call of Duty, the slashes of swords in Dark Souls, to the enemy jets passing you by overhead in GTA Online. You will be fully immersed with the game you are playing, thanks to the directional sound this setup produces.
Since this surround sound setup is commonly used with many shopping mall theaters and movie theater houses with complex and huge surround sound systems, expect it to be amazing when used at your own home theater system. You will be amazed at how the audio output sounds when played with the Dolby Atmos, whether it is a movie or a game.
Do take note that the gaming support features are part of Dolby Atmos and not a separate sub-brand of Dolby.
Dolby Atmos: Key Features
As for the additional key features of the Dolby Atmos, there are quite a few that make it stand out over the DTS Headphone X and other virtual surround sound setup over the market. Those features are the following:
1. Unlike others, Dolby Atmos provides an auditory atmosphere when using it when watching a movie or playing games. That results in a surround sound experience that focuses more on scenic sounds that makes it more natural to one’s hearing. Best works with a dedicated home theater system with 7.1 or higher or a gaming headphone/headset with similar surround sound support.
2. It has the unique trait of processing audio as an object. That means that the system creates surround sound based on a plane inside the room; the audio setup is placed within and lets the audio “float” between objects within the plane, producing the surround sound as a result.
3. Speaking of floating objects within a plane, the setup will have a height channel that will add a new layer to the existing spatial audio plane. The plane consists of the floating objects that sound float along and around with, creating the surround sound experience within the room it is placed in. This will be noticeable when playing movies and games with surround sound support in their audio settings.
4. Thanks to its popularity and widespread news, the Dolby Atmos system is compatible with many speaker configurations and brands. It can be used with up to 34 speakers in a single configuration. Although home theater systems only have a few speakers in their configuration, you can still enjoy a full surround sound experience with the said virtual surround sound setup.
5. One of the latest additions to its features is that Dolby Atmos is one of the few surround sound setups that support VR technology. It will greatly improve your Virtual Reality experience, whether it would be watching movies or playing games, thanks to the realism of the surround sound it produces.
Dolby Atmos: Best Headphones To Use With
Although the Dolby Atmos is arguably best suited for home theater systems, when it comes to headphones/headsets (especially for gaming), it isn’t a slouch to sneeze at when it comes to that category. Listed below are some of the best gaming headphones/headsets to use with the Dolby Atmos virtual surround sound setup:
- Razer Tiamat 7.1 v2 Gaming Headset Dual Subwoofers with Audio Control Unit
- Sony MDRHW700DS 9.1 Channel Wireless Surround Sound Headphones
- CORSAIR Void Pro RGB USB Gaming Headset – Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound
- Logitech G533 Wireless Gaming Headset with Pro-G Audio Drivers
- Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless RGB 7.1 Dolby and DTS
- SteelSeries Arctis 7 Lossless Wireless Gaming Headset
- SteelSeries Siberia 800 Gaming Headset Wireless
- Panasonic Rp-hx350-w White Headphones (Japan Import)
Differences Between DTS Headphone X and Dolby Atmos
When it comes to the notable differences between the two surround sound setups, there are a few things that might be a hit or miss for you. This is where you can decide on which one of the two to use for your gaming audio setup:
|Height Channel||DTS Headphone X does not support this feature but instead uses a traditional channel for surround sound, wherein the sound is shot upwards to achieve it.||Dolby Atmos has this feature, wherein it produces an overhead sound instead of just shooting it upwards for a “true” floating surround sound effect.|
|Compatibility||The hardware that you are going to use for audio playback with DTS Headphone X must have support in order to fully use this surround sound setup. Ensure that your hardware is ready and compatible with this, as the software will be useless.||Compatibility is not an issue, as almost all devices support Dolby Atmos, both hardware and audio peripherals. That is possible due to it being just software and not a combination of hardware and software. Some shortcomings might become noticeable with stereo settings.|
|Performance||DTS Headphone X has a low sound signature when compared to other surround sound setups in the market today. Lacks bass, and sounds played from this setup are mid-heavy.||Meanwhile, Dolby Atmos has a well-balanced performance when it comes to audio playback and has a balanced bass output. Additionally, it sports high clarity audio, along with sound dissipation, with no distortions and lackings.|
|Audio Optimization||For DTS Headphones X, it uses spatial audio that is fired upwards to achieve surround sound. It has audio post-processing with high-quality codecs being used. It also features various customization options.|
Audio output is transmitted via waves that bounce around and result in a real-sounding surround sound effect.
|For Dolby Atmos, audio processing is done via the conversion of audio into “objects” that “float” within a given plane wherein the sound isn’t restricted by movement nor space. This provides a directional surround sound wherein the sound comes from every direction possible.|
This is perfect for home theater systems, as many rely on the directional surround sound effect.
|Content Capability||As mentioned earlier, in order to fully utilize the potential of DTS Headphone X, the hardware that it will be used on must be compatible with it. Without a compatible device, this surround sound setup will not work at all.||Unlike others, Dolby Atmos doesn’t need compatible hardware in order to fully run its capabilities and features. You can quickly go ahead and use your hardware and audio peripheral of choice.|
DTS Headphone X vs Dolby Atmos
When it comes to choosing between the two virtual surround sound setups, there are several things to consider before finalizing your choice.
If you are a hardcore gamer who wants high-quality audio with your latest game titles, and your gaming setup is ready for it, then choose DTS Headphone X. Many of the newest triple-A game titles that were recently released have been tuned for DTS Headphone X audio output. And many upcoming games are also using the same surround sound setup for their audio settings.
Furthermore, the majority of gaming-related audio peripherals in the market today, such as speaker systems and headphones/headsets, are DTS Headphone X-ready and compatible. And thanks to the open-source multidimensional audio platform nature of DTS, many brands and game studios alike can create products that will be immediately compatible with it.
However, do take note that you will be needing to purchase a gaming headphone/headset that specifically supports it for the surround sound setup to function optimally. And deep bass music lovers will be disappointed with this, as it lacks bass that is flooded with heavy mids instead.
If you want to replicate the movie theater experience (the full booming surround sounds that most theaters produce when showing a movie), then go for Dolby Atmos. Your ears will enjoy listening to theater audio quality thanks to this surround sound setup.
Additionally, if you’re the person who prefers accurate audio visualization and likes to have a directional surround sound when watching movies or playing games, then this setup is perfect for you. Audiophile experts who are knowledgeable in audio engineering will have a blast in tinkering with the audio settings within Dolby Atmos’ software. Furthermore, enhancing your mic set-up will no doubt enhance the gaming experience.
If you are worried about compatibility with your hardware and audio devices, Dolby Atmos has you covered in that regard as it is compatible with almost all and any that is currently present in the market today. You will never run out of options on which to use, giving you ultimate freedom when it comes to choosing the brands and models that you like.
The only downside to all of that greatness is that you will be needing to subscribe to their service. But that is a small price to pay to have full access to high-quality audio settings that are openly compatible with many devices of today. Even new models of smartphones, especially high-end models, are starting to use this surround sound setup as their audio output. That means that you can use your favorite brand and model of high-end headphones with your smartphone and enjoy a full directional surround sound output on the content you are consuming on the go anywhere.
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