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Audyssey DSX- A New Approach To Multichannel Audio

You've no doubt heard of Audyssey technologies by now. Their auto calibration and room EQ circuitry are practically an industry standard. The masterminds behind all the Audyssey technologies are USC professors Tomlinson Holman and Chris Kyriakakis. I, and a few other journalists, had the rare opportunity to spend an afternoon with Tom and Chris to learn about their latest technology called DSX. The basic technology is centered around a concept that Tomlinson Holman has been talking about for the last 10 years.

DSX is a scalable system, beginning with a basic 5.1 system, that allows the addition of more speakers to improve surround immersion and make it more realistic than any current multi-channel configuration.

Both men agree additional channels provide greater immersion, however, they strongly disagree with the current configuration common to 6.1 and 7.1 speaker systems. After your basic 5.1 set up, the next important pair of speakers are what they call Wide. Their extensive research in human hearing at the Immersive Audio Lab on the USC campus proves that information from the Wide channels is far more critical in presenting a realistic soundstage than Back Surround channels. Next comes the Height channels, placed between the main monitors and the Wide channel. The Height channel delivers important acoustical and perceptual cues.

Immersive Audio Lab

So, why is the current multichannel configuration less immersive than Audyssey DSX? Well, the experiments in human hearing conducting in the lab shows that sound localization is better perceived in front of the listener, rather than to the sides and behind. Just by adding a pair of Wide speakers to an existing 5.1 system, there is a dramatic increase in envelopment due to the wider soundstage. Back Surround speakers actually have very little impact by comparison.

In addition to creating the new Wide and Height channels, DSX also provides Surround Processing that will enhance the envelopment of existing Surround and Back Surround channels. It processes the standard surround signals in the time and frequency domains to improve the perceived sense of envelopment and blending with all the other speakers.

Tomlinson Holman and Chris Kyriakakis in demonstration room at Audyssey headquarters in downtown Los Angeles

The way it creates a more realistic surround experience due to more localization cues is amazing. If you are ready to upgrade your system beyond five channels, find a dealer that can provide a demonstration. What it does for movies is incredibly unique but what it does for music is extraordinary, as it is capable of recreating the majestic soundstage of a concert hall giving you the perception of height and depth like you have never encountered on a home entertainment system. For more technical details about DSX, go to the Audyssey website

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