The next battlefield for mobiles is high-definition audio, says DTS

(Guest post from TechDigest)


Imagine this: you are watching a film on your mobile phone, and as the plane flies overhead on the screen it sounds like it flies over your head.

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it. We’re used to this sort of top-notch sound in the cinema, but on a mobile phone? While functionability has soared and screens have become visually better and better, there is still lots of work to be done on the sound side of things. This is soon set to change, according to DTS, a world-leader in HD audio technology.

‘We passionately believe that sound matters,’ DTS director of mobile and consumer business development, Darragh Ballesty, told TechDigest. ‘Sound is the next differentiator when it comes to experiencing content.’

Immersed in sound
DTS’s audio technology is standard in 80% of the US BlueRay market, Ballesty says, meaning DTS’s expertise and presence in this area made the company ideal when gadget makers wanted to incorporate the same technology in mobiles.

Convergence is a key driver for getting top audio to mobile; people increasingly want to be able to view either on their TV screens, computers, tablets or mobiles – meaning there is a need for decent audio quality for all these devices.

‘Our technology can recreate an immersive audio environment even on a mobile phone,’ says Ballesty, explaining how this is possible even using moderately-priced headphones. ‘Interestingly, studies show that if you have better sound, people perceive the video as being better too. And that really matters with smaller screens.’

Better than stereo

So how good a sound quality are we talking?

‘We are seeing the sound quality go from “good enough” to being a real alternative to watching content on a big screen,’ says Ballesty, explaining that this change is being driven mainly by customer demand – we are getting used to more and more new groundbreaking technologies, and we want decent sound to go with it.

The DTS technology means mobile audio will be ‘better than stereo’, and the technology is ‘trending towards the same experience as the cinema’, says Ballesty, adding that while background noise will affect the quality, the experience will still be good enough for the user to feel immersed in the viewing experience.

Future starts now
These changes are taking place now, with traction set to increase over the next five years, says Ballesty: ‘We have several licencees that are rolling out services this year. … The decisions are happening now.’

T-Mobile and LG have already confirmed the launch of the G2x smartphone with DTS Ultra Mobile, scheduled for launch in the US this spring. In addition to surround sound, the device will come pre-loaded with Google, a 4-inch touch screen, a dual core processor and run on the 4G network.