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DTS, Qualcomm In Deal To Bring Headphone:X To Mobile Devices

Barcelona, Spain — Smartphones and tablets will be able to deliver up to 7.1 channels of surround sound through headphones starting later this year now that Qualcomm plans to incorporate DTS’s Headphone:X technology into its latest Snapdragon mobile processors.

 The technology will appear first in Snapdragon 800-series mobile processors in the second half.

The development was announced here at the Mobile World Congress.

Qualcomm’s Headphone:X implementation is capable of reproducing soundtracks mixed in up to 7.1 channels, though the technology is capable of delivering 11.1 virtual surround channels over any pair of headphones.

The technology also externalizes sound so that listeners perceive sound as coming from speakers in front and to the side at some distance rather than coming from inside their heads, DTS said.

Separately, DTS announced a partnership with Saffron Digital’s video-streaming service to add the DTS-HD surround codec, which is optimized for streaming and is said to adapt to changing network bandwidth and device capability without degradation.

The DTS solution can be integrated into the Saffron service for streaming audio and video content to mobile devices.

At the show, the two companies demonstrated the delivery of DTS-encoded audio and UltraViolet-compliant video content to Saffron Digital’s mobile client.