LAS VEGAS —
THX is coming to International CES with a new analog amplifier technology said to deliver sound quality that equals that of the best Class A/B analog amplifiers while equaling or exceeding the efficiency of most Class D “digital” switching amps in normal use when playing music or movie soundtracks.
The efficiency and small size of amps incorporating the THX technology makes them suitable for use in TV sets, automotive audio, high-quality tabletop audio, powered speakers and high-quality battery-powered portable audio products, THX senior VP Laurie Fincham told TWICE. The technology is also suitable for larger high-powered, performance-driven applications such as high-end A/V receivers and audiophilequality amplifiers, he said.
The amps can be small because in lower power applications such as portables, the size of their heat sinks will be “almost negligible,” he said. The amps also don’t require big caps or inductors.
The technology will deliver “low distortion, low noise and wide bandwidth without big heat sinks,” he said. The technology boasts “distortion so low that it is difficult to measure on even the best test equipment,” he added.
As a result, the technology will deliver “the same musical, natural sound quality as the finest Class AB amplifiers,” the company said.
When playing a full-power sine wave, Class D amplifiers are more efficient, he noted, but in real-world conditions when playing even the loudest music, the average power of a Class D amp will only be about 10 percent of the maximum sine wave power, so the efficiency for both Class D and the THX amp technologies will be both closer to 30 percent, he explained. At lower listening levels, the THX technology becomes much more efficient because its standing dissipation is much lower, typically1/20th that of a Class D amplifier, Fincham said.
Standby power consumption is extremely low, he added. “When it does nothing, it takes nothing.”
The cool-running technology suffers “none of the radio-frequency emissions problems that plague most digital amplifiers,” making it especially suitable for automotive applications, the company added.