Two-thirds of mobile bandwidth will be used for media streaming meaning consumers need to be engaged in the content and enjoy it or they will tune out says Geir Skaaden (pictured above) of DTS Listen. The challenge he says is how to keep the quality good with limited bandwidth. He says his company enables big sound for your small screen. He went on to explain the cinema sound you experience is the exact opposite of mobile sound today.
In a demo, the company showed me its DTS HEADPHONE:X technology which simulates surround sound on a pair of headphones. One thing I noticed was there is greater midrange and bass when DTS HEADPHONE:X is enabled. Mike Johns with the company tells me the LFE or subwoofer channel is taken into account which is partly why the sound is far richer.
The company did research on 100 people and determined that brain activity increased enjoyment using DTS HEADPHONE:X by 60% versus normal stereo. Moreover video quality did not have a noticable affect on brain activity. The point is there isn't much return in increasing video quality but there is for increased audio quality.
The company's goal is to get HEADPHONE:X in the hands of handset manufacturers, media companies and carriers. A consumer can then just purchase a device with this technology embedded - or another way to experiance it is to purchase an enabled app.
The good news for DTS Listen is we all see the trend of consumers purchasing premium quality headphones meaning they care about sound quality. It seems like everyone in any major airport has them on. Its worth pointing out that DTS provides a configuration tool to enable you to choose the type of headphones you are using.
I tested the system on an entry-level set of Sennheisers and earbuds and it sounded great on both - with noticible improvement in ausio quality and stereo speration. I look forward to seeing technology like this embedded in all mobile devices.