Encyclopedia Beginners Audio Charter DTS (Digital Theater Sound)

DTS standard

DTS (Digital Theater Sound) is a digital sound coding standard created by Universal. Compared with the Dolby Digital standard, DTS uses four times less compression and digitises sound at 20 bits instead of 16. Therefore, DTS’s sound quality is theoretically higher, at the cost of a higher bit rate.

To be able to play DTS-encoded media, you need a certified DTS decoder.

DTS falls into four different categories:

  • DTS 6, the most commonly used 5.1 standard, which can encode six-channel sound with less compression than the Dolby Digital standard. The first five channels are used for the satellite speakers, while the last is reserved for the subwoofer. These devices are normally identified by the presence of this logo:



  • DTS ES (Digital Theater Sound Extended Surround), 6.1 standard which uses an additional rear channel (rear central). DTS ES uses less compression than Dolby Digital EX.



The DTS ES standard has two variants:

    • DTS ES Matrix, which has a seventh channel interpolated with the primary channels. This is called “virtualization”.
    • DTS ES Discrete has an seventh independent channel.
  • DTS 24/96 represents an audio format used for storing high-definition music with several channels. This format is primarily used in DVD Audio, or audio tracks which accompany video DVDs. The name comes from the fact that the tracks are recorded in 24 bits at 96 kHz. It may be in either stereo or 5.1.


DTS 24/96

  • DTS Neo:6 is a format for upmixing (virtualising) from a stereo sound source.


DTS Neo:6

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