Fans of 3D immersive object-based audio been waiting for DTS:X to become available on a consumer AVR for over a year. Now, the first firmware update to enable the feature has been delivered by Denon. The recipients of the update are Denon’s AVR-X7200 and AVR-X7200WA AV receivers. Yesterday evening, I paid a visit to a couple of DTS:X-related threads here on AVS Forum to confirm that the downloads had begun—they had.

Initial reports are that the DTS Neural:X upmixer (part of the DTS:X update) is a winner, with notably more robust use of the height channels than the Dolby Surround upmixer included with Atmos. Unfortunately, the AVR I currently have in for review—a Marantz SR7010—is not scheduled to get its DTS:X update until March 3. I’m chomping at the bit to get in on the action, but for now I have to live vicariously.It’s a good thing DTS:X comes with a high-quality upmixer because at the moment, native DTS:X content is hard to come by.
Currently, there are only four Blu-ray titles that are already released in the format—American Ultra, Crimson Peak, Ex Machina, and The Last Witch Hunter. Currently, Dolby Atmos is up to 39 titles, including some major blockbusters like The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 and American Sniper. Hopefully, DTS:X will gain traction now that there's hardware to support it.

There’s no telling how the object-based audio format war will play out on physical media like Blu-ray and Ultra-HD Blu-ray. However, if DTS:X and its Neural:X upmixer can get more out of existing surround-sound content, that alone makes it an exciting addition to an AV enthusiast’s toolkit.

Now that the first update is out there, the clock is ticking for quite a wide array of AVRs from various manufacturers that have promised a DTS:X update to early adopters. Denon will follow up today’s update on February 18, when the AVR-X6200W and AVR-X4200W join the party. Marantz will deliver its DTS:X updates starting with the AV8802A pre/pro on February 4, followed by the SR7010 AVR, SR6010 AVR, and AV7702mk2 pre/pro on March 3.

A search for firm dates for a DTS:X update from other major AVR manufacturer did not yield any results—if you have any information in that regard, please leave it in the comments. For now, it appears Denon AVR-X7200W and AVR-X7200WA owners are at the very front of the early adoption line when it comes to experiencing this new object-based audio format. Enjoy the ride.