AVS Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to purchase a modestly priced HT receiver or amp but I watch movies mostly at night with headphones (after the kids and wife have gone to bed). I was not impressed with the Sony wireless surround headphone/amp combo, nor with the Sennheiser headphone surround processor, but the Dolby Headphone technology (developed by Lake Tech. and licensed to and by Dolby) seems to be significantly more convincing.


I see it being built into laptops and into software DVD players, but am waiting to see it as an outboard device, with a digital input. Alternatively, I'd consider buying a receiver with the processing built in. So far all that I have seen with Dolby Headphone built in is a top model Denon just announced, and a MArantz unit being sold only in Japan.


Does anyone know of any others coming available soon? Or even a modestly priced outboard piece (ala the Lake Theaterphone).


If you do not have any idea of what I am talking about, check the following links:

http://www.lakedsp.com/
http://www.dolbyheadphone.com/dolbyheadphone/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
It's not DD, but Yamaha receivers have a DSP mode called Silent Cinema, which is just for headphones. I have an RX-V1 and I tried it the other night. I was surprised by how it gives the effect of a 5.1 track via the headphones.

Here's a link to the Yamaha site with info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,161 Posts
According to Dolby's website, the only A/V product available right now is the Marantz PS-17 available only in Japan & Europe. It looks like the technology is going into computer systems more than anything.


As Steve above, I have a Yamaha HTR-5280 with Silent Cinema and the effects are awesome. I have a set of Sennheiser HD-580 headphones that I use in the evening, as my wife and daughter usually head for bed by 9 pm and I'm usually up till 11 or later.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29,490 Posts
Dolby just announced that the DVD of Pearl Harbor will be ENcoded in Dolby Headphone (link below):

http://www.dolby.com/press/pa_pr_0111_PearlHarbor.html


The highlights (italics mine):

Quote:
San Francisco, November 7, 2001—Dolby Laboratories announced that the upcoming DVD release (December 4th) of Touchstone Pictures' Pearl Harbor, from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay, will feature a special, limited-edition Dolby Headphone bonus track. The Dolby Headphone track will allow movie viewers to enjoy the multichannel audio experience of Pearl Harbor's 5.1-channel soundtrack over any pair of regular stereo headphones using any DVD player or receiver with a headphone jack. Pearl Harbor will be the first-ever DVD release to feature a Dolby Headphone soundtrack.


Through its powerful signal-processing algorithm, Dolby Headphone generates a host of audio clues modeled from real life, from which the listener's ears and brain derive a truly three-dimensional sound image. Stereo content sounds richer and more spacious, as if it were being played over two speakers in a room. Multichannel audio programming is presented as if the listener is surrounded by a five-speaker home theater setup.


"With this new release, millions of movie fans will be able to experience Dolby Headphone multichannel audio through their regular headphones," said Brent Butterworth, Director of Marketing, Consumer Technologies, Dolby Laboratories. "Soon we will see many consumer electronics products with Dolby Headphone processing built in, which will allow listeners to enjoy surround sound from any 5.1-channel source over any set of headphones."


Listeners can enjoy Dolby Headphone in stereo with program sources such as MiniDiscs, CDs, and MP3 files, and in surround sound with most multichannel program sources, including Dolby Surround, Dolby Digital, PCM, MLP-packed PCM, AAC, and MPEG.
Best,

Sanjay
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
674 Posts
Well, if anyone is remotely interested in a group of forumers, with mostly the same mentality as you all, that are ga-ga about Dolby Headphone and using headphones with DVD's and music, check out www.head-fi.org


No, I don't work there. I'm one of the lowly forumers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,111 Posts
All fairly recent purchases....I have listened to the headphone surround effects from first the Panny RP-91 directly (couple of choices...liked the "wide field" best), the silent cinema modes of the 5490 receiver and the other night with the receiver in stereo mode....the DD Headphone Surround mode on Pearl Harbor DVD.


All three definitely enhance the enjoyment of watching movies with headphones greatly over simple stereo. My subjective opinion was that the most amazingly realistic effect was from the Pearl Harbor designated headphone track run through the 5490 set up in stereo mode, by a slim margin. The silent cinema modes of the 5490 which allow you to pick from various sound fields of the receiver...almost equally impressive & the RP-91 surround effect coming in third but still totally enjoyable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,225 Posts
I tend to agree with your rankings. I currently have a HTPC and own both WinDVD and PowerDVD, have upgraded both to support Dolby Headphone, and I have compared the HTPC DH playback of the DD5.1 to the pre-recorded DH soundtrack on Pearl Harbor, and found that the PC version is considerably better than the pre-recorded DH demo track. I was using the analog stereo output of an SB Live! soundcard and the headphone jack on my Onkyo TX-DS575X receiver, both sub-optimal choices, and tried Sony MDR-V600's and Sennheiser HD-570's and my "old reliable" reference, the Koss ESP-6's. (The Koss electrostatics were actually hooked to the "Speaker B" terminals on the Onkyo, as they require 40 rms wpc for reference level sound.)


Based on the listening test:


1) I need a soundcard upgrade - sometimes the HTPC produces weird noises that have to be fixed - it's odd but if you start certain applications in a specific order, you get noise - but stop and restart one of the set, or start them in a different order, and the noise is gone. (I never have these noises using the regular SPDIF output and surround speakers.)


I will resolve this later - after I upgrade that consumer grade SB Live! to a professional soundcard with another 20db of S/N ratio, lower distortion, and much better D/A converters.


2) Surprisingly, the cheaper (and lower rated in web reviews) Sony MDR-V600's sounded modestly but definately better than the Sennheiser's, plugged into the Onkyo. I'm not suggesting anything other than the Sennheiser's 150-ohm impedance was a less optimal match to the Onkyo headphone jack than the 45-ohm Sony's. Both sounded slightly inferior to the 30-year old ESP-6's but those things are too damned heavy to wear for movie watching. I tend to favor over-the-ear closed headphones to open-air designs like the Sennheisers, and both the Sony and Koss are closed designs.


3) I took the Pearl Harbor DVD and Sony's and Sennheiser's to a local A/V dealer and tried about 20 different receivers. There was no clear quality ranking with headphone jack sound - some below $500 receivers clearly sounded better than some above $3000 receivers. My overall favorite was a used Pioneer Elite VSX-24TX at $450, using the Sony's. I ranked this above both the Yamaha HTR-5280 and the Denon AVR-5800! (I admit I had to use whatever DVD player was hooked to each receiver, so it's not an A/B sort of thing.) Then I made the mistake of listening to a $900 Wheatfield vacuum tube OTL headphone amp - the difference was astounding, you should ignore the headphone jack on your A/V receiver, as it's a joke!


4) Since the wife had kittens and said we couldn't possibly do the $900 amp until after we paid the government (damn taxes), I have designed my own, so far spending about $300 on an OTL tube amp, but I'm missing a half dozen parts and keep changing the design. I'm guessing I'll be done in about two weeks, meanwhile I'm researching soundcards. By the way, designing with tubes is actually easier and more fun than solid state. I haven't done a tube project since the '70's.


Gary
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top