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DTS Neural X vs. Dolby Surround [FULL Comparison with Pros & Cons]

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Since the summer of 1969 when surround sound first became available to homes, it has constantly continued to evolve and develop.

Surround sound was first referred to as Quadraphonic sound, and it was first used on reel-to-reel tape

Quite unfortunately, this surround sound technology, which could only provide discrete sound from four speakers placed in each corner of a room, was pretty confusing and thus, short-lived. 

It was in 1982 that Dolby Laboratories introduced [the now famous] Dolby Surround. This was a technology that encoded/piggybacked a surround sound signal onto a stereo sound source by using matrix encoding.

Since this invention, Dolby, DTS and many others have helped revolutionise and improve surround sound technology. This is only a good thing because consumers now have more options to choose from. 

The surround sound technology was controlled by Dolby until 1993 when DTS came along. They [DTS] provided their own digital surround sound mixing services for movie production, first hitting theatres with Jurassic Park.

In this article, we will compare the famous DTS Neural X with the famous Dolby Surround. It is a fact that many people often get confused about which to choose between these two. In this article, we will place these two side-by-side and compare them. 

If you are still wondering what the differences are between these two or which to go for, then this is the article for you. All you have to do is, read on! 

All About DTS Neural X

DTS Neural X is a new way to make the sound that DTS Inc made. It’s meant to give movies, music, and video games a very immersive and realistic surround sound experience. 

Neural X is a proprietary technology based on neural networks that can turn any stereo or multi-channel audio stream into a fully immersive 3D audio experience.

DTS Neural X ensures that Neural X-encoded data, non-encoded data, and DTS bitstreams all get the spatial “object-based” effect of DTS X. 

It also makes sure that the playback is optimized for the speaker arrangement you are currently using and that the 3D audio experience is tuned for a surround experience in which you should be immersed. Depending on the device, DTS Neural X can handle up to 11.x channels.

Some features of the Neural X include:

  • DTS Neural:X is based on a neural network-based system that analyzes and processes real-time audio signals to create a realistic and immersive 3D soundstage.
  • Neural:X can upmix any stereo or multi-channel audio source to provide a 3D audio experience. This means that audio that isn’t in 3D can be upgraded to make it more immersive and interesting.
  • There are several ways to set up the speakers: DTS Neural:X works with different speaker setups, such as 5.1, 7.1, and even 11.1 surround sound systems. Neural:X is easy to add to any home theatre or gaming system because it is so flexible.
  • Object-based audio: Neural:X can also work with object-based audio formats like Dolby Atmos and DTS: X. It can create a 3D soundstage where sounds move around and above the listener.
  • DTS Neural:X is compatible with various devices, such as home theatre receivers, soundbars, and headphones. It can also be linked to game consoles and personal computers to make gaming more immersive.

Here’s a youtube link to its demo sound:


All About Dolby Surround Sound

Dolby Surround is termed the first-ever version of Dolby’s surround sound technology. It was released in 1982, while personal video recording technologies provided HiFi and Stereo capability. 

Dolby Surround Sound is a Dolby Labs audio method that enhances the aural experience of visuals, video games, and music.

It creates a three-dimensional sound environment that surrounds the listener, increasing the authenticity and immersion of the music.

Dolby Surround is referred to as a decoding technology to the matrix of the passive consumers; Dolby Stereo is referred to as professional active-matrix cinema technology.

It was capable of decoding four-channel Dolby Stereo soundtracks to three output channels. 

In this case, the Center channel was fed evenly to both the right and left speakers.

The Surround channel was limited to a frequency range of 100 to 7 kHz due to the fact that only 3 decibels separated the centre channel from the surround channel.

Dolby Atmos provides a thrilling and authentic sound environment for your home theatre and superb film recording, making Dolby Atmos well worth the investment. 

It is similar to movie technology, with surround sound emanating from all directions, and it provides a more immersive experience than standard speakers.

Dolby Surround Sound uses a technology known as matrix encoding to distribute sound across several speakers. It requires at least four speakers. 

Also, a fifth speaker, called the centre channel which is often used for speech is required. Some systems may also feature a subwoofer for low-frequency sounds.
Here is a youtube link sound demo

DTS Neural X vs. Dolby Surround

Channel Option

Dolby is a three-dimensional sound space created by placing sound elements around and above the listener. 

Dolby Atmos systems frequently require two to four additional height channels to generate this overhead sound illusion. These height channels can be mounted on the walls or the ceiling.

DTS:X, on the other hand, is an object-based surround sound technology that allows sound to be placed and manipulated in any space without using height channels. 

DTS:X leverages advanced processing techniques to generate a sense of height rather than having separate above speakers. Height channels, on the other hand, can benefit DTS:X systems if they are available.


Both Dolby and DTS Neural X support prior versions of surround sound technology, allowing home theatre users to avoid starting from scratch with their speaker system.


Dolby Surround is more polished, with better dialogue placement and a cleaner reverb. 

Top noises are more strong, and the bass is more apparent. However, Dolby appears to struggle with the front soundstage.

DTS Neural X is a bit louder, so if you want to amp up the above effects, Neural X is the way to go. It prioritizes surround and frontstage sound, resulting in a well-balanced overall sound. 

It does, however, place less emphasis on the bass in exchange for a cleaner and more open sound.



With the creation of a more realistic and immersive audio environment, both technologies can significantly improve the gaming experience. Ultimately, the technique employed will depend on the game and the playback apparatus.


Both can be used to listen to music. Hence, The ideal way to listen to music is ultimately a matter of taste and preference. While some individuals favour the classic stereo sound, others favour a more expansive soundstage. 

It is, however, advised to try various configurations and technological options to see which ones suit your listening tastes the best.


Dolby Surround is a well-liked option for movie viewing because many contemporary films are mixed in a surround sound format. But, for an even more immersive audio experience, more recent home theatre systems might also offer Neural X.

Pros and Cons of DTS Neural X


  • DTS Neural X creates an immersive audio experience by simulating a 3D surround sound system. It can create a virtual sound stage that surrounds the listener and makes them feel like they are in the middle of the action.
  • Provides high-quality audio. DTS Neural X is a fantastic format that I always use. It widens the soundstage and makes many movies sound better. Perhaps it’s just me, but it conveys rain, and plane sounds to the height speakers.
  • Highly customizable


  • It can only work with a compatible soundbar and a receiver for it to work efficiently
  • There are fewer models to it than other surround sounds.
  • Not user-friendly to first-time users due to its complicated setup

Pros and Cons of Dolby Surround Sound


  • Has Immersive audio that creates an immersive experience by simulating a 3D sound stage. It provides the scene depth and reality by enveloping the listener with noises that immerse them in action.
  • Device compatibility: Dolby Surround Sound is supported by several gadgets
  • Wide content accessibility: Because so many movies, TV shows, and video games are now released in this format, Dolby Surround Sound-ready content is easily accessible.


  • Dolby Surround Sound can only support 5.1 channels, which prevents it from offering the same level of immersion as more recent technologies. 
  • Restricted customizability: Unlike rival technologies like DTS Neural X, Dolby Surround Sound offers little flexibility. Customers cannot customize the audio experience to their tastes by changing the speaker’s size, positioning, or frequency response.
  • Although Dolby Surround Sound creates an immersive environment, some users believe it needs to catch up to competing technologies regarding conversation clarity.

DTS Neural X, in Summary

DTS Neural X, a surround sound system developed by DTS, Inc., creates an immersive audio experience using cutting-edge neural networks. 

Neural X can convert a two-channel stereo stream into a 3D surround sound experience, simulating the impact of having numerous speakers around the listener.

Viewers can use Neural X to provide an immersive viewing experience for any Blu-ray and DVD video that isn’t DTS:X encoded. It approximates the height and wide sound field information of DTS:X, albeit less precisely. 

DTS Neural:X enables the upmixing of 2 and additional channel sources, and it extends the soundscape, making many movies sound noticeably better.

DTS Neural X can enhance the audio experience by establishing a virtual sound stage and simulating a 3D surround sound system.

Dolby Surround Sound, in Summary

A Dolby Labs matrix encoding technology called Dolby Surround captures and plays four-channel surround sound on two-channel media. 

It condenses the left, right, centre, and surround audio information from four channels—the left, centre, and surround channels—into two channels via phase and amplitude matrix.

During playback, the two-channel stream is transformed into four audio channels, creating a more authentic and immersive surround sound experience. 

The centre channel is identically recorded on the left and right channels to guarantee clear dialogue and other important noises.

Frequently Asked Questions

Dolby Surround or Neural X; which is superior?

DTS Neural X creates a striking imitation of this shrieking whoosh from front-right to rear-right speakers.
On the other hand, Dolby Surround does not provide such panning for this single effect, instead, it ramps up front and rear right side height channels equally and in a far less dramatic manner.

Is DTS Neural X Suitable For Music?

DTS Neural X can provide you with an excellent music-listening experience. However, just like with every other thing, it is good to experiment in order to tell if you really love it.

What Exactly is Dolby Surround Sound?

Dolby surround sound builds on the stereo to transmit sound from the sides, behind, and above you, providing a genuine, multidimensional acoustic environment based on scientific research into how humans hear.
Your entertainment comes to life with surround sound, putting you in the middle of the action.

Is Dolby Surround Sound Worth The Money?

Dolby Atmos provides an immersive and realistic sound environment for your home theatre and superb film recording, making Dolby Atmos well worth the investment.
It is similar to movie technology, with surround sound emanating from all directions.

Why does Dolby cost so much?

Dolby produces 4 times higher resolution than the conventional format using two 4K laser projectors. To be clear, dual refers to Dolby’s use of two 4K projectors, which is expensive compared to Neural X.


Both Dolby Surround and Neural X are audio enhancement technologies, although they accomplish their goals differently. 

While Dolby Surround is a well-known technology, Neural X provides a more advanced and versatile solution that can be used with a larger range of speaker configurations. 

Finally, the user’s requirements and preferences will determine the choice between these two technologies.