There are many Home theatre systems, which are sub £400 these days, offering varying quality and features to entice the ever hungry public. Come to think of it there are many systems under £200, even though they don’t offer half as much in terms of quality and features they still allow for even the hard-up to get nearer to that theatre perfection.
I thought I was going to find it hard to objectively review the Digitheatre DTS when in the back of my mind all I could help thinking was that it is £350 which is much more on the price of the Xbox, no-one is going to want to pay that much again just for audio when £100-£200 less gets you all the needed support.
However there came a point of no return, when, with the volume at half, and my room shaking without distortion, you come to realise that the Xbox has a lot more to offer than just crisp graphics and a big storage space for your music. It has the ability to pump out audio of such high quality and clarity that it could match your Hifi and win. Just think.. you don’t have to even change CD’s (even though it will play them) you can just select a different album or piece of music.
I haven’t even touched on the games yet, which essentially this is all about. The extra possibilities of the Xbox make it a sound investment in itself. Where £350+ speakers come in to the equation is your decision but let me state you will not be disappointed!
And then there are DVD’s, but I’ll keep you no longer from the games. And no review would be complete if I didn’t mention Halo’s role in spending an extra £350 more justified.
Forget everything you know about Game Audio, forget everything you know about Halo come to think of it, your gaming experience is about to get a pole-vault victory of such Olympic proportions your going to ask yourself HOW!. How in such a detailed game can there be so much more by just adding Dolby Digital.
For those of you who stare at Halo walls and gasp every time. Come on, you know who you are! For those that turn the torch on just to see the dynamic lighting and cry for joy that game designers are starting to use all those techniques we have seen only on PC demo’s. For those that look intricately at all those little things which make the game huge, your going to love the burning tankers on the Pillar of Autumn which when you have your back turned are lapping flames behind you so clear it’s actually eerie that your room isn’t on fire!!! Your going to love the way you can hear gunshots, alien chatter and backfire encase you more into this unusual concept world, more than you ever imagined possible. Forget the visual indicators – your going to be using the audio to find out where things are. And, it comes instinctively.
Forget everything you knew about Bass, times it by ten and then turn the speakers up to full, the only thing that will distort is your emotions as your worry you might actually bring plaster from the walls while the wonder off, it all pulls you right back in.
Once you get accustomed to the games, there’s one more treat for you. DVD’s! If your lucky enough to have seen a DVD on the Xbox, again your going to be blown away by how much difference the Dolby Digital and DTS experience of these speakers enhances your Viewing pleasure. Take Gladiator. Typical Hollywood romanticism. Not a bad film. Made 10 times better by the Audio! I’ve heard it before on PC in Dolby Digital – it was very impressive. But until you’ve heard the Frightening whizzes of flaming arrows in the opening sequence you haven’t heard anything so crisp and loud. So gorgeously real, so worth every penny. It takes a good sound engineer to make a film’s battle scenes stand out. It takes and even better one to add authentic positional noises to everyday conversations. – After the battle of Germainia there’s a scene with Maximus and the Emperors daughter. You know instantly they have history, but you never really new the Dog barking was far away behind you to the left!!! It’s that sort of attention to detail you can’t even get in the Theatre!
Unfortunately some games don’t take advantage of the surround capabilities of the Xbox and it is a shame. It proves that Dolby has certified games to use the Dolby Digital Tag even if they only use part of the system and don’t use the full surround mode. This is a double-edged sword, you have backward compatibility for old speaker systems but also some game design houses that won’t use the surround mode’s as they don’t have to. Don’t worry too much as out of the games I have only ISS2 that isn’t using the surround sound. Playing the game though the Digitheatre DTS from Pure Digital is a treat however.
To round off, weather your looking for directional support within games in the form of clear, crisp audio or weather you just want to have a better system to show off to your mates the Digitheatre DTS will not disappoint. The only thing that holds it back is the cost. At £350, there are alternatives to consider. But this system is by no means over priced. The quality is phenomenal. If you are in the market for a good Dolby Digital system with DTS, consider this and consider that it has inputs for Optical Digital, Coaxial Digital and Analogue L and R for all your audio needs.
What a treat this is. I don’t think I can think of anything wrong but the price might be too much for some. Shop around but don’t dismiss this at all!!
Rating: 4 / 5