THX will introduce a new volume control technology, dubbed THX Loudness Plus, as part of the latest iteration of its post-processing certifications, THX Ultra 2 Plus and THX Select 2 Plus. The quality-control company says that the technology ‘maintains the integrity of audio content when listening at lower volume levels.’
While the Reference Level used to mix most surround soundtracks may be fine for playback in cinemas, THX accepts that this is just too loud for most homes. And when these soundtracks are played back at a lower level, surround effects and ambient sounds can be lost.
Warren Mansfield, director of consumer technology at THX explains “With THX Loudness Plus, home theater enthusiasts have the option of cranking the sound, or turning the volume down and still hearing the ambient detail in movies, video games or music soundtracks just like they were mixed in the studio.”
THX Loudness Plus incorporates two new proprietary processes. As the user changes the volume, THX Multi-channel Spectral Balancing, which adjusts the frequency response to counter the perceptual loss of low and high frequency sound in all channels, and THX Dynamic Ambience Preservation, which is used to shape the output on surround channels to maintain the perceived balance in the original mix, automatically adjust the sound to compensate for lower volume playback. The company says this delivers a more accurate and dynamic listening experience regardless of volume level.
The first AV receiver to feature THX Ultra 2 Plus with Loudness Plus will come from Yamaha. Its flagship RX-Z11 (pictured above) is due to go on sale later this year.