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Dolby Headphone for Game Developers

With Dolby® Headphone technology, your customers will experience rich, dramatic surround sound over conventional headphones.

Delivers realistic 5.1-channel sound from any set of headphones

Provides a more comfortable listening experience, reducing listener fatigue

Enables superb surround sound from stereo music and movies when combined with Dolby Pro Logic® II

Dolby Headphone accurately creates the sensation of up to five loudspeakers in a room using powerful digital signal processing (DSP) technology. The result is a richer and more natural listening experience over conventional stereo headphones.

Dolby Headphone is compatible with native 5.1-channel content. When combined with Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Headphone can transform content from a two-channel source into a surround sound listening experience.

When reproducing a source that incorporates Dolby Pro Logic IIz preprocessing, Dolby Headphone provides a 7.1-channel surround sound experience.

Dolby Headphone electronically imparts the sonic signature of a corresponding speaker properly placed in a carefully defined acoustic environment to each audio channel (two on stereo programs, and up to five on surround programs). The subwoofer signal (the “.1” Low-Frequency Effects [LFE] channel) is mixed into the Left and Right channels in equal proportion.

All of this information is combined by the Dolby Headphone processor into two encoded channels that deliver the spatial properties of the original audio, with more natural sounds that actually seem to be “out-of-head.”

Why Dolby

Dolby Headphone’s ability to deliver natural, realistic 5.1 surround sound adds a new level of intensity, immersion, and realism to the gaming experience that will make your product a standout. Better yet, with listener fatigue eliminated, gamers can keep playing comfortably for hours and hours.

Dolby Headphone technology delivers 5.1-channel surround sound through any pair of headphones. It can be included in almost any device that can process stereo or multichannel audio and has a headphone output.

The Dolby Headphone process can be embedded into DSP chips or implemented in software for use in home theater systems, digital TVs, personal computers, and portable devices. Dolby Headphone also offers application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) design for higher performance at less cost than a typical DSP solution.

From the outset Dolby Headphone technology was designed to encompass all possible audio formats. Conventional stereo, Dolby Surround, and 5.1-channel digital content can all be enhanced for headphone reproduction by the Dolby Headphone process. The result is a far more natural sound over any conventional wired or wireless stereo headset on all programs, from 5.1-channel DVDs to stereo MP3s.

Because conventional headphone listening doesn’t include any of the cues that acoustics impart to the sound of loudspeakers in a room, audio images are perceived as coming from inside the head. Dolby® Headphone technology (also known as Mobile Surround) simulates the sound of speakers that are clearly and unambiguously located outside the listener's head, including the complex acoustics of a listening room where sounds reflect off various surfaces. This effectively convinces listeners that the sound is originating from multiple speakers around them. And Dolby Headphone can simulate a variety of rooms with different acoustics.

Dolby Headphone technology is universal to all listeners due to a significant breakthrough in signal processing technology. The system does not require custom head-related transfer function (HRTF) settings to accommodate the differences between individuals, so it’s simple to implement and operate.

Dolby Headphone technology can be included in consumer products with no loss of quality. Implementation options include a wide range of digital signal processing (DSP) chips, so Dolby Headphone technology can be employed wherever headphones are used.

Dolby Headphone technology also provides all the benefits of a highly detailed finite-impulse response (FIR) filter, with virtually no latency. This ensures video programs (stereo or multichannel) can maintain sync between sound and picture.

Finally, with Dolby Headphone no special headphones are required. The process works well with wired or wireless headphones ranging from inexpensive airline headsets to high-end electrostatic sets, although higher-quality headphones deliver a higher-quality listener experience.

Choose from the drop-down menus below to get Dolby professional reference material.