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HD Audio Formats (TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, etc.) How does it sound?

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HD Audio Formats (TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, etc.) How does it sound?

Old 02-15-08, 12:17 PM
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HD Audio Formats (TrueHD, DTS-HD MA, etc.) How does it sound?

Now that there are a few receivers out there that can finally decode the new HD formats, there must be someone on this board who can actually listen to the lossless audio tracks without having them down sampled to DD or DTS.

So for those that can listen... How does it sound? Have you done comparisons?
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Old 02-15-08, 04:04 PM
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A lot of us have been listening to lossless/TrueHD for awhile. You don't need a receiver to decode if it outputs PCM and your receiver accepts PCM.

But to answer your question, it sounds amazing
One of my favorites is the Matrix or Transformers (which I understand is DD+, but it's still solid sounding).
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Old 02-15-08, 04:10 PM
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I don't really think it's that big of a deal, but I'll likely get crucified for saying that.

Marginally better would be how I would put it. The difference perhaps between a ~160kbps mp3 and a 300+ kbps VBR0 mp3.

But hey, I'm listening on $500 speakers and at a volume that doesn't wake the kids up. So I'm probably not getting the best out of it.
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Old 02-15-08, 04:17 PM
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I still need to get some sort of system....still.
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Old 02-15-08, 06:30 PM
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It's incredible. Lossless soundtracks on a decent home theater setup destroy the handicapped Dolby Digital soundtracks we've been listening to on dvd all these years. Frankly I'm surprised the studios are so willing to give consumers the actual master soundtrack as heard by the film's mixer so quickly in the game. You can't improve on these soundtracks unless someone goes back to the source material and actually remixes the film's soundtrack. It is virtually upgrade-proof.
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Old 02-15-08, 10:08 PM
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Given the storage space available on Blu-ray discs, they could offer lossless audio without sacrificing picture quality since VC-1 or AVC compression still leaves plentiful space even on a single-sided BR disc.
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Old 02-15-08, 10:25 PM
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The quite ugly truth behind the HD audio formats is that most people are playing them on systems that aren't remotely capable of playing high quality sound.

I have an Onkyo 605 and a set of $500 Polk speakers. Dolby TrueHD played on my system does not sound as good as regular old Dolby Digital on my dad's Pioneer 84Txsi w/ DefTech Mythos speakers. It's not even in the same galaxy.

In other words, when people say the difference is astronomical, there's likely quite a bit of placebo effect involved.
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Old 02-16-08, 12:34 AM
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I look at it as like DTS on DVDs. It's nice to have it and I appreciate it when it's there, but it isn't absolutely necessary. It looks like it may become close to a standard though.
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Old 02-16-08, 03:30 AM
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The difference in lossless audio is very noticeable even with my onkyo 605 hooked up to HTIB onkyo speakers.

Worth the upgrade? If you can afford it, it most definitely is. If you cannot, then just hold off since this year there will be more recievers that can handle lossless audio.

Hell the 605 is going for $399 at Circuit City.
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Old 02-16-08, 10:08 PM
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Well hear is my opinion,for what it's worth. I'm no expert on this but the sound to me is a pretty big difference and sounds amazing!
I have Denon's 3808 and playing HD movies thru Toshiba's HD-A35 player and Canton all-around with a very old 10" Pioneer subwoofer(waiting for my Epik Knight ).
I hear people breathe,walk,backround sounds,etc a lot more clearly. The sound is seperated and it's more distinct and I feel like they are talking or it's happening right in front of me. The sub has more punch I can only imagine what it will sound like when I get the Knight .
I'm not sure what people are listening to when they say there is not a big difference but I couldn't disagree more. I had seven friends(four different times) come over that know nothing about this or even get into this and were astounded by the difference.
Again I'm not trying to step on anyones toes,just giving you my thoughts on this.
P.S. The two movies that sound great so far for me is Batman Begins and Pan's Labyrinth. Pan's Labyrinth is in DTSHD/MA and it's sounds great. The movie is not bad to(other than it being sub-titled).

Last edited by SUPERMANROB; 02-16-08 at 10:26 PM.
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Old 02-17-08, 12:10 AM
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If anyone tells you there is no difference from Lossless audio from Lossy audio, they are lying. The difference is extraordinary. Anyone telling you otherwise has an agenda. The first time i played a lossless audio track and compared it to the lossy, i was in shock, it was such a huge difference. So i would say YES it is a huge difference.
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Old 02-17-08, 12:38 AM
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Anyone who says he can hear the difference should list his equipment. People with better ears than many of us have been fooled by the placebo effect of lossless. I personally failed a double blind test level-matched test, and felt like giant ass after doing so.

If you say you can hear the difference on a HTIB, then I know you're either lying or fooling yourself. If you say you can hear the difference on a low-mid end Onkyo and Polk speakers, then you are trying to mentally justify your shiny new purchase. I get it; we've all been there.

With careful manipulation of the volume, I am fairly confident that I could get someone to choose the inferior track as "better" almost every time.
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Old 02-17-08, 04:57 AM
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No offense, but how old are you? Maybe your ears arent what they used to be. Im 28 and can tell the difference IMMEDIATELY, as can anyone else in the room when we did our blind tests back to back. It is nonsense to say otherwise. IMO of course. Blu-ray has the space and bandwidth to give us LOSSLESS audio on each and every release, the same track they use to edit the audio, the same track that is recorded in real life. Why you would not DEMAND it each and everytime, is beyond me. Stop listening to people who have an agenda, you have the right to get lossless on EVERY disc you buy, there is 0 excuse from here on out.
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Old 02-17-08, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
No offense, but how old are you? Maybe your ears arent what they used to be. Im 28 and can tell the difference IMMEDIATELY, as can anyone else in the room when we did our blind tests back to back. It is nonsense to say otherwise. IMO of course. Blu-ray has the space and bandwidth to give us LOSSLESS audio on each and every release, the same track they use to edit the audio, the same track that is recorded in real life. Why you would not DEMAND it each and everytime, is beyond me. Stop listening to people who have an agenda, you have the right to get lossless on EVERY disc you buy, there is 0 excuse from here on out.
With all due respect, the fact that you are 28 belies the fact that everything you post is cheerleading instead of common sense. I am also 28. My hearing is fine.

The reason your "blind" tests worked so well (especially if one of subjects is PCM via PS3) is because of a lack of level matching. The PS3 outputs PCM very loudly. This is not a bad thing; it's a fact that must be taken into consideration when analyzing sound.

Of course we should get lossless every time; however, that is not what the poster asked at all. The poster did not challenge the Supreme Almighty Authority of Blu Ray. Nor does anyone questioning the true real-world difference between lossy and lossless indicate the pushing of an agenda. The simple and unassailable reality is that there is very little real-world practical difference between lossy @ 640kbps and lossless on movie soundtracks, especially over the length of an entire film.
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Old 02-17-08, 07:26 AM
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So you say there is little difference, he says he can notice a big difference, its not really hurting anything by having the lossless tracks on the disc so why the big fuss?
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Old 02-17-08, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Fandango
So you say there is little difference, he says he can notice a big difference, its not really hurting anything by having the lossless tracks on the disc so why the big fuss?
Did you actually read the OP?
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Old 02-17-08, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by wewantflair
The quite ugly truth behind the HD audio formats is that most people are playing them on systems that aren't remotely capable of playing high quality sound.

In other words, when people say the difference is astronomical, there's likely quite a bit of placebo effect involved.
Agreed, unless we are listening on a worthy system
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Old 02-17-08, 12:16 PM
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I can definitely tell the difference between DTS HD MA than both regular DTS and DD.
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Old 02-17-08, 12:38 PM
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Well everyone has there own opinion but all I can do is tell you what I did and what I heard. For example I used the same movie(Batman Begins) since I have the SD and HD-DVD versions.
I played the SD version thru my Toshiba A2 in DD using a Digital Optical cable and the HD-DVD one thru my Toshiba A35 in TRUE-HD using HDMI cable.I hooked them up at the same time thru the 3808.
Again this is my opinion from what I heard and what my friends heard. My friends have no real clue what lossy or lossless is or even DD or TRUE-HD. All they knew was I was playing the same scenes. They "immediately" heard a big difference!
Like I said before there is more clarity,detail,loudness and what struck me the most was "it sounded like they were standing in front of me".
Now my Canton's are not top-of-the-line but I can guarantee you that they are not something you would buy at Best Buy(figure of speech).
When I bought the 3808,I bought the A35 just so I could listen to the lossless stuff(paid $500 for the A35 at the time) and then take it back.
I was shocked with the difference,so before my g/f got home I switched out the A2 with the A35 without telling her. We decided to see Batman Begins again . She looked at me and said,with eyes wide open "what did you do to the receiver!" she thought it was the receiver. I told what I did and what I planned on doing(take it back). She said "we are not taking it back!"that was at the $500 price. As you know now the price went way down on these players and I ended up returning it and bought it from Amazon for $226.

So everyone has their own opinion but for me I played these two formats side by side thru the same system and can honestly say to us and my friends there was a "significant" difference!

Good luck just my two cents.
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Old 02-17-08, 01:41 PM
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^Did you volume match the tracks in each test with a sound level meter*? If not, the test is not valid, as wewantflair suggests.

There may, indeed, be a difference with your system and "ears" (or g/f's ears!). But it is well known that most people will pick out the track that is higher in volume, especially if the difference is slight, as being "better". That's why when you say the TrueHD track has better "loudness" it raises a red flag. This stuff is not my opinion, it has been well established in blind tests by numerous audio organizations.

Year before last I did a volume matched test between DD+ and TrueHD and couldn't discern a difference. While that has no relevance for other people with different setups and "ears", nor the OP's question about downsampled DD/DTS vs. lossless, it was useful for me to know that DD+ was very good.



*For those interested, this is done by playing the same segment for each source and adjusting the volume until the peak sound levels match precisely, as measured at the listening position ("sweet spot"). Then one uses those volume settings in the listening test. (I assume that almost everyone here has a sound level meter because it is a necessary tool to balance a surround sound setup, unless one has a fancy receiver with a self-balancing microphone attachment.)

Last edited by lizard; 02-17-08 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 02-17-08, 06:16 PM
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Even Dolby and DTS themselves say the low bitrate soundtracks found on dvd are not transparent to the master(which is what the lossless tracks found on HD media are). Though DTS has claimed at times that 1509 kbps DTS(found on a few dvds) is "close to transparency", whatever that means.
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Old 02-17-08, 06:31 PM
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I just made a list and found that over 25% of my Blu-Ray's have DTS-HD tracks as the best audio track, whether it's DTS-HD MA or DTS-HD (Lionsgate).

It's time for me to get a player that can bitstream DTS-HD. I can't wait for the PS3 anymore.
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Old 02-17-08, 07:05 PM
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Originally Posted by QuePaso
No offense, but how old are you? Maybe your ears arent what they used to be. Im 28 and can tell the difference IMMEDIATELY, as can anyone else in the room when we did our blind tests back to back. It is nonsense to say otherwise. IMO of course. Blu-ray has the space and bandwidth to give us LOSSLESS audio on each and every release, the same track they use to edit the audio, the same track that is recorded in real life. Why you would not DEMAND it each and everytime, is beyond me. Stop listening to people who have an agenda, you have the right to get lossless on EVERY disc you buy, there is 0 excuse from here on out.
calm down, no one killed your dog.
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Old 02-17-08, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by insanecollector
The difference in lossless audio is very noticeable even with my onkyo 605 hooked up to HTIB onkyo speakers.

Worth the upgrade? If you can afford it, it most definitely is. If you cannot, then just hold off since this year there will be more recievers that can handle lossless audio.

Hell the 605 is going for $399 at Circuit City.
605 is $339.98 at Amazon right now. Cheapest I've seen it.
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Old 02-18-08, 07:28 AM
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Even though I technically downgraded from an 801 to a 605. it's been awesome for lossless audio. My only complaint about it is it has only 2 HDMI inputs, while the higher models have 3.
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