Dolby Investor Relations

All Press Releases

Dolby Laboratories Updates Personal Surround Sound Initiative

Sep 4, 2003

Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone technologies help expand the surround sound experience to new environments

Indianapolis, September 4, 2003--Dolby Laboratories has announced that its Personal Surround Sound initiative is being embraced by consumers and hardware manufacturers alike at CEDIA Expo 2003. Key to the initiative are Dolby® Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone technologies, which enable more people to enjoy surround sound entertainment in environments not previously conducive to multichannel audio setups.

"The Dolby Personal Surround Sound initiative is about enjoying a high-quality surround sound listening experience even in 'nontraditional environments,' where installing a multichannel speaker system is impractical, or when privacy or noise levels may be an issue," said Craig Eggers, Director, Consumer Technology Marketing, Dolby Laboratories. "Dolby is committed to excellence in the cinema and the home theater, as well as making surround sound 'portable and personal' through our Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone technologies," he continued.

Dolby Virtual Speaker technology simulates a highly realistic 5.1-speaker surround sound listening environment from as few as two speakers, making it an ideal technology for digital television sets, stereo mini-systems, personal computers, and a variety of consumer audio/visual products. Dolby Virtual Speaker technology also creates a wider two-channel environment during playback of stereo CDs and MP3 content, and when combined with Dolby Pro Logic® II processing, delivers a virtual surround listening experience from any high -quality stereo source. More than a simple "expanded stereo" performance, Dolby Virtual Speaker incorporates highly advanced algorithms and extensive room-modeling technologies to reproduce the sonic spectrum and dynamics of a properly placed 5.1-speaker system in a room environment.

Dolby Headphone technology allows users to listen to music, watch movies, or play video games with the dramatic surround effects of a 5.1-channel soundtrack through any set of headphones. Best of all, "listener fatigue," a phenomenon commonly associated with headphone playback, is virtually eliminated. Dolby Headphone technology is ideal for portable and mobile DVD players, and is currently featured in selected PC and A/V receiver applications.

Dolby Headphone and Dolby Virtual Speaker extend the surround sound experience beyond traditional environments, which historically have included cinemas, living/family rooms, and dedicated home theaters.

Both Dolby Headphone Technology and Dolby Virtual Speaker Technology are based on core algorithms developed by Lake Technology, Ltd., of Australia.

New Products Enable Nontraditional Personal Surround Sound

Recently, Denon Electronics introduced the first consumer product incorporating both Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone technologies: the D-M71DVXP DVD Receiver System, which delivers a remarkably realistic virtual 5.1 listening environment from sources such as digital television, video games, and DVD entertainment software. The addition of Dolby Pro Logic® II technology expands the virtual surround listening experience to include two-channel sources such as stereo television broadcasts, compact discs, and more. For private listening, the system also includes Dolby Headphone technology.

In the US, Dolby Headphone technology is included in all models of the Dell Inspiron, and Dolby Virtual Speaker technology is included in the Sharp Actius. In the Japanese market, the Sharp Mebius PC, Sony VAIO Desktop, Hitachi Desktop and Notebooks, NEC Desktop, and Fujitsu Desktop all contain both Dolby technologies. Earlier this year, Analog Devices Inc. (ADI) implemented both Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone technology in its Melody ADSP21161 chipset, enabling ADI's customers to incorporate Dolby personal surround sound technologies into a wide variety of consumer electronics products.

Additional announcements by major hardware manufacturers introducing Dolby Headphone and Dolby Virtual Surround technologies are expected during the CEDIA show, and later this year.

"While Dolby Virtual Speaker and Dolby Headphone technologies are key anchors of our Personal Surround Sound initiative today, they are not the end of the story," added Eggers. "This initiative is an ongoing project within Dolby, one that we will continue to enhance and expand over time."

About Dolby Laboratories

Dolby Laboratories creates technologies that intensify and enhance the entertainment experience. For nearly four decades, Dolby has been instrumental in defining highquality audio and surround sound in cinema, broadcast, home audio systems, cars, DVDs, headphones, games, televisions, and personal computers. Based in San Francisco with European headquarters in England, the privately held company has entertainment industry liaison offices in New York and Los Angeles, and licensing liaison offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Tokyo. For more information about Dolby Laboratories or Dolby technologies, please visit

Dolby, Pro Logic, and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. All other trademarks remain the property of their respective owners. © 2003 Dolby Laboratories, Inc. S03/14967

Media Contacts: Jim Arnold, Dolby Laboratories, 415-645-5116
Colleen Martell, Martell Communications, 408-374-7420