Update: The app is now available. See below.
When I first wrote about the inclusion of the DTS Headphone:X version of Hans Zimmer’s Man of Steel soundtrack, which comes with the Deluxe Limited Edition package, details were a little thin on the ground about exactly how the download process would work. Would the Headphone: X version be delivered as pre-encoded files? Would it require special hardware? Would there be an app for that? I didn’t know, and DTS wouldn’t respond to requests for more info. But High-Def Digest got a sneak preview of the Headphone:X experience this week, and provides quite a bit more information about how you’ll actually go about acquiring and listening to the surround mix.
Starting June 11th, you can purchase the ‘Man of Steel’ Limited Deluxe Edition Soundtrack. Inside the steelbook case, you’ll find 2 CDs with over two hours of music (including six bonus tracks not found on the other version of the soundtrack), 32-page booklet, and a redemption code to download the Z Plus app along with the entire soundtrack in DTS Headphone:X. The Z Plus app is tuned to make each track emulate Hans Zimmer’s own mixing stage, so you’re hearing his musical score “exactly” as he heard it after recording and mixing it all together. Interestingly, an earlier version of Z Plus is on iTunes right now related to ‘The Dark Knight Rises’. The app itself is free, along with some demo materials, but individual tracks and content cost money. My guess is this same app will update on the 10th or 11th to a ‘Man of Steel’ theme. As I said before, if you buy the Limited Edition soundtrack, the Headphone:X music track downloads are included; if you do not, the Z Plus app should be free and you will most likely be able to, as with ‘Rises’, purchase content which may or may not include the ‘Man of Steel’ sound track elements.
Unfortunately for you Android fans in the audience (and those, like me, who do some headphone listening at the computer, as well), the app is iOS-only at this point. But a description on DTS’s website does seem to indicate that a PC app is also in the works, although there’s no telling if it will be compatible with the Man of Steel Headphone:X tracks:
The DTS Headphone:X experience first requires surround content to be encoded as a DTS-HD bitstream, with the room information embedded in the stream. Next, DTS Headphone:X (embedded on a PC, tablet or phone) calibrates the headphones. Finally, the reference data is decoded and post-processing enhancement is employed to deliver a truly amazing, home theater quality surround sound experience over headphones.
My copy of the soundtrack should arrive on Tuesday, so look for a more in-depth review sometime next week.
UPDATE: The Z+ Music app is now available on the iTunes store, complete with a surround channel demo (seriously, it’s worth downloading just for that), a free DTS Headphone:X track from the Man of Steel soundtrack titled “Ignition,” and seven tracks available for purchase for $1.99 each: “Oil Rig,” “Sent Here for a Reason,” “DNA,” “Krypton’s Last,” “This is Clark Kent,” and “Flight.”
SECOND UPDATE (6/11/13): Well, for all the hype, unfortunately the DTS Headphone:X version of the Man of Steel Soundtrack ended up being a serious sonic turkey. Click here for my full review of the Limited Deluxe Edition.
Via: [High-Def Digest]