Earlier this year at CES, the THX team introduced several non-traditional devices like smartphones, laptops, and wireless speakers. We wanted to take a moment to address our fans directly about the evolving direction of THX.
Our core mission at THX – deliver high-quality entertainment experiences that are true to a creator’s vision to audiences everywhere – remains the same and that will never change.
But let’s talk about the last word of our mission statement for a moment, because it’s essential to THX in 2020 and beyond.
THX is Everywhere
In 1983, THX started by certifying movie theaters because that was one of the hubs for high-quality entertainment, and we could (and did) make those experiences better. But as technology advanced and grew, so did the “quality black hole,” and with it, our mission grew in scope.
To stay relevant, we needed to meet audiences where they were watching, listening, and enjoying their entertainment. We grew THX Certification beyond the Cinema, to speakers, A/V receivers, and televisions that ultimately became the core of the Home Theater program. It’s through that initial expansion that we were able to build relationships with great technology partners and grow THX Certification into the gold standard it is today. And now we’re expanding beyond even that.
A great example of adapting THX Certification is 1MORE’s Triple Driver headphones, which were the first pair of headphones to pass the stringent tests of our Headphone Certification program. Fast forward to 2020, and we have multiple sets of certified headphones (both wired and wireless) from several partners heading to market.
That’s not to say we’re replacing killer home theaters with earbuds – on the contrary! We’re developing new technologies that make exceptional home experiences accessible to everyone.
For example, take the Enclave 5.1 Wireless surround sound system, the first wireless speaker system to pass THX Certification. This partnership was a significant step forward for the home theater world because it’s a marriage of simple setup (thanks to WiSA’s multi-channel wireless technology), and great sound (thanks to Enclave and THX Certification). Usually, a system like Enclave’s would’ve been available to a small number of enthusiasts, but now setup can be accomplished by anyone regardless of experience.
And if you’re someone who loves running wires and getting the position of speakers just right, don’t worry. We’ll continue to work on products for you, too. The point is, new device categories like headphones, mobile phones, laptops, and readily available home theater equipment, as well as enthusiast products, can all achieve THX Certification as long as the performance is there.
And since it’s 2020, and nearly everyone has an entertainment powerhouse in their pocket (smartphones and laptops), it’s crucial for us to make those experiences better. So the THX team worked tirelessly to bring technologies and certifications to mobile devices. In 2019, we introduced Tuned by THX™, a way for manufacturers to maximize the performance of devices within the hardware’s capabilities. Our engineers optimize video and audio so that regardless of price point, you get the most out of your device. Audiences want great experiences on the go, and we’re committed to delivering them.
THX, a Technology Company
For the past few years, in addition to optimizing partner products and certifying the results, THX has been developing technologies to enhance partner products, including THX® Spatial Audio and THX AAA™.
With THX Spatial Audio, our 3D immersive audio technology that’s found across headphones, mobile phones, PCs, and speakers, we are building out a suite of features that’ll make sound localization feel more lifelike. We see THX Spatial Audio as a killer addition to entertainment, especially video games, because it can add a level of immersion and realism that gamers can’t get with a typical 5.1 or 7.1 system. Currently, you can find THX Spatial Audio on EVOO Gaming laptops and Razer headphones.
If you’re not into video games, don’t worry. Earlier this year, we announced the technology would be available on ZmBIZI smartphones, the first phone to feature THX Spatial Audio. The phone will debut later on in 2020. Stay tuned.
Another THX technology that’s receiving a ton of buzz is THX AAA, our highly rated headphone amplifier technology. Right now, THX AAA continues to receive positive traction in the audiophile market, where it’s had stellar success in the FIIO M11 Pro, the SMSL SP200 headphone amp, and Drop+THX Panda headphones. The critical path forward is to make THX AAA plug-and-play for our partners. When we accomplish that task, you can expect near-lossless audio quality to be more widely available in a variety of products.
We’ve put a lot of thought into our path and how THX can maintain leadership in the audio-visual market, but at the core of it all is the same guiding principle: Make entertainment experiences better.
And on the Cinema side, that work continues. In 2019, we launched the THX Ultimate Cinema, our premium large-format experience, in Los Angeles at the historic Regency Westwood Village. The theater received rave feedback from moviegoers in the L.A. area and we plan on bringing the exceptional THX Ultimate Cinema to more theaters worldwide. Stay tuned, more announcements are on the way!
Please know that when you see the THX logo, in whatever form it may take in the future, it upholds the same mark of quality consumers have known and trusted for over 35 years.