Headphones are great. Except when you want to feel that room-shaking vibe you can only get from a traditional home theatre speaker system. JVC Kenwood announced at the global consumer electronics show CES 2020, that it’s unveiling a new “personal wireless home theatre system” that is says will deliver “full, multi-channel sound field when using headphones”.
Announcing JVC XP-EXT1 EXOFIELD
The JVC XP-EXT1 uses JVC’s new technology called “EXOFIELD out-of-head localization sound field processing technology” (that’s a mouthful!) to allow headphone users to experience the full effect of multi-channel sound sources, including Dolby Atmos and DTS:X.
This technology also has the ability to optimize the experience for individual users, creating the most realistic and immersive experience possible, meaning you’re not stuck with one experience.
How does the JVC personal home theatre experience work?
The XP-EXT1 is made up of three components – JVC headphones with a special digital processor, the Exofield processor box, plus a companion mobile app.
Using microphones built into the headphones, and the dedicated smartphone app, users measure the acoustic characteristics of the listening room, speakers, and the listener’s ears and face.
These measurements are compared to a database of acoustic measurements, and a matching algorithm is selected to provide a listening experience tailored to each individual’s listening environment.
What does JVC EXOFIELD technology sound like?
What does all that do for you? It’s supposed to mean you get multichannel audio up to 7.1.4 channels using headphones, but with the sensation that the sound is coming from virtual speakers in every direction, and without the noise and reverb that comes with typical home theatre set ups, so no waking the kids or the spouse. Or the neighbours.
The system also supports up-mixing of two-channel and 5.1-channel material to 7.1.4 channels.
The processor box has an HDMI input/output terminal that supports output to 4K-compatible displays and projectors, and three HDMI inputs to allow connection of up to three devices.
Settings for up to four users can be stored, and settings can be fine-tuned remotely using the app, including selection of one of four sound modes – Cinema, Music, Game and Custom.
How about the headphones themselves? They have a 40mm high magnetic force neodymium driver unit and large soft ear pads that are designed to be comfortable for hours.
Overall the effect is just as described. Granted I only tested it for a few minutes with limited content, but it does sound like the audio is coming from all directions.
The JVC XP-EXT1 EXOFIELD wireless home theatre system should be available later in 2020, so keep your eyes on the Best Buy blog for updates and Canadian pricing. Meantime, find more JVC Kenwood products at Best Buy.