What Does THX Certified Mean?

Definition of THX Certification for Computer Speakers or Surround Sound Systems

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What Does THX Certification Mean?

THX Certification is a rigorous set of industry standards for audio reproduction. Essentially, it means that the sound coming out of your 5.1 surround sound or other speaker system is being heard exactly as the audio engineer intended for it to sound while he was recording and mixing it.

THX stands for "Tomlinson Holman's eXperiment," and was created by Holman while he was working with Lucasfilm Studios to create a new standard for audio reproduction to ensure quality and uniformity across all theater systems intending to play their audio.

Most familiar to consumers, "THX" is a method of reproducing sound that follows strict rules for creating ultra-high quality digital sound playback in surround sound audio systems. These systems can be professional theater or cinema sound systems, a simple home theater system, or a surround sound system just for your PC.

Purpose of THX Certification

To own a THX Certified sound system is to be positive that you are hearing optimal sound production, particularly if the DVD or video game you're playing is also THX Certified -- though that isn't a requirement for THX to make a big difference in your multimedia experience. This is because when a manufacturer achieves THX Certification, they are ensuring for their customer that their speaker system will reproduce professional quality sound exactly as the audio engineer intended for the film or video game to be heard.

Impact on Home Theater Systems

Many films and video games carry the "THX" brand and logo to prove their worth as high-quality audio or video sources, but THX Certification is actually most important for the actual speaker system which will be producing the sound, because THX source audio only matters when it is played on a system capable of reproducing it.

This is why finding a THX Certified surround sound system is often thought of as the holy grail for many home theater enthusiasts.

Recording Format Compatibility

THX Certified sound reproduction does not require that audio is recorded in any particular format, whether it is something such as Dolby Digital sound or otherwise.

Rather, THX is most important at the moment that the sound is reproduced, or "played" by a speaker system. THX Certified surround sound systems such as 5.1 or even 2.1 multimedia surround sound home theater systems are used to play THX sounds from computers, televisions, and video game systems.