Tablets and smartphones are the new preferred hub for digital entertainment. Their portability and connectivity provide the unique opportunity to keep consuming content, even on the go!

While this is an amazing capability that the world has embraced quickly, the challenge of delivering portable entertainment that measures up to the in-home experience remains. On one hand, the ever thinner and lighter device designs translate into limitations in the playback hardware. On the other hand, the variety of content sources and applications inevitably results in a variation in audio quality.

On the content side, much of the user-generated content on the Internet is mixed poorly, resulting in dull sound and unintelligible dialogue. In addition, a large amount of the audio content heard on tablets and smartphones is not mixed in surround sound, resulting in audio that lacks the depth and realism of the Dolby® cinema experience.

There are often extreme variations in volume levels between different pieces of content, even within scenes of a movie or across applications. Users may strain to hear dialogue in a movie and then rush to turn the volume down when switching to a song or YouTube™ video.

On the playback side, audio quality suffers from small and inefficient speakers, underpowered amplifiers, and the lack of a surround sound speaker system—the result of the physical constraints of tablets, smartphones, ultrabooks, and other small-footprint devices. The frequency response of the small speakers is often highly irregular, resulting in unnatural and inaccurately reproduced sound that misrepresents both low and high frequencies.

The combination of small speakers with low-power amplifiers also means that the audio is typically not loud enough for many listeners, even with the volume control at maximum. When these speakers and amplifiers are driven with a loud audio signal, they will often distort and cause annoying rattles in the physical enclosure of the device. Lastly, the benefits of a high-quality surround sound audio signal are lost if this signal is limited to playback over built-in stereo speakers or headphones.

To address both content and playback problems, Dolby has developed Dolby Digital Plus™, to complete the playback solution portfolio of its end-to-end HD quality audio delivery chain. Dolby Digital Plus, the sound of mobile entertainment, creates a consistent, immersing, and cinematic experience so that the home theater-ready content you take with you sounds amazing whether you’re listening to it on the train or on the couch.