Difference Between DTS and AC3 (With Table)

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Every digital product like, movies, songs, dramas, etc., goes through some technical works, before the actual release. These technical procedures are important to make things more soothing. This procedure includes editing in graphics, making noises clear, etc..

With more technologies everything is getting possible and so is the editing work in the field of entertainment. While shooting there are various noises or sometimes the actual  voice is low or not up to the mark for which various sound systems have been introduced to make the content more audible.

In the digital world there are lots of sound systems which are used to improve the quality of content which enables the viewer or listener to listen to things more clearly and loud. These technologies are introduced by different companies and they change a considerable amount to use these technologies.

Using such sound enhancing technologies are helpful for audiences in  theatres as the base enhances with loud voices and makes the audience feel more. These technologies are competitive to each as there are many companies with improved versions than others which ultimately brings a competition.

DTS vs AC3

The difference between DTS and AC3 is the quality difference between both. Both DTS and AC3 are two different technologies serving the same purpose but there are differences between both of them.


Comparison Table Between DTS and AC3

Parameters of ComparisonDTSAC3
CompanyDTSDolby digital laboratories
Encoding bit8 to 512 kbps per channel192 kbps
Sound qualityGoodBetter
LoudMore loudLess loud
Used mostlyIn theatresOn DVDs and CDs


What is DTS?

DTS stands for Digital theatre system is a company that makes multichannel audio technologies for films and videos, by enhancing the sound quality of it.this company specializes in digital surround sound system.

DTS company is based in Calabasas, California and was introduced in 1993 as a higher quality competitor to Dolby Laboratories and undoubtedly accomplished the goal of being better in the market.

DTS is also known as their technology. It is the technology which makes audios more loud and clear, making films appropriate for the theatre audience for the people who have home theatre.

DTS is used to give that cinematic feel at home as well. And make the experience of the audience more memorable. There are different versions better than others within the technology. And different versions are used for different purposes. For example for the real theatre there is a different version that will be used and for home purposes a different version is used.

DTS  has a working system in which six different audio channels are encoded on to one or two CDs. in theatres there are many decoders and CD players which enable to separate the sound onto different speakers as per the need.

DTS uses higher bits which makes the sound quality more appreciable, for the home theatre version the most appropriate version is 5.1- channel audio , which gives the exact cinematic feel to the audience with speakers and subwoofers. And the most u[graded version is 7.1- channel audio.

DTS offers the most advanced surround sound formats including DTS-HD which supports the 7.1 speakers channels. There are other versions as well like DTS-HD Master audio and DTS:X (this version competes with dolby atmos).

DTS is less compressed and supports a high bit rate of up to 1.5mb/s and for DVDs it supports 768 kbits/s. Less compression during encoding enables more detailed audio which makes it fit for the audience.


What is AC3?

AC3 is the audio compression technology  introduced by dolby digital which is also known as Dolby AC3. This technology is developed under Dolby laboratories. AC3 is basically the term which is being used in place of dolby digital.

AC3 is appropriate with home theatre equipment and quality is transparent to lossless if 640k 5.1 channel audio is chosen. It is a file extension for sound format used on DVDs. and also used in blu-ray.

The Advanced television system committee (ATSC) has chosen AC3 dolby digital because of its popularity among the film makers and consumers, its single audio enabled by downmixing feature, and ofcourse the high quality sound.

AC3 provides 5.1 audio channel which consists of five full channels and one low frequency effect channel which gives the viewer an immersive feeling. AC3 has improved fidelity to 48KHz of sample rate in contrast to its former audio format AC3 pre logic.

AC3 can operate sound frequency from 20 to 20,000 Hz which is equivalent to human’s audible frequency. This refers to the spectacularity of sound effects. Most of the HD TV programming takes AC3 as their standard audio format coupled with HD signal television broadcasting making the audience feel everything like real life.

AC3 is widely used on DVDs but merely used in other respects. It supports 7.1 audio channel in CDs and maximum it supports 5.1 audio channel with limit of 448Kbps. And the bitrate of AC3 on DVDs is upto 640Kbps.

When AC3 is used, the consumer is advised to use an amplified theatre system to get the appropriate feel of sound as AC3 encodes in low bits.

Main Differences Between DTS and AC3

  • DTS has better sound quality than AC3.
  • DTS has a higher bit encoding than AC3.
  • DTS is louder than AC3.
  • DTS takes more space than AC3.
  • DTS is clear and sharper than AC3.



DTS and AC3 are surround sound systems which are competitive to each other. DTS and AC3 are two different technologies serving the same purpose of enhancing the sound quality of films and all other filmed projects.

Both of them are products of different companies, DTS is product of DTS comapny and AC3 is product of Dolby laboratories. DTS came after AC3 as its competitor in the market. DTS is considered better than AC3.