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What does THX truly mean?

Recently in the audiophile world, “THX” is a new buzzword. What does THX truly mean? We will discuss the new buzzword today.  Firstly, THX stands for “Tomlinson Holman’s eXperiment.” Holman…
What does THX truly mean?

Recently in the audiophile world, “THX” is a new buzzword. What does THX truly mean? We will discuss the new buzzword today. 

Firstly, THX stands for “Tomlinson Holman’s eXperiment.” Holman is responsible for THX. That time, he was in Lucasfilm studio. He’s working to set a new standard for audio reproduction. This system sets up a bar of standard for quality in theater systems. It also ensures a uniform system across all over the world.

It’s is mainly a certification. To avail it, you need to follow strict guidelines for the audio system. Thus it ensures ultra-high-quality digital sound playback. Either it would be professional theater or cinema. However, surround sound setups, home theater and soundbox of your PC can be equipped with this certification.

This Certification is an industry-standard for audio systems. In a nutshell, it refers that the result from your sound system will be precise. It will be as an audio engineer planned and executed to do. 

What does THX certification mean?

Certification usually in audio equipment. Like THX-certified amplifiers, receivers or speakers will sound at reference points. So, if you have a THX-certified system, you will hear what the engineers intended to produce.

However, there are different tiers of certification. To get any system a seal of approval, it must follow a certain structure and engineering process.

Purpose of The Certification

With the Certification, you will know, you are hearing the best reproduction possible. However, that isn’t a night and day difference from your regular experiences. A device with Certification acknowledges its professional-quality. Therefore, you will hear exact audio as it produced for the film or video game and music as well.

THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier (THX AAA™)

Recently a few companies are creating headphone amp with this technology. You have certainly seen THX AAA™ in various products catalog. Example: Drops THX AAA 789 is a great success. SMSL sp200 follows the same path. AAA stands for Achromatic Audio Amplifier (THX AAA™). It promises no-compromise for headphone audio experience. It also contains the world’s highest fidelity audio. You will get extremely low noise levels and distortion. Power consumption is comparatively lower as well.

Virtually conventional amplifier distorts significantly when driving current into a headphone. Thus it produces crossover distortion. This creates fatigue for the listener. The engineers set out to solve this problem. They delivered the performance of a class-A amplifier without the heat and weight. This is the story of AAA. 


  • A unique error correction topology.
  • A Reduction of harmonic, intermodulation, and crossover distortion by up to 40dB. Thus, you will get a realistic listening experience.
  • Maximum output power. Therefore, Greater dynamic range and sound pressure level (SPL).
  • A convenient modular solution which includes power supply. So, One can operate from a single 3.6V battery.
  • Minimal bias current and highly efficient power management. So, It optimizes and extends the device battery life.
  • It shows Scalability with any headphone. It offers the flexibility to match the required fidelity, output power.
Source: THX
Source: THX

However, there are a few designs of AAA technology. Segmented for MOBILEs, Hi-res sound supported mobile and amps. For amplifiers, there are 688, 788, and 888 models. Benchmark HPA4 is a hi-end amp. It contains the 888 inside. Drop has 788. SMSL sp200 has 888. Nonetheless, Monoprice has a portable DAC-amp offering too with the tech inside.

We have started our discussion, with the sound system. however, it ended up with Headphone Amplifiers. Let’s continue…

For Home Theater

Movies and Games come with the Tag. its a notion of high-quality audio or video sources. However, this Certification is mostly significant for speaker system. Because THX source audio sounds best with a compatible system. Thus, its kinda the Holy Grail for home theater enthusiasts.

The Certification comes with price

Manufacturers usually pay for product evaluation as well as Certification. It’s not cheap. Therefore, high-end devices get inside the lab for certification. It totally depends on the companies. It’s their choice whether they pay for the certification evaluation or not. As a result, you will get a lot of quality options without the tag.

So, certification is not everything. Yes, it will ensure quality and reliability. But, there are quality options without it as well.

THX Mobile

In recent times smartphones are getting popular. THX has developed a unique method to enhance mobile audio too. So let’s know about The tech. This scheme comprises with a few key features…


Nowadays, a lot of mobile devices are coming with certification. Last January 2020, THX and ZMBIZI Collabed for Smartphone with THX Spatial Audio. Razer products have this certification. Evo gaming laptops come with THX display and spiral audio.

A lot of people get confused about Dolby. They mix Dolby and THX. Dolby mostly specializes in noise-reduction. They also handle audio-compression tech. They also provide certification for the products. Licensing fees, lab testing, etc are involved in the process.

Last of all

THX is widely used in sound systems. You will see the projectors, theaters, 7.1/5.1 sound setups with the logo. It’s just a remark of reference. These devices will provide unaltered sound. However, there are a lot of quality products without it. Yet you can have one for you.
If you want a DAP with the certification you will get FiiO m11 pro. For headphone amp Drop, SMSL and Monoprice have solid offerings. Drop has a Bluetooth Headphone Panda.

I am personally using SMSL sp200 headphone amplifier stacked with m200. I love sp200’s natural unaltered sound. Plus it offers a lot of power as an amp. I am really happy with the performance and sound. On the other hand, Drop’s amp is extremely popular too. Either way, you are getting reliability under THX banner.

Last of all, Enjoying music is what we all do. It’s not like you have to have a THX label. Get a quality device. Plug-in and rock your listening session.

Most importantly, stay safe and enjoy…

You can also read about the article about What DAC is. and also when you think you need and amp

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