When you’re playing a video game, the sound is almost as significant as the images that are being shown on your screen.
If the audio quality is terrible, how are you supposed to get into the world of the game?
When the sound quality is not up to par, it is difficult, if not downright impossible, to enjoy the gameplay.
Because the new PlayStation 5 is capable of using PCM, Bitstream (DTS), and Dolby Digital, you have a lot of options to choose from when it comes to the sound quality of your console.
PCM and Bitstream are the only two audio formats that are supported by the PS4.
Dolby Digital would be a welcome addition, but unfortunately, the PlayStation 4 does not support this format.
Additionally, there is a possibility that it is not the most advantageous choice for the PS5.
What Kind of Audio File Should I Use for My PS4?
PCM is the superior audio format to employ when working with a PlayStation 4 (PS4). It does not require any additional processing, and the audio is not compressed in any way. Dolby Digital and DTS are both compressed formats, so additional processing is required for each. If you choose DTS as your default sound format, you will need to have a TOSLINK cable, but PCM will pull sound directly from your console.
PCM is, for the most part, the audio setting that is selected automatically on gaming consoles.
This is possible because the audio does not undergo any compression before being taken directly from the console.
You have the option of using 5.1 or 7.1 signals, which are supported by the majority of modern sound systems when you work with Linear PCM.
If you’re watching movies or streaming your favorite Netflix series, other audio formats (like DTS) may work better. However, if you’re playing a demanding game on a PlayStation 4 or PS5, the sound quality of the game might suffer if it’s encoded in a compressed format.
It’s not like that with PCM.
Permit me to take some of your valuable gaming time (and some of mine) to explain what PCM, DTS, and Dolby Digital are, how they differ from one another, and why PCM is going to be the most ideal format for gaming on the PS4.
What are the two different types of audio formats that can be played on a PS4?
PCM, or Pulse Code Modulation, is the audio format that is selected by default on the PS4, but you also have the option of selecting Bitstream (also referred to as DTS).
PCM is supported by the vast majority of audio players currently available.
It is important to check and make sure that your TV and sound system can support DTS before attempting to change the default to use DTS because some TVs and sound systems are not compatible with it.
The PlayStation 4 does not support Dolby Digital audio.
On the other hand, it is a selectable option for the significantly more recent PS5, which was launched in November of 2020 and features numerous audio and video enhancements.
What exactly is pulse code modulation, and why is it the ideal audio format for the PlayStation 4?
When moving from analog to digital audio, the PCM format is the one that is most commonly used.
Any PCM audio that is recorded on a DVD, for instance, is a two-channel digital stereo audio track.
PCM not only performs well even when playing video games with high demands, but it also helps reduce the amount of lag that players experience while gaming.
PCM is not compressed, and it does not require any additional processing that could potentially lower its quality.
When you take sound directly from the console, you won’t experience much distortion in the sound.
Is it worthwhile to set DTS as the default audio format on the PlayStation 4?
DTS is not going to be the best option for the audio default if you are playing a game that places a heavy emphasis on both graphics and sound.
Why? The reason for this is straightforward: Because your receiver needs to decode the audio files, the sound quality that you will hear will be diminished.
If PCM were your default sound format, you probably wouldn’t notice as much of a delay in the sound.
More time is required for your receiver for it to decode the sound and send it to your speakers.
Because PCM takes care of everything for you, gaming on your console will be much quicker and more effective than before.
Is PCM a reliable format for watching movies on a PlayStation 4?
PCM does work sufficiently for watching movies on your PS4 if you choose to do so. You will be able to obtain high-quality sound reproduction if you have a surround sound system installed.
The vast majority of these systems have 5.1 and 7.1 signals, both of which are supported by the PCM audio format, so there shouldn’t be any issues with this at all.
The use of DTS for motion pictures comes with a few advantages.
If you use the 5.1 signal instead of the digital optical or coaxial signals, you may be able to achieve a higher level of audio quality.
The quality of the supplemental audio provided by DTS, however, suffers as a result of some unfortunate adjustments that have been made. The recipient is put under additional strain as a result of this.
Comparing PCM and bitstream, which one is superior in general?
PCM is the superior option in most cases, and this holds regardless of whether you are using your PS4 for video gaming or for watching television shows or movies.
PCM is currently compatible with the vast majority of audio players available on the market, including the PS4 and PS5. Since the console only needs to decode the audio files before sending them to the receiver, the receiver is subjected to significantly less stress as a result.
As a result, the sound quality is improved, and there is less lag.
Because it allows the console to choose the sound quality, PCM’s one drawback is that it may cause your PS4 to experience some additional strain.
This means that the processor in your console will have more work to do.
Are PCM and DTS audio formats supported by any other gaming consoles?
PCM and DTS are both used in most gaming consoles, including the PS4 and Xbox Series X, among others. PCM will be the default, but if you would prefer to use DTS, you will have the option to do so.
Dolby Digital is also supported on more recent gaming consoles, such as the PlayStation 5.
Again, the amount of use you get out of Dolby Digital will largely be determined by the way you interact with your console.
A Few Parting Thoughts
When selecting an audio format for your PlayStation 4, it is essential to take into consideration the amount of strain that will be placed on both your receiver and your processor as a result of your decision.
You will likely experience increased lag while playing the game if you place a lot of stress on the receiver.
Because of this, the majority of players prefer to fulfill their gaming requirements with PCM.