What´s a digital signal processor and its role in car audio

What´s a digital signal processor and its role in car audio

on January 18, 2023

It is common for big changes in car audio to go unnoticed by many people, but not by the sound lovers. Using digital signal processor (DSP) which is one of the best examples of the evolution of technology since the production processes of microelectronics in the mobile telephony world which has benefited car audio.

Keep on reading and find out how the use of DSP has improved car audio. Let´s start:

What is digital signal processor (DSP)?

Effects processors are hardware and software equipment that has the function of modifying an audio signal to process it and bring it back to the audio system at very high speed. It is usually used for the processing and representation of analog signals in real time to convert them into digital signals.

The first processors were designed from open-coil tape recorders. Which is sound recording and reproduction equipment that began to be used in 1935. A few years later famous music bands such as Les Paul began using them to create effects such as reverberation and echo. For this reason, signal processors were also used in recording studios.

After several failed experiments, in the 1980s, DSPs began to be designed for specific applications in the world of computing and mobile telephony.

How does a DSP work?

The DSP requires a software and hardware, as well as a converter to capture the analog signal and turning it into a digital one. In addition, it uses a memory to store the data that works on a program that executes the process.

The DSP works with the signal that you want to manipulate, known as the dry signal, its first sent through an auxiliary channel to the effects processor, where it is processed and quantized in the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) by using complex algorithms that process beats at a speed of millions of operations per second. Finally, the signal is returned as a wet signal or analog electrical signal so it can continue its journey with the other sound sources, but this time already modified to the original input signal.

digital signal processor for car audio

The types of effects in signal processors are classified as:

  • Time effects
  • Modulation effects
  • Pan effects
  • Timbre or tonality effects
  • Level effects

Currently, DSP is present in most of the audio, video, and digital data transmission systems. They can be used in stand-alone systems such as cell phones, cameras and in car audio applications.

The role of DSP in car audio

The process performed by the DSP can be applied in car audio to equalizing, filtering, and improving sound quality, but with a process of greater power and speed.

A DSP can be working with 6, 8 or 10 channels simultaneously and up to 31 independent bands for each channel, with parametric equalization and time alignment which will maintain the sound quality.

The high-power processors that the DSPs incorporate allow the development of intuitive software, which can rectify the audio signal until the sound emitted by the equipment is adapted to the acoustic needs of the passenger compartment.

In addition to the DSP´s technical features, these processors are conveniently small and can be hidden in the dashboard, under the seats or in the trunk.

what is dsp in car audio

The new DSPs, in addition to receiving high-voltage signal inputs from the speakers to return high-quality sounds, it also receives wireless audio inputs via Bluetooth connection for the audio from mobile phones. This way, the DSP allows to satisfy the connectivity requirements of the users.

Sound quality in car audio and DSP

The sound quality delivered by a DSP depends on the quality of the components in each additional internal stage of the signal processing, such as analog-to-digital conversion or output signal conversion.

However, when a digital signal is transmitted to the DSP (for example, via Bluetooth connections); sound distortion, quality losses and possible reverberations or unwanted sounds are significantly reduced.

Where can I find a DSP for my car?

In the Genius Audio online store, you will find interactive digital signal processors, with amplifier outputs, Bluetooth, and USB connection.

We also have car audio amplifiers with built-in DSP to interact with any signal, whether it´s analog or digital, so you can enjoy your favorite music beats with the highest sound quality.

Browse our website and discover all car audio systems we have for you to bring the best music and sound to your vehicle.

For any questions or need more information in becoming one of our dealers, contact us through the contact form or WhatsApp button. We will gladly assist you!


Please note, comments must be approved before they are published