The DSP – digital signal processor – is the ‘brain’ inside an active speaker. It takes audio information (converting it to digital format if necessary) and manipulates the ones and zeroes to achieve a desired effect.
Some manufacturers use DSP to fix problems in speakers – unwanted resonances, tonal quality and so on – but we never do. We’d rather make sure we get the basic speakers right first, and then use digital processing to make them even better. We can do things like adjust crossovers in ways that are impossible in the physical, analogue world; create filters that compensate for the speakers’ position in the room (meaning they always sound as they should); and even allow updates – so you can upgrade your system without having to buy new speakers.
It’s an incredibly powerful tool for the team in Dynaudio Labs, and it’s something they never stop developing.
Don’t be worried
Some folk are dead opposed to any kind of processing getting between the signal coming out of their amp and the sound coming out of their speakers. They worry the extra layers of signal path will degrade the information and sully the overall performance.
Our engineers kept that in mind when it came to re-engineering the insides of the 2017 Focus XD range of high-end active hi-fi speakers – which is why they designed it to keep the signal pure all the way from the source to the very last second at the driver itself.
Ever since we introduced the original Focus XD series, we’ve been researching better quality through DSP, acoustics and psycho-acoustics. Part of this process led to the LYD professional studio monitors. And, along the way, we realised that the original Focus XD hardware had the potential for even better performance.
So instead of tweaking the programming, we decided to take a fresh look at the system and re-design the complete signal-processing flow from the ground up. It unlocked the hardware’s full potential, and created a new version of Focus XD with substantial improvements to its performance.
Running the show is cutting-edge technology capable of handling full-fat, 24-bit/192kHz hi-res files.
All the speakers in the range share common controls and connections – so if you want to mix-and-match between models in the range, you can. There’s digital coaxial in and out, plus analogue input (with adjustable sensitivity), as well as a seven-position control for fine-tuning the speakers’ placement in your room.
And if you add the Dynaudio Connect box, you get digital optical, another digital coaxial and RCA and 3.5mm analogue inputs – plus mini-USB (which can stream 24-bit/96kHz files), aptX Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity (including DLNA).
Here’s what we’ve upgraded…
Digital amplifiers and volume
The relationship between the digital amplifiers and the drivers has also been optimised, including the overload-limiters: redesigning the signal flow here has resulted in higher volume levels from the drivers without distortion or compression. It also improves signal-to-noise ratios and dynamics and, in the case of the Focus 60 XD, gives even deeper bass.
Improved position compensation
Less need for complicated crossover filters means there’s more computing horsepower available for speaker-position compensation. That doesn’t mean simply altering the bass – it covers the whole frequency spectrum. The technology adjusts for variances that happen in frequency and phase when placing the speaker near a wall or in a corner. The 2017 Focus XD can now do this at a higher resolution for greater accuracy – and better quality even when speakers can’t be placed optimally in the room.
Also new is the ‘brightness’ control from Dynaudio’s LYD pro-studio range. It adjusts the whole frequency character of the speakers, rather than just the treble. Users can set an overall brighter or darker presentation to suit their room and preferences.
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