Researcher, head of the Audio, Video and Multimedia Processing research unit SUPSI (University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland)
In an increasingly digital environment, digital domain volume control offers a cost-effective alternative to analog domain implementations. However, it has not found widespread use in the upper segment of the consumer audio market. Even if advances in digital to analog converters and signal processing technologies have addressed the shortcomings of early days’ implementations, many audiophiles still complain about inferior sound quality of digital solutions.
In this Engineering Brief, we analyze an alternative approach to digital domain volume control said to have scored high in casual subjective listening tests. Looking at bit-level arithmetic and information propagation considerations, we present objective elements which distinguish the new volume control from traditional approaches. These may explain the reported superior perceived audio quality.
Authors: Thierry Heeb (SUPSI) and Tiziano Leidi (SUPSI)