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Analysis of an alternative approach to digital domain volume control claiming high perceptual audio quality

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In an increasingly digital environment, digital domain volume control offers a cost-effective alternative to analogue domain implementations. However, it has not found widespread use in the upper segment of the consumer audio market. Even if advances in digital to analogue 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 analyse 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.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society