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Those that are not privy to the world of hearing protection and smart earmuffs may never have heard of the term “digital signal processing.” Digital signal processing or DSP is only used by premium headset companies such as Sensear to create a safe experience in loud-noise work environments, and it is a crucial element of a good industrial headset.

What Is Digital Signal Processing?

Not to be confused with actual digital systems, DSP is a slightly more abstract system. Whereas actual digital systems involve hardware, binary code, or digital domain, DSP can be defined quite simply as the processing of a signal in the digital domain to analyze, measure, and manipulate said signal using mathematical calculations. In even simpler terms, DSP involves the interchanging of information in a headset so that said information can be observed, analyzed, or transformed into a separate form of a digital signal. Considering how critical DSP is, the whole process happens very quickly and is not even noticeable to the headset user. DSP can be done on just about any digital platform; however, some systems are designed specifically for DSP.

There are a handful of components that make up a successful DSP system:

  • Input and Output |This is the interface to the physical world and other devices. In short, analog signals are converted to digital, processed, and then converted back to the analog domain to interact once again with headset users.
  • Digital Signal Processor chip | The “brain” of a DSP system. All the necessary calculations and algorithms are performed here.
  • Memory | This is where DSP algorithms are stored.
  • Program memory | Like any memory program, the program memory of a DSP stores the programs needed for data to be translated.
  • Computer Engine | This is the part of DSP that computes all the mathematical functions that take place during communication.
  • Data memory | Storage space for any information that may need to be processed.

Why Is DSP Important and Where is it Used?

DSP is important because it creates the ability to process audio inputs and separate speech from noise while suppressing the unwanted noise without blocking the speech signal and actually enhancing the speech. This increases the overall value of hearing protection and protects users from unhealthy noise exposure without compromising communication. Obviously, this is very important for protecting a user’s hearing when immersed in a high-noise industrial work environment.

More reasons DSP is valuable:

  • Power | Real-world signals are converted into a domain where abstract scientific and mathematical models are then applied. The result is a powerful processing system.
  • Information | Information can be used to enhance or improve desired aspects of a signal or even to reduce undesirable aspects.
  • Adaptation | DSP processes information adaptively. This concept is imperative in a dynamic application such as sound and speech, especially when applied in industrial environments.
  • Flexibility | DSP creates flexibility. Changes, updates, customizations, and many other features are available with the implementation of DSP systems.
  • Efficiency | DSP allows users to get the job done efficiently, practically, and cost-effectively.

DSP is used everywhere, but primarily it is used in the audio signal, speech processing, RADAR, seismology, audio, SONAR, voice recognition, and some financial signals. At Sensear, we use DSP to create a safe, quality communication experience with our SENS® Technology, filtering the analog signals in real time. DSP is a critical aspect of our noise suppression and speech enhancement communication technology. To learn more about digital signal processing and SENS® Technology, contact one of our high-noise communication specialists.

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