Dynamic Speaker Management (DSM) User’s Guide

Dynamic Speaker Management (DSM) User’s Guide

This comprehensive online guide helps you quickly design your DSM Smart Amplifier solutions. In the first portion of this guide, there is a technology overview that gives a basic understanding of our DSM technology and offers tips for getting from idea to design to production. The second portion guides you in designing with DSM. The third and final section will focus on using the MAX98390 Evaluation System with our DSM Sound Studio GUI.


DSM Smart Amplifier Overview

Why Are DSM Smart Amplifiers Valuable?

  • DSM Smart Amplifier = High-performance IV-sense amplifier + integrated DSM algorithm.
  • Target applications: Smart home IoT, industrial, medical, wearables, gaming, AR/VR consumer products.
  • DSM provides louder (up to 2.5x SPL Increase), clearer, and deeper (up to 2 octaves lower bass) audio with easy-to-use tuning tools.
  • No programming required to implement DSM!
  • 7-minute speaker characterization.
  • Perceptual power reduction (PPR) returns up to 25% of free power with no loss in audio fidelity.
  • DSM’s Debuzzer helps fix buzzing issues.
  • DSM provides improved reliability and thrives in small, thin, form factors.

What is DSM and How Does It Work?

  • DSM drives speakers safely beyond their specified power ratings.

    • Example: 5W DSM smart amplifier ideal for ~1W to 3W speakers
  • Excursion and thermal limits define speaker power rating speaker power rating only matters if you can’t protect against over temperature or over excursion.
  • IV-sense + DSM algorithm Excursion and thermal protection Pushes beyond speaker power rating Up to 2.5x SPL increase and significantly deeper bass.

History of Maxim’s DSM

Micro Speaker 101

How Does DSM Improve Reliability?

Designing with DSM

Speaker Selection for DSM

  • DSM optimized for use with 1W to 3W micro speakers in a sealed box enclosure.
  • Maximum excursion and maximum voice coil temperature required specifications to deploy DSM. Micro speaker vendors need these specifications.
  • Click here for links to Maxim’s preferred micro speaker vendors.
  • For more information on micro speakers and how DSM works, see the DSM Smart Amplifier Overview section of this user guide.

Is DSM a Fit for My System?

  • DSM is optimized for use with 1W to 3W micro speakers in a sealed box enclosure. Note: This provides the most controlled audio response and the maximum value from DSM, but usually performs just as well with bare drivers (no enclosure) as long as the front sound waves are isolated from the rear sound waves.

Sending Your Final Speaker for Laser Calibration

  • For a final precision laser verification test, it is highly recommended to send 3 to 5 samples of your final micro speaker + enclosure design to Maxim.
  • After characterization is complete, you will receive a tested parameter specification (TPS) report.
  • For more information, see the DSM Laser Characterization page.

Moving to Mass Production with DSM

How Do I Implement DSM on the Production Line?

  • On the production line, the most important step is to calibrate RDC at a known temperature for each speaker. This is necessary to ensure that DSM’s thermal protection has an accurate reference point.
  • Maxim can provide assistance for measuring and setting RDC as required.
  • DSM Sound Studio produces a complete register map for the setup of the amplifier. The on-chip memory is volatile, so the register map must be loaded by the host for each amplifier power-up.
  • As mentioned in the previous section, it is also highly suggested that the final micro speaker design (including enclosure) is laser characterized by Maxim.
  • To increase reliability, check RDC against the expected range to filter out bad speakers. Please see the How Does DSM Improve Reliability? section for more information.
  • It is highly recommended that standard production testing and reliability practices are always followed.

DSM Sound Studio with the MAX98390

Getting Started with MAX98390EVSYS

What is DSM Sound Studio?

  • DSM Sound Studio is a complement to Maxim’s standard EV Kit GUI.
  • Enables a quick demo, ultra-fast speaker characterization, tuning, and easy evaluation of different speakers and different tunes.

Quick Demo


    Thermal Protection

    • DSM’s thermal protection safely drives micro speakers to their specified thermal limits.
    • Using thermal protection, designers can ignore the specified power rating and drive speakers much more aggressively.
    • Voice Coil Thermal Limit (C): Determines how hot the voice coil can get before parts of the micro speaker melt.
    • Maxim’s DSM Smart Amplifier uses IV-sense to limit the temperature of the voice coil by monitoring the speaker impedance from the relationship outlined below.
    • Resistance to Temperature Correction

      Resistance to Temperature Correction

    Excursion Protection

    • DSM’s Excursion Protection safely drives speakers to their specified excursion limits.
    • By using Excursion Protection, designers can ignore the specified resonant frequency and extend bass up to 2 octaves beyond the resonant frequency.
    • Excursion Limit (mm), How far the diaphragm can move before breaking.
    • Maxim’s speaker characterization process models the resonant frequency and Q-factor of your speaker and looks ahead at content to ensure your speaker is always protected against over-excursion.


    Stereo Bass Management

    • Provides an even, centered bass experience for stereo systems.
    • When Stereo Bass Management is enabled, the lower frequencies of both channels are summed and then sent to both channels to maximize bass response while maintaining a stereo image in mid and high frequencies.
    • Controls for Stereo Bass Management: Enable/Disable.

    Low Frequency Extension (LFX)

    • LFX is a feature that empowers the design to safely extend the bass response significantly below the resonant frequency.
    • LFX is a true bass extension algorithm. It does not use distortion components to psychoacoustically enhance bass.
    • Controls for LFX include: Enable/Disable, Highpass Filter, Gain, and Q.

    Dynamic Range Compressor (DRC)

    • MAX98390 includes a Dynamic Range Compressor.
    • DRC attenuates loud signals and amplifies low signals. This ensures that the listener is not jarred by loud sounds like guns firing or blaring advertisements while still being able to hear softer sounds like footsteps or a quiet voice.
    • Controls for DRC include: Enable/Disable, Compression Ratio, Compression Threshold, Noise Gate Threshold, Attack Time, Release Time, and Makeup Gain.

    8-Band Parametric EQ

    • MAX98390 includes 8 bands of parametric equalization.
    • 7 filter types provided:

      • Parametric
      • Lowpass
      • Highpass
      • Notch
      • Bandpass
      • Low-Shelf
      • High-Shelf
    • Controls for EQ: Enable/Disable, Filter Type, Q, Gain, Fc.


    • A patented feature that helps address the buzzing inherent in some speaker designs.
    • Audio designs will often have mechanical buzzing due to the audio output interacting with the casing or mechanical design. In these cases, engineers traditionally employ a static notch filter, but this reduces the loudness (SPL).
    • Maxim’s Debuzzer technology employs a programmable, dynamic notch that maximizes SPL, which only attenuates when signal levels are high enough to stimulate buzzing.
    • Controls for Debuzzer include: Enable/Disable, Frequency, Q, and Threshold.

    Perceptual Power Reduction (PPR)

    • A patented algorithm that saves up to an additional 25% of power with no loss in audio fidelity.
    • PPR uses the human hearing response, which is much less sensitive at low frequencies, along with DSM’s knowledge of the micro speaker’s frequency response to dynamically filter inaudible content.
    • Threshold for PPR is tunable in Maxim’s DSM Sound Studio GUI and can be set to an even more aggressive level to save even more power.
    • Controls for PPR include: Enable/Disable, Threshold.


  • How Can Evaluate Be Used?

    • The Listening/Evaluation page

      • Complete Register Map = Hardware configuration + speaker protection + tuning.
    • On the DSM Sound Studio Listening/Evaluation page, you can load up to 4 saved tunings and compare them in real time.
    • You can also mimic different end-user experiences using this page. A user can switch between music and voice modes or perhaps standard vs. ultra-low power mode.
    • Tuning selection can be done using a mouse, number keys, or arrow keys.
    • By clicking the Save All button , the complete register map is saved.

Go! - Sending Your Speaker to Maxim for Laser Characterization

  • Sending in Your Final Speaker for Laser Calibration

  • What is Laser Characterization and Why Do I Need It?