DSP Manager is a fantastic application which can be used to achieve vibrating bass even with your stock headphones.
DSP Manager is like the HTC Beats sound enhancer, but taken to a whole new level. Sadly, this awesome application is not available in the Google Play store and you will need to put in a little bit more effort in order to get it working for your phone. Why? Because it’s part of CyanogenMod and will not work on stock ROMs by default.
However, in this article, I’ll show you how you can install the app on vanilla Android and HTC Sense, which should help you get it running on your own device regardless of which ROM you’re running – as long as you have root access.
Vanilla Android Installation
First, you need to download the app from XDA Forums.
Now, just put the APK file in your system/app folder. You need to have root access and can use Root Browser to copy the APK file to the system/app folder from your SD card or internal storage.
After that, you need to change the permissions to rw-r-r. You can do this with Root Browser as well. Select the APK file in that app, tap Permissions, then tick the boxes as shown in this screenshot:
Restart your phone and you should see the DSP Manager app in your app drawer.
HTC Sense Installation
As before, you need to download the app from XDA Forums.
For HTC sense ROMS, this method won’t work. In order to use all the features of DSP Manager, you need to delete all the lib files from the folder system/libs/soundfx. It is totally safe and these files are only for HTC music enhancing.
Then, you need to download the entire ROM for your device from the CyanogenMod website. Once you are done, extract the APK file from the system/app folder of the ROM on your computer using zip software such as WinRar. Copy this APK file to the system/app folder of your sense ROM using Root Browser.
You also need to extract all the lib files from the system/libs/soundfx folder of the ROM to your computer using WinRar, and then copy to the system/libs/soundfx folder on your device.
Once you have copied all of these files, you need to change the permissions of each file to rw-r-r using Root Browser. For each file, tap Permissions, then tick the options like this:
Restart your phone after placing all the files and you will see the DSP Manager app in your app drawer.
Once you have DSP Manager on your phone, you can open it by going to the Sound Effects folder in the Android Music app. (Please note that it will only work with the default Android Music app.)
Which Options Should I Set?
Even once you’ve got DSP Manager working on your phone, it’s still hard to get the settings right for the best possible sound. We’ll go through the options in turn.
First, you will find the Dynamic Compression option. You shouldn’t use this if you listen to modern music, as modern music is over-compressed in recording due to technological improvements in sound recording. Using dynamic compression will do nothing but distort the sound.
However, if you are a fan of music from the ’70s and ’80s, then this setting can be quite handy as these songs have not been compressed. (Do note that most remastered albums are over-compressed with sound editing so you shouldn’t use this for those.) A moderate level will be perfect and you will notice a significant increase in the sound; also, the sound is likely to get a bit more crisp.
Now to Bass Boost. Bass Boost is probably the fan favourite setting and is one of the major reasons why most people want this app on their phones. There are three levels: Slight, Moderate and Extreme. Basically, setting the bass doesn’t only depend upon the bass that you want, but it also depends on the type of headphones that you own. If you have high quality headphones such as Beats by Dr Dre, then Extreme bass will not distort the sound and yet you will be able to get beefier bass. However, if you select the Extreme option with stock or average headphones, then you will get nothing but distortion.
Now to the equalizer. Well, to be honest, the default presets are not bad at all. They have options for Rock, Further Bass and Treble.
You can also go for custom equalizer settings. If you raise the bars from left to right, along with moderate Bass Boost, you will get a very crisp sound along with heavy bass. Also, the highs and the treble will not be lost and the vocals will be clear. You can also play around with the bars in order to get the sound that you are looking for based on your preferences and the type of headphones that you own.
Lastly, there is the option for a “virtual room” effect, which offers several options, including Studio and Live Stage, which you can select between depending on the type of sound which you are looking for.