Bypassing audio EQ / DSP in android head unit

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Sound777

Member
Sep 29, 2022
11
3
Hello everyone, I’m and audio engineer and not a developer, but I thought you guys might be able to help me with something.

This is posted in Q&A but now I'm realizing I should have posted here. I've been searching the forum and can't find an answer, so I figured I'd ask you guys.

I purchased a android unit for my car (2016 Range Rover), it uses the cars factory audio system, it can mirror the stock screen to the new android screen (for access to settings and cameras), and it feeds its audio output to the Aux input of the car or Bluetooth from the android to the cars factory Bluetooth.

Everything functions beautifully, however the sound quality is terrible. There is a “DSP” screen in their GUI, when adjusting any of the parameters I can tell the DSP / EQ is possibly the cause of the issue. It sounds like its filtering off everything below 50-60hz and the audio is compressed. Whenever adjusting EQ in the Android GUI that compression sound gets worse, leading me to suspect it might be the cause of the issue.

I downloaded an app that shows hidden apps and found “MagicEQ” installed, I disabled it but the audio continues to sound the same.

I’m wanting to disable any processing of the audio and simply send an unmodified audio signal out of the android via it’s analog output and/or it’s Bluetooth connection.

My questions are:

-Is there anywhere else I can look to see if there are any other hidden EQ settings?

-any tips on how to find any other apps or processes that could be tampering with the audio signal?

-are there any apps that could be installed that would override any audio processing that’s currently happening?
 

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rigattoni

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2010
1,825
597
Fuerth
Hello everyone, I’m and audio engineer and not a developer, but I thought you guys might be able to help me with something.

This is posted in Q&A but now I'm realizing I should have posted here. I've been searching the forum and can't find an answer, so I figured I'd ask you guys.

I purchased a android unit for my car (2016 Range Rover), it uses the cars factory audio system, it can mirror the stock screen to the new android screen (for access to settings and cameras), and it feeds its audio output to the Aux input of the car or Bluetooth from the android to the cars factory Bluetooth.

Everything functions beautifully, however the sound quality is terrible. There is a “DSP” screen in their GUI, when adjusting any of the parameters I can tell the DSP / EQ is possibly the cause of the issue. It sounds like its filtering off everything below 50-60hz and the audio is compressed. Whenever adjusting EQ in the Android GUI that compression sound gets worse, leading me to suspect it might be the cause of the issue.

I downloaded an app that shows hidden apps and found “MagicEQ” installed, I disabled it but the audio continues to sound the same.

I’m wanting to disable any processing of the audio and simply send an unmodified audio signal out of the android via it’s analog output and/or it’s Bluetooth connection.

My questions are:

-Is there anywhere else I can look to see if there are any other hidden EQ settings?

-any tips on how to find any other apps or processes that could be tampering with the audio signal?

-are there any apps that could be installed that would override any audio processing that’s currently happening?
I think you already checked power and ground of the speaker?
I fear you just bought one of those cheap units. The picture you show is just some sort of EQ, that has nothing to do with a DSP and the built in sound chip is just not able to provide signals below 60hz.

Just show us the specs of this unit, incl MCU and used firmware. Otherwise no one is able to dive in deeper.
 
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Sound777

Member
Sep 29, 2022
11
3
The speaker and amplification is all being done from the stock car system, this android unit just sends out a line level signal into the Auxilary port of the car or Bluetooth to the car. It’s basically an android tablet except that it also mirrors the factory car screen.

This is all I could find for specs. Does this help at all?

Unfortunately it wasn’t cheap either at $1100 USD, I’m aware that doesn’t mean it’s not made cheap though.

As someone who manipulates audio for a living, I really do think it’s that EQ that might be causing the issues.
Each process in audio tends to have a unique characteristic to the sound, and when I adjust any of those parameters I hear those same artifacts exaggerated.

I don’t know much about android systems though, so I’m wondering if there a way to “look under the hood” and see if it’s possible to take that EQ out of the processing path of the audio signal.
 

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blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
10,957
4,370
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
The speaker and amplification is all being done from the stock car system, this android unit just sends out a line level signal into the Auxilary port of the car or Bluetooth to the car. It’s basically an android tablet except that it also mirrors the factory car screen.

This is all I could find for specs. Does this help at all?

Unfortunately it wasn’t cheap either at $1100 USD, I’m aware that doesn’t mean it’s not made cheap though.

As someone who manipulates audio for a living, I really do think it’s that EQ that might be causing the issues.
Each process in audio tends to have a unique characteristic to the sound, and when I adjust any of those parameters I hear those same artifacts exaggerated.

I don’t know much about android systems though, so I’m wondering if there a way to “look under the hood” and see if it’s possible to take that EQ out of the processing path of the audio signal.
First off the Android should be coupled to the car by toshlink ie the C port in the digital realm unless it's a amp only with no preamp processing.
Bluetooth will degrade the audio if it's SBC or LDAC.
Files should .wav, HDCD or higher in resolution.
 

rigattoni

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2010
1,825
597
Fuerth
The speaker and amplification is all being done from the stock car system, this android unit just sends out a line level signal into the Auxilary port of the car or Bluetooth to the car. It’s basically an android tablet except that it also mirrors the factory car screen.

This is all I could find for specs. Does this help at all?

Unfortunately it wasn’t cheap either at $1100 USD, I’m aware that doesn’t mean it’s not made cheap though.

As someone who manipulates audio for a living, I really do think it’s that EQ that might be causing the issues.
Each process in audio tends to have a unique characteristic to the sound, and when I adjust any of those parameters I hear those same artifacts exaggerated.

I don’t know much about android systems though, so I’m wondering if there a way to “look under the hood” and see if it’s possible to take that EQ out of the processing path of the audio signal.
At least your complete system is no common one.
First of all you would need to get it rooted, to have a chance to get deeper into the system.

As I never have seen this system combination with this MCU and You even don´t find anything about it in here, there is a very low chance that you get help with rooting... sorry to say.
 

Sound777

Member
Sep 29, 2022
11
3
First off the Android should be coupled to the car by toshlink ie the C port in the digital realm unless it's a amp only with no preamp processing.
Bluetooth will degrade the audio if it's SBC or LDAC.
Files should .wav, HDCD or higher in resolution.
For this particular vehicle (2016 Range Rover sport) the only systems I’ve been able to find feed audio via Aux or Bluetooth into the OEM system.
 

Sound777

Member
Sep 29, 2022
11
3
At least your complete system is no common one.
First of all you would need to get it rooted, to have a chance to get deeper into the system.

As I never have seen this system combination with this MCU and You even don´t find anything about it in here, there is a very low chance that you get help with rooting... sorry to say.
Yeah, I’m not surprised unfortunately. Thank you for looking into that more though!
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
10,957
4,370
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
Is your grounding correct? All devices, head and amp should be grounded to a common point with heavy gauge wire. No daisy stringing.
V+ should be heavy gauge coming off the battery if possible. Running a dedicated circuit for ground and V+ off the battery as a twisted pair is a good option.
 

Sound777

Member
Sep 29, 2022
11
3
Ok so I have confirmed it's some hidden EQ or processing that's happening in the unit and not a problem with the chipset.

II installed an app called poweramp EQ that when enabled I bypasses the hidden EQ / audio processing and sounds instantly like it should (poweamp EQ is flat). The problem is it takes a while to boot, and you have to play audio from only a few specific apps, then the EQ is bypass across all apps. So I need to figure out how to find and remove that hidden EQ.

The Chinese supplier sent me all of the installers they use, is that something that could be opened and modified?

here is a link to those installers
Range Rover Android Installers
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
10,957
4,370
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
I would just use Poweramp as the player especially in a car. It's graphic equalizer is excellent. Very low distortion. That all I use to play my 240gb collection of .wav albums on my N10+. Zero issues or complaints... simply the best for music.
 

Sound777

Member
Sep 29, 2022
11
3
I would just use Poweramp as the player especially in a car. It's graphic equalizer is excellent. Very low distortion. That all I use to play my 240gb collection of .wav albums on my N10+. Zero issues or complaints... simply the best for music.
I don't want to just play files though, I want to use the unit with CarPlay, Tidal, Dropbox, etc.

It's frustrating because this system would do everything I need it to do if I could just remove that damn EQ they have hidden in there.
 

rigattoni

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2010
1,825
597
Fuerth
Ok so I have confirmed it's some hidden EQ or processing that's happening in the unit and not a problem with the chipset.

II installed an app called poweramp EQ that when enabled I bypasses the hidden EQ / audio processing and sounds instantly like it should (poweamp EQ is flat). The problem is it takes a while to boot, and you have to play audio from only a few specific apps, then the EQ is bypass across all apps. So I need to figure out how to find and remove that hidden EQ.

The Chinese supplier sent me all of the installers they use, is that something that could be opened and modified?

here is a link to those installers
Range Rover Android Installers
You just got the latest greatest MCU and this zip file is the newest firmware.
There is nothing you can modify at least not if you are no developer and are able to create a new firmware afterwards.

Use the manual the supplier sent and get your unit updated. May be that changes something, who knows... Be aware, that your unit might be reset during update.
 
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Sound777

Member
Sep 29, 2022
11
3
You just got the latest greatest MCU and this zip file is the newest firmware.
There is nothing you can modify at least not if you are no developer and are able to create a new firmware afterwards.

Use the manual the supplier sent and get your unit updated. May be that changes something, who knows... Be aware, that your unit might be reset during update.
Yeah that makes sense, The supplier of course didn't not supply a manual to update, just sent those files.

As far as modifying, is that something an outside developer could do? If so, I wouldn't mind hiring someone to do it.

As a profesional Audio engineer, I really want to utilize the amazing sound system in the Range Rover, something we can listen to what we're working on during lunch breaks or show colleagues what we've been working on in the studio when out on the town.

Unfortunately, this was the best system I could find for my specific vehicle.
 

blackhawk

Senior Member
Jun 23, 2020
10,957
4,370
Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
I don't want to just play files though, I want to use the unit with CarPlay, Tidal, Dropbox, etc.

It's frustrating because this system would do everything I need it to do if I could just remove that damn EQ they have hidden in there.
A very large personal music library of high res albums/songs is the way to go. Poweramp plays whole albums or create extensive playlists that can be completely backed up along with settings. Coming from the days of 8tracks and cassettes... you have no clue how lucky you are, at least in this regard.
 
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Sound777

Member
Sep 29, 2022
11
3
A very large personal music library of high res albums/songs is the way to go. Poweramp plays whole albums or create extensive playlists that can be completely backed up along with settings. Coming from the days of 8tracks and cassettes... you have no clue how lucky you are, at least in this regard.
As a professional mastering engineer, I'm aware of the benefits of hires files, but unfortunately that's not what I'm looking for with this system.
 
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rigattoni

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2010
1,825
597
Fuerth
Yeah that makes sense, The supplier of course didn't not supply a manual to update, just sent those files.

As far as modifying, is that something an outside developer could do? If so, I wouldn't mind hiring someone to do it.

As a profesional Audio engineer, I really want to utilize the amazing sound system in the Range Rover, something we can listen to what we're working on during lunch breaks or show colleagues what we've been working on in the studio when out on the town.

Unfortunately, this was the best system I could find for my specific vehicle.

The MCU.zip needs to get unpacked and the content of this zip needs to get stored on a fresh formatted SD card (FAT32) If you have, use the smallest SD card you have. I prefer to use a 8GB SD card which I only use for updates.

Put it into the unit and the system should recognize the new MCU file and asks for set up.
This is the first step. If you get new MCU and firmware, always install the MCU first.

After reboot is done, you should format the SD card again (just for being safe) on you laptop/pc, what ever which is able to format FAT32 cards.
Most probably the firmware file needs to get renamed as update.zip.
Don´t unpack that zip file, just rename it and copy it onto this fresh formatted SD card.

Stick it into the unit and you may or may not get a notification that an update has been found. Choose install.

Note: All personal apps, files and folders are deleted most probably. Before you do anything, make sure you have all data stored externally. All partitions of the unit are updated as far as I could see in the firmware.

Have fun and report back if that was successful. If not, the naming of the firmware seems to be different. You need to ask the seller in this case.
 

Sound777

Member
Sep 29, 2022
11
3
The MCU.zip needs to get unpacked and the content of this zip needs to get stored on a fresh formatted SD card (FAT32) If you have, use the smallest SD card you have. I prefer to use a 8GB SD card which I only use for updates.

Put it into the unit and the system should recognize the new MCU file and asks for set up.
This is the first step. If you get new MCU and firmware, always install the MCU first.

After reboot is done, you should format the SD card again (just for being safe) on you laptop/pc, what ever which is able to format FAT32 cards.
Most probably the firmware file needs to get renamed as update.zip.
Don´t unpack that zip file, just rename it and copy it onto this fresh formatted SD card.

Stick it into the unit and you may or may not get a notification that an update has been found. Choose install.

Note: All personal apps, files and folders are deleted most probably. Before you do anything, make sure you have all data stored externally. All partitions of the unit are updated as far as I could see in the firmware.

Have fun and report back if that was successful. If not, the naming of the firmware seems to be different. You need to ask the seller in this case.
Thank you for the detailed instructions! The supplier said they're going to ask the developer to do an update, I might wait on that and only go though this once since they said the firmware / MCU they sent is the same as what's already on it.
 
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rigattoni

Senior Member
Apr 27, 2010
1,825
597
Fuerth
Thank you for the detailed instructions! The supplier said they're going to ask the developer to do an update, I might wait on that and only go though this once since they said the firmware / MCU they sent is the same as what's already on it.
In this case... Wait for any update.
BTW: It´s always tricky to get an OEM sound system working flawlessly with any aftermarket radio. You need to know that the OEM radio and the sound system are built to work perfect together.
I don´t think that you would be able to remove the integrated EQ.

BTW: To enable any external DEV to build a new firmware means, that he needs also exactly the same headunit for testing any changes or adaptations. It´s unfortunately not done with providing the firmware.

FThe firmware of the unit is just some sort of "messenger" for the MCU, so the radio itself. The Android is more or less just set on to provide the UI, and the handling of the main board itself. The EQ is not on Android, it´s on the mainboard itself.

The combination you are running is really error prone because of the mix.

Don´t expect too much I fear.
 

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    Yeah that makes sense, The supplier of course didn't not supply a manual to update, just sent those files.

    As far as modifying, is that something an outside developer could do? If so, I wouldn't mind hiring someone to do it.

    As a profesional Audio engineer, I really want to utilize the amazing sound system in the Range Rover, something we can listen to what we're working on during lunch breaks or show colleagues what we've been working on in the studio when out on the town.

    Unfortunately, this was the best system I could find for my specific vehicle.

    The MCU.zip needs to get unpacked and the content of this zip needs to get stored on a fresh formatted SD card (FAT32) If you have, use the smallest SD card you have. I prefer to use a 8GB SD card which I only use for updates.

    Put it into the unit and the system should recognize the new MCU file and asks for set up.
    This is the first step. If you get new MCU and firmware, always install the MCU first.

    After reboot is done, you should format the SD card again (just for being safe) on you laptop/pc, what ever which is able to format FAT32 cards.
    Most probably the firmware file needs to get renamed as update.zip.
    Don´t unpack that zip file, just rename it and copy it onto this fresh formatted SD card.

    Stick it into the unit and you may or may not get a notification that an update has been found. Choose install.

    Note: All personal apps, files and folders are deleted most probably. Before you do anything, make sure you have all data stored externally. All partitions of the unit are updated as far as I could see in the firmware.

    Have fun and report back if that was successful. If not, the naming of the firmware seems to be different. You need to ask the seller in this case.
    1
    Hello everyone, I’m and audio engineer and not a developer, but I thought you guys might be able to help me with something.

    This is posted in Q&A but now I'm realizing I should have posted here. I've been searching the forum and can't find an answer, so I figured I'd ask you guys.

    I purchased a android unit for my car (2016 Range Rover), it uses the cars factory audio system, it can mirror the stock screen to the new android screen (for access to settings and cameras), and it feeds its audio output to the Aux input of the car or Bluetooth from the android to the cars factory Bluetooth.

    Everything functions beautifully, however the sound quality is terrible. There is a “DSP” screen in their GUI, when adjusting any of the parameters I can tell the DSP / EQ is possibly the cause of the issue. It sounds like its filtering off everything below 50-60hz and the audio is compressed. Whenever adjusting EQ in the Android GUI that compression sound gets worse, leading me to suspect it might be the cause of the issue.

    I downloaded an app that shows hidden apps and found “MagicEQ” installed, I disabled it but the audio continues to sound the same.

    I’m wanting to disable any processing of the audio and simply send an unmodified audio signal out of the android via it’s analog output and/or it’s Bluetooth connection.

    My questions are:

    -Is there anywhere else I can look to see if there are any other hidden EQ settings?

    -any tips on how to find any other apps or processes that could be tampering with the audio signal?

    -are there any apps that could be installed that would override any audio processing that’s currently happening?
    I think you already checked power and ground of the speaker?
    I fear you just bought one of those cheap units. The picture you show is just some sort of EQ, that has nothing to do with a DSP and the built in sound chip is just not able to provide signals below 60hz.

    Just show us the specs of this unit, incl MCU and used firmware. Otherwise no one is able to dive in deeper.
    1
    Ok so I have confirmed it's some hidden EQ or processing that's happening in the unit and not a problem with the chipset.

    II installed an app called poweramp EQ that when enabled I bypasses the hidden EQ / audio processing and sounds instantly like it should (poweamp EQ is flat). The problem is it takes a while to boot, and you have to play audio from only a few specific apps, then the EQ is bypass across all apps. So I need to figure out how to find and remove that hidden EQ.

    The Chinese supplier sent me all of the installers they use, is that something that could be opened and modified?

    here is a link to those installers
    Range Rover Android Installers
    You just got the latest greatest MCU and this zip file is the newest firmware.
    There is nothing you can modify at least not if you are no developer and are able to create a new firmware afterwards.

    Use the manual the supplier sent and get your unit updated. May be that changes something, who knows... Be aware, that your unit might be reset during update.
    1
    I don't want to just play files though, I want to use the unit with CarPlay, Tidal, Dropbox, etc.

    It's frustrating because this system would do everything I need it to do if I could just remove that damn EQ they have hidden in there.
    A very large personal music library of high res albums/songs is the way to go. Poweramp plays whole albums or create extensive playlists that can be completely backed up along with settings. Coming from the days of 8tracks and cassettes... you have no clue how lucky you are, at least in this regard.
    1
    A very large personal music library of high res albums/songs is the way to go. Poweramp plays whole albums or create extensive playlists that can be completely backed up along with settings. Coming from the days of 8tracks and cassettes... you have no clue how lucky you are, at least in this regard.
    As a professional mastering engineer, I'm aware of the benefits of hires files, but unfortunately that's not what I'm looking for with this system.