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Encyclopedia > Digital Sound System 80

The Digital Sound System 80, short DSS80, was a three-piece PC audio system co-developed by Microsoft and Philips. It debuted on the 1998 Electronics Entertainment Expo and is most likely the only speaker system ever released by the Microsoft Corporation. It also remains one of the very few featuring Philips' wOOx subwoofer technology. This article is becoming very long. ... Philips HQ in Amsterdam Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. (Royal Philips Electronics N.V.), usually known as Philips, (Euronext: PHIA, NYSE: PHG) is one of the largest electronics companies in the world. ...

The DSS80 speaker system
The DSS80 speaker system

The DSS80 featured technological innovations in comparison with contemporary systems. For instance, it didn't require a sound card installed but actually featured its own integrated sound hardware which could be connected via USB and allowed digital quality playback, synchronized hardware and software volume controls, the use of a 10-band graphic equalizer and Microsoft Surround Sound.

To support computers without USB or enabling users to take advance of present high-end sound hardware, it additionaly featured 3.5mm analog line-in.

It was possible to connect the system both ways to ensure highest compatibility with both analog and digital audio content.

Technical Specifications

  • System type: Biamplified, stereo speakers and monaural subwoofer
  • Amplification: High efficiency, class-D switch-mode power amplifier
  • Rated power output (per IEC 268.3):
    • Subwoofer: 44 W
    • Left/Right Speakers: 32 W, 16 W per speaker
  • Frequency response: 40 Hz to 20,00 Hz
  • Transducers:
    • Subwoofer: 5.25" active woofer, 6" passive radiator
    • Left/Right Speakers: 3" full range, magnetically shielded
  • Power supply (subwoofer only): AC 220 V, 50 Hz, 310mA
  • Electronic crossover frequency (subwoofer to a speaker): 160 Hz
  • Electronic crossover filter slopes:
    • Subwoofer: -18 dB/octave at 160 Hz
    • Left/Right Speakers: +12 dB/octave at 160 Hz
  • Digital input sensitivity: Full Scale minus 12 dB
  • Analog input sensitivity: 0.180V rms for rated output power
  • Analog input impedance: > 10 kΩ


  • The DSS80 was afflicted with a glitch concerning main volume control. It occured at times, that volume was quickly increased to maximum or decreased to minimum when one hold down either ones of the volume control buttons. The only way to stop this process was to hit the mute button.

External Links

  • Microsoft Press Release: Make PCs Sound More Like High-End Home Audio Systems



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