Focal DSA 500 RT

Digital signal processor with 165-watt powered sub and 2-channel amp (65 watts x 2 channels)

Item #: 091DSA500R

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Award-winning technology

The DSA 500 RT system continues Focal's tradition of award-winning components, receiving the European Imaging and Sound Association's (EISA) best in-car integration product award for 2013-14, and a Design and Engineering Innovations award at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This upgrade system adds power, bass, and clarity to almost any factory or aftermarket stereo, so you'll enjoy a dramatic increase in sound quality without losing a ton of space.

The system

This all-in-one system includes a 6" x 9" subwoofer in a compact bandpass enclosure, a 3-channel amplifier for the sub and your front speakers, a remote bass control, and a multi-function digital signal processor featuring active crossovers, a 7-band parametric EQ, time alignment, and dynamic compression that all together can transform your old dull factory radio into a powerful, high-fidelity stereo system.

An included USB cable allows you to plug your laptop into the system. After downloading the Focal Manager RT graphic interface software, you can easily adjust your system's sound from your listening position in the front seat in "real time" as your music plays. The software is compatible with both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

Power upgrade

The amplifier in the DSA 500 RT supplies your front speakers with 65 watts RMS each — about 5 times the power of a typical factory radio. The powered sub adds 165 watts of bass punch to ensure that you get well-balanced sound with plenty of impact.

Processing the signal for clarity

With the 7-band parametric EQ, you can dial in virtually any sound curve you want to compensate for your vehicle's interior acoustics. Adjusting in real time means you can hear the changes you apply as you adjust each control. For instance, when you time-align your speakers, you don't have to measure distances or estimate timing — you merely adjust it until it sounds good where you're sitting. An audio compressor lets you control your music's dynamic range so the soft passages no longer get lost in wind noise while the loud passages blow your ears off.

Save and share your settings

After achieving optimum sound quality, you disconnect your computer — the DSA 500 RT stores your settings, and allows you to save and recall up to 6 presets. For those who like to experiment with different tunings, Focal maintains an online web service, accessible through the Focal Manager RT software, where you can share experiences and settings, and help create a supportive community of DSA 500 RT users.

Product Highlights:

  • powered subwoofer with integrated digital signal processor and amplifier
  • 3-channel Class D amplifier: 65 watts RMS x 2 + 165 watts x 1 at 4 ohms
  • CEA-2006 compliant
  • 6" x 9" subwoofer in bandpass enclosure
  • Focal Manager RT graphic user interface software (free download from Focal) controls and saves settings
  • variable high-pass filter (45-300 Hz)
  • variable low-pass filter (80-200 Hz)
  • variable subsonic filter (20-60 Hz)
  • 7-band parametric EQ
  • dynamic compressor/expander
  • time delay adjustments: 0-20 ms on front channels, 0-130 ms on subwoofer channel
  • phase switch (0-180 degrees) on sub channel
Other Features
  • preamp inputs and outputs
  • speaker-level input (harness included)
  • wired remote bass level control (-9 to +9 dB)
  • USB cable included
  • software works with Windows XP, Vista, Seven, 8, and Mac OS X versions 10.6 and later
  • fuse rating: 15A x 2
  • 8-gauge power and ground leads recommended — wiring and hardware not included
  • dimensions: 23-3/4"W x 8-1/8"H x 12"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Focal DSA 500 RT Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Would Recommend

Written By LoveMyTruck, Louisiana on Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Probably one of the best items I've ever used. Made my sound system a million times better. The speakers hit harder. This is a definite buy for anyone looking to make their sound better.

Pros: Great sound and hits harder

Cons: none

Great sub

Written By Bigsofty99, Seattle, WA on Sunday, May 18, 2014

This subwoofer is AMAZING it fit perfectly in my b5.5 passat W8! It was rather easy to install and I couldn't be happier with the results! This made my Monsoon system one hundred times better! I'd recommend it to anybody

Pros: Easy to install, great bass, doesn't take up too much space.

Cons: A little pricy

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Amplified subwoofer
  • Four 15-amp fuses (2 installed/2 spare)
  • Wired remote control
  • 16' Remote control cable (RJ-14 plug on both ends)
  • 6" Speaker-level input harnesses
  • 12" USB cable (Type-A on one end and Mini-B on the other)
  • User manual (English/ French)

Product Research



  • Power: screw terminal; minimum 8-gauge wire recommended; accepts spade connector up to 0.375" wide
  • Ground: screw terminal; minimum 8-gauge wire recommended; accepts spade connector up to 0.375" wide
  • Remote Turn-on: screw terminal; accepts spade connector up to 0.375" wide; not necessary when using speaker level input
  • Speaker Output: screw terminals; accepts spade connectors up to 0.375" wide
  • Remote: RJ-14 jack for use with included wired remote
  • Gain Control: rotary knob to match the output of the source unit; line level 200 mV-5 V; speaker level 400 mV-10 V
  • Speaker Level Input: jack used with included speaker input harness; auto turn-on circuit is engaged when using speaker level input
  • Line Input: stereo RCA jacks
  • Line Output: stereo RCA jacks for connecting another amp; signal is full range, not affected by the DSP

Computer Controls: These DSP controls are on the Focal Manager RT software, downloaded to your computer from their web site. Once the DSA 500 RT is installed and the software is downloaded, plugging the computer into the wired remote using the included USB cable allows real time adjustment of the following parameters:

  • Equalizer: A seven band parametric equalizer is applied to all three channels simultaneously. Each of the seven bands can be centered at any frequency from 20 Hz to 20 kHz and adjusted from -12 dB to +12 dB. The width of each band (Q) is adjustable from 0.4 (wide) to 12 (narrow).
  • Crossover: The crossovers are set for the front and subwoofer channels individually. The front channel high pass crossover point is adjustable from 45 Hz to 300 Hz in 1 Hz increments. The subwoofer has both low pass and subsonic filters. The low pass crossover point range is 80 Hz to 200 Hz in 1 Hz increments. The subsonic filter frequency range is 20 Hz to 60 Hz in 1 Hz increments. The front and subwoofer sections also have gain controls; each can be set from zero to -40 dB, relative to the main setting on the control panel of the DSA 500 RT.
  • Compressor: The front and subwoofer channels have separate compressor controls for both threshold and ratio. The front channels also have expander controls for threshold and ratio. (Compression limits dynamic range at high volume, without affecting the lower volume portion of the signal, useful for reducing vibration and avoiding overdriving a speaker. The expander can make low volume listening more comfortable.)
  • Time Alignment: The signal output from each speaker (front channels and sub) can be independently delayed, to effectively equalize the distance of each from the listener (for one position in the car).
  • Phase: The subwoofer phase can be set to 0° or 180°.
  • Presets: Six presets can be memorized, named, and easily recalled (by reconnecting the computer).

Wired Remote: A wired remote control is included to adjust the subwoofer output; -9 dB to +9 dB. The remote has integrated flanges to mount under the dash. The included 16' cable connects the remote to the main unit. A USB port on the back of the remote connects the your laptop computer for real time DSP adjustment.

Note: The wired remote measures approximately 2" wide (2-5/8" including the mounting flanges) x 1-1/8" tall x 1-7/8" deep (2-3/8" including the knob and cable).

CEA-2006 Compliant: The specifications given by Focal for the amplifier comply with the CEA-2006 mobile amplifier power testing and measurement standards from the CEA (Consumer Electronics Association). This voluntary standard advocates a uniform method for measuring an amplifier's RMS power output, allowing consumers to compare car amplifiers and receivers under the same conditions (apples to apples).


  • Power Output: (at 14.4 volts into 4Ω with less than 1% THD+N)
    • Front Channels: 65 watts x 2 RMS/120 watts x 2 max (the front channel outputs are 2Ω stable)
    • Subwoofer: 165 watts x 1 RMS/250 watts x 1 max
  • Frequency Response:
    • Front Channels: 45 Hz to 22 kHz
    • Subwoofer: 45 Hz to 140 Hz
  • THD: 0.07%
  • Signal to Noise Ratio: 81 dBA
  • Input Sensitivity:
    • Line Level: 200 mV-5 V
    • Speaker Level: 400 mV-10 V

Our Product Research Team

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