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AudioControl DQ-61

Factory sound processor with equalization and time delay (Blue)

11 Reviews | 3 questions - 9 answers

Item # 161DQ61BL

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AudioControl DQ-61




Our take on the AudioControl DQ-61

You want good sound in your vehicle but you can't (or won't) change out the factory receiver. Audio Control's DQ-61 6-channel digital processor hooks up to your vehicle's speaker wiring, and transforms your factory radio's output into a balanced, equalized, and time-aligned signal that'll get superior performance from your aftermarket amps and speakers. And the DQ-61 will work with just about any factory setup, even amplified systems.

Your factory receiver can drive an aftermarket system

You want good sound in your vehicle but you can't (or won't) change out the factory receiver. Audio Control's DQ-61 6-channel digital processor hooks up to your vehicle's speaker wiring, and transforms your factory radio's output into a balanced, equalized, and time-aligned signal that'll get superior performance from your aftermarket amps and speakers. And the DQ-61 will work with just about any factory setup, even amplified systems.

Perfect tone and balance

You need a lot of tone control to achieve high-quality sound in the quirky acoustics of the mobile environment. With seven bands of equalization on each pair of front, rear, and subwoofer channels, the DQ-61 can tune the complete audio spectrum almost to perfection. Its Signal Delay function centers the musical image so it sounds balanced at about windshield height, instead of down around your left knee. An included wired remote lets you make adjustments and control the sub level from your front seat.

Bring back the bass

Many factory radios turn the bass down as the volume increases, protecting the vehicle's cheap factory speakers, but losing low-end power and punch. AudioControl developed a patent pending AccuBASS™ circuit that restores the bass the factory system erased, giving you much fuller and more enjoyable sound. The AccuBASS works on the DQ-61's subwoofer output channel, so your sub amp can work with a totally restored bass signal.

Product Highlights:

    General information
    • 6-channel factory sound processor with EQ and Signal Delay (Cascade Blue)
    • designed to work with any factory stereo
    • 6 speaker-level inputs (each can handle up to 400 watts RMS of power)
    Signal processing
    • input level controls with maximization indicator LED
    • 7-band graphic EQ on front, rear, and subwoofer channels
    • Signal Delay control adjusts time alignment for left-to-right and subwoofer-to-front balance
    • AccuBASS bass restoration circuitry
    • AutoMode creates subwoofer channel when needed
    • internal signal summing available when used with factory systems with crossovers
    • output level controls to match amp inputs
    • maximum output level: 7.5 volts RMS
    More info
    • ACR-3 Dash Control Remote included
    • GTO™ (Great Turn-On) signal-sensing turn on
    • 12-volt 1-amp turn-on lead output
    • recommended fuse: 2-amp
    • dimensions: 8-5/8"W x 1-1/4"H x 5"D
    • warranty: 5 years
    • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

    What's in the Box:

    • 6-Channel Line output converter/Equalizer
    • ACR-3 wired remote control
    • 18' Remote cable (RJ-14 plug on both ends)
    • Owner's manual
    • QC checklist
    • Quick reference card

    I have tried the 3.sixty and thought about going with a bit one but this device in my opinion was the perfect fit for what I wanted. Concept K.I.S.S. just works out better sometimes.

    jadedtundra, Plano TX


    AudioControl DQ-61 Reviews

    Average Customer Review(s):

    (11 Reviews)

    Buy a new head unit instead

    Jason from Glendale, AZ on 7/9/2017

    I installed this in a 2014 Tacoma to try and and keep my factory look and was unfortunately disappointed. My stock HU sounded good with focal speakers and dynamat on the doors so I figured this would be a good way to add an amp and subs. After adding this to a JL 1000xd 5v2 and a JL stealthbox, my system sounds dull regardless of tuning the EQ on this or the HU. Can't seem to dial in the accubass either, maybe it's just me. It also adds a hiss in the tweeters that remains whether the car is on or off and it drives me crazy. If you're like me and have a good ear for high end sound, you would want to consider a new HU that amplifies good sound instead of this processor that amplifies a substandard sound.

    Pros: Time alignment is easy to use. Unit is generally easy to use. Keeps stock look

    Cons: Poor sound quality. Constant tweeter hiss

    Great piece

    Timothy R from Manhattan, KS on 4/18/2017

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The AudioControl DQ-61 does what it claims. I have always had separate head units and amps, my new vehicle's computer-tied-to-the-radio setup does not allow for aftermarket head units. The DQ-61 does a great job trying to make up for the de-tuning the factories do to the audio systems. I have been an audiophile for 30+ years, and have assembled many systems in cars and homes. Once the system is de-tuned, no piece can completely recreate what has been removed, especially starting with the source head unit, this goes for cars and home systems. That being said, the DQ-61 does a commendable job at least trying to make up for the factory radio's shortcomings, that last bit of snap and detail is a bit missing (thanks factory radio!!) The DQ-61 in the audio chain makes the factory radio much more enjoyable, and 90% of the sound that I have always had. My previous systems have always had good head units, crossovers, amps, subs, speakers, and especially high quality cabling, usually silver in my rca signal cables for better clarity. Music quality has always been my thing, it's gotta sound right, as close to studio as possible, within reason, and wallet size. This sound processor is highly recommended, in light of improving the factor system without having engine/computer issues that my factory radio is tied to. I would buy again if I had to. Current system includes JL sub, factory head unit and DQ-61, 2 JL Audio amps, Alpine and Hertz speakers, silver and OFC wiring.

    Pros: Great sound overall, does what it is designed to.

    Cons: none

    Awesome product!

    Bryan from Ocean, NJ on 9/28/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I've owned many different AudioControl pieces....I have a bunch in other stereos....this piece continues my awesome relationship with them. It does everything you expect of it, just like any AudioControl product. Seamless integration of a modern factory car stereo so that I can add aftermarket amplifiers, subs, and speakers. So great! And Crutchfield provides the best service...can't beat that combination!

    Pros: AudioControl quality and ingenuity

    Cons: NONE

    Awesome product, and has yet to be installed

    Mark from Bellingham, WA on 9/14/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I ordered the Audiocontrol DQ-61 from Crutchfiled two weeks ago. I am having it installed into a 2015 Subaru that I am leaving the factory deck in.a week. I am stoked. I wanted the hands free electronics that came with the car (and OEM deck) so I am using this to add on a sub amp and a pair of vacuum tube drivers (Planet Audio, 1998). I am replacing the stock speakers with a pair of Hertz/Elecromedia 6.5" two ways (and adding a 10" sub, Morel Ultimo 10SC driven by JL HD750). The shop employs my 'old guy' that quit where I used to go when management changed. Knowing the installer and his skill level, I am very anxious to have the 'perfect' sound for my car. I'll post more later though I have no doubt it will be short of amazing. I have spoke with the parent company Audiocontrol (Seattle based) and have very pleasant chats with their techs. Would recommend,

    Pros: Very nicely designed product. Looks easy to use. The remote sub/setup control is sleek and can be mounted flush, if room. The DQA-61 is small enough to go under front seats, glove box, etc. I am having it professionally installed by an authorized dealer to validate the amazing 5yr warranty that comes with their products. More after install. Peace

    Cons: None so far

    This might of been overkill

    William B from Falls Church on 5/3/2016

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    The original shop that the installernet cards worked with really were bad. Installernet told me to go back to them but only an idiot would allow the same shop to mess their truck up twice. The new shop I went to fixed ALL the problems that the other shop made and told me that this handy device would help me get the sound I want w/o changing my head unit

    Pros: It finally sounds great

    Cons: Wish Crutchfield and/or installernet would of initially done things right. Would of saved me lots of money and time

    AudioControl DQ-61 Rocks!!!!

    Mike K. from Illinois on 11/21/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have a 2010 Ford F-150 FX4 Supercab and had to get rid of the putrid speaker system in that truck! I decided to keep the head unit which was a standard sync model. I started out by swapping the front stage with Alpine SPR 60C comps in the front and Alpine SPR 60 coaxials in the rear. These are being powered by a Alpine PDX F-4 amp putting 100 rms out to the speakers. I also have a Kicker Hideaway powered sub under the back seat. The build sounded good but i needed a little bass boost so i went with the Audiocontrol LC7i. That unit worked GREAT! After awhile i wanted to add some time alignment and a little processing. I did some research and decided on the Audiocontrol DQ-61. This unit also had accubass so i was able to swap the LC7i out. My head unit only had front and rear inputs so the Audiocontrol DQ-61 worked great! Since i did not have a Sub input the Audiocontrol took the front and rear inputs and through automode in created a sub channel! Awsome! Setting up TA was easy! Just use the Arc 3 knob and follow the easy instructions and presto! The front stage sounds like it should with the music coming from the windshield in front of you instead of from the sides. You can also bring your sub " upfront" with the TA function for the sub. This unit has speaker level inputs so it is great for OEM integration if you need to keep your stock head unit. This is another GREAT product from Audiocontrol! Try It!

    Pros: Has speaker level inputs for OEM head unit integration.

    Cons: I do not want to leave my truck now! Is that really ha Con???

    Keep factory look with aftermarket sound

    Christina H from Florida on 11/19/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I wanted to keep the look of my factory stereo as I think all aftermarket stereo decks cheapen the look of the car, but without compromising the sound quality. I use the DQ-61 with an Infinity 10" sub, front/rear Kicker speakers, 5 channel Soundstream amp to power all speakers and the sub. This does exactly what I expect it to do. Sound is as good as if I had put in a new stereo deck. Very small so I was able to mount it under the drivers seat. Comes with a full EQ and separate bass knob (which is handier than you would think as you don't realize how often you adjust the sub levels). There is also the time delay, which is nice. One reason why I didn't give it 5 stars is because there is a very light white noise/buzz at all times, even when the radio is off. I've tried everything to get rid of it. I was told that that's just how it is when you leave the factory radio in. Maybe I'll try noise filters, but it's not too bad.

    Pros: Allows you to keep factory radio, full EQ, time delay, easy to use, separate bass knob

    Cons: Low white noise/buzz sound at all times

    AudioControl DQ-61

    oZker from Chula Vista Ca. on 11/3/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    Amazing piece! I Purchased the AudioControl DQ-61 to use on my 2013 Honda Accord EX-L 4dr. My vehicle came equipped with a factory stock double din touch screen head unit and with a factory amplifer. I bought this piece with the intentions to delete the factory amplifer and upgrading all speakers and adding some bass. The DQ-61 works flawlessly with the stock head unit! I'm currently running the DQ-61 with a Kicker 4-channel amplifer(KX400.4) to power Infinty Kappa components in front & Infinity Kappa 62.11i in rear. As for the bass I have the DQ wired up to a JL AUDIO Mono subwoofer amplifer(600/1v3) & a JL AUDIO Ported H.O. Wedge enclosure with one 10" W6v3 subwoofer. Awesome sound! I would strongly recommend this piece if your looking to build a sound system with your stock factory head unit which are getting more & more hard or impossible to replace due to features like fuel consumption, climate controls, Bluetooth that are attached to factory head units as it is with mine.

    Pros: Dash control Bass remote. 7-band EQ for front,rear, & subwoofer which allows you to adjust and fine tune.

    Cons: Zero.

    best piece I have purchased

    glf2 from Birmingham, AL on 10/19/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I purchased this because I wanted to keep my factory head unit and controls, plus audio control has a proven name in quality audio products. I've been planning this setup for a while and this piece really knocked it out of the park. With some set up of the time delays, it moved the sound from the kappa coaxials (door install) to the top of the dash and pulled the bass from the trunk to the front of the car. Now to get an RTA to set up the eq. A must purchase if you are using a stock radio/controls.

    Pros: Versatile, clean, audiophile worthy

    Cons: Not sure if this is a con, but to take advantage off all the features...take time to read the owner's manual and do a proper setup. This is worth the time.

    Pretty slick piece of equipment

    jadedtundra from Plano TX on 4/26/2014

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    I have tried the 3.sixty and thought about going with a bit one but this device in my opinion was the perfect fit for what I wanted. Concept K.I.S.S. just works out better sometimes.

    Pros: Very easy installation. It can handle wattage from a factory amplifier. No laptop needed for turning. Most importantly you control your volume via your factory controls.

    Cons: I wish it had more inputs and outputs. Like 12 outputs and 8 inputs. With high and low pass filters on each channel.

    Great OEM integration piece.

    Juan from San Diego, CA on 12/18/2013

    Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

    This processor is very easy to use, connect, and setup. I wanted to use a processor that would intergrate into my OEM system. I wanted to keep the OEM DVD/Navigation unit in my 2010 Nissam Maxima as several of the car's functions are connected to this setup. I replaced the car's tweeters in the dash & the front door speakers with a set of components & I added an aftermarket subwoofer. I have a 2ch amp for the components & another 2ch amp bridged to the sub. I used the DQ-61 between the headunit & the amplifiers. Once I dialed the gains in, I started with the time alignment of the front speakers & the sub. This process was very easy to do. You basically turn the knob until you get the image where you want it, then push the knob to do the same for the front speakers to sub delay. I was able to get the image right in the center, with the up front bass as well. I them made some adjustments to the EQ section to tame some of the frequencies bouncing off the windshield. This processor allowed me to get exactly what I wanted out of my system without a lot of fuss I highly recommend this unit to anyone looking to upgrade their OEM sound system.

    Pros: Ease of use. OEM intergration, line driver, EQ, and time alignment all in one small package.

    Cons: None


    Hands-on research

    Product Research


    Overview: The DQ-61 is a 6-channel active line output converter, with built-in signal delay circuitry, equalizer, and AudioControl's AccuBASS processor.

    Line Output Converter: The six channel active line output converter allows you to keep the factory radio, and still dramatically improve your car audio system performance. The DQ-61 accepts up to six channel (front, rear, and sub) speaker-level input from your factory radio or amplifier(s), and converts to six high voltage pre-amp signals, to feed aftermarket amplifiers. The speaker level inputs are compatible with nearly any factory stereo system, even most Bose systems. There are three pair of inputs that will accommodate up to 400 watts per channel.

    Time Alignment: By delaying the left speaker output a few milliseconds, the Signal Delay feature lets you effectively center the listener (driver) between the left and right speakers, thus optimizing the sound stage. The Signal Delay feature also allows adjustment of the front speaker output relative to the subwoofer, to effectively bring the subwoofer forward in the car. AudioControl offers a free set-up app for iPhone and iPad, available at the AudioControl website.

    Equalizer: The front, rear, and subwoofer outputs have independent 7-band equalizers. The front and rear EQ bands are centered at 125 Hz, 175 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, and 8 kHz. The subwoofer bands are centered at 31.5 Hz, 40 Hz, 50 Hz, 63 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, and 125 Hz. Each dial is continuously variable from -12 dB to +12 dB and there's a notch at the center position so it's easy to return to the flat setting.

    AccuBASS: AccuBASS automatically corrects the intentional bass roll-off common in many factory installed audio systems. This patent pending (as of 10/2/13) circuitry maintains and restores the bass output level as the volume is turned up, improving the overall audio performance.

    Remote: The included ACR-3 wired remote gives you easy access to the subwoofer output level. The remote is also used to program the Signal Delay circuit, and to bypass the signal processor, for an A/B comparison with and without the Signal Delay, equalizer, and AccuBASS circuits. The remote is designed to be dash mounted, within reach of the driver; it can be mounted under the dash with the supplied bracket, or the bracket can be removed and the knob and LEDs can be custom mounted through the dash. Dimensions:

    • Width: 2.558"
    • Height: 1.477"
    • Depth: 1.811" (2.465" including knob)

    Input/Output Level: The input gains and output levels are set independently for the front, rear, and sub channels. To help correctly set the input, a Maximized LED lights to indicate the input is just below clipping. The adjustable output level allows you to increase the source line voltage to the top of your amplifier's input range; up to 7.5 volts RMS.

    Channel Summing: If your factory audio system has separate amplifier channels with built-in crossovers, connected directly to tweeters, midranges, and/or woofers, those signals will likely need to be combined (summed) into a single full range signal. The DQ-61 has internal jumper settings that allow you to select which input signals will be combined (none, front/rear, or front/rear/sub).

    Auto Turn-on: The GTO (Great Turn-On) Circuit turns on the DQ-61 when it detects a signal on the front speaker level input. There is also remote out terminal that provides a trigger to turn on your amplifier. The GTO circuit can be turned off if you prefer a wired turn-on trigger.

    Ground Isolation: The power supply ground is switchable, in case of ground loop noise. The factory position is fully isolated (typically the best choice), but can be changed to Ground or 200Ω.

    AutoMode: Some cars have low level or other unusual signals on their speaker leads that may not trigger the AutoMode circuit and result in signal switching. When this occurs you can manually turn off the AutoMode function by changing the internal jumper setting.

    Terminal Blocks: The power terminal and the three speaker level input terminals are removable; the wiring is attached to the block, then the block is plugged into the DQ-61. Each terminal block will accommodate wire up to 12 gauge.


    • Maximum Speaker-Level Input: 400 watts per channel
    • Maximum Output: 7.5 volts RMS
    • Output Gain: +/-12 dB
    • Frequency Response: 10 Hz-22 kHz
    • THD: 0.01%
    • Input Impedance: 20 kΩ
    • EQ Frequencies:
      • Front/Rear: 125 Hz, 175 Hz, 250 Hz, 500 Hz, 1 kHz, 2 kHz, 8 kHz
      • Sub: 31.5 Hz, 40 Hz, 50 Hz, 63 Hz, 80 Hz, 100 Hz, 125 Hz,
    • Signal Delay:
      • Left/Right: 10ms max
      • Front/Sub: 35ms max
    • Output Impedance: 150 ohms
    • Current Draw: 350 mA
    • Recommended Fuse: 2 amp
    • Remote Trigger Output: 1 amp max

    Our Product Research Team

    At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

    Q & A

    Customer Q&A

    Crutchfield asked  
    Why did you buy this?

    Chose this to pick up where the stock head unit left off. [ George  Dec 30, 2017 ]
    Wanted an analog, old school option to manage my sound environment without the need for a laptop or other controller. Product has an excellent reputation. [ Bill  Nov 19, 2017 ]
    The DM-608 appears to be more than I need, so I'd rather go analog than digital and use the DQ-61, if it's anything like the old EQS (and then some), watchout! [ William  Nov 07, 2017 ]
    I have used Audio Control for 16 years, wanted another one, after my last one died, and my factory head unit also affects the computer and body computer link (factory head unit needs to stay in for all functions to operate properly). I already have JL Audio amps. 300/4 and XD200/1, Alpine and Hertz Speakers in the doors, JL 10W3 in a sealed box. I wanted the best line converter available without having to use a laptop to tune the system. Audio Control makes a HUGE difference for SQ. [ Timothy Jordan  Mar 28, 2017 ]
    I chose this for control. [ Anthony  Mar 22, 2017 ]
    Its a digital signal processor with separate equalizers for front, rear, and sub, which means if the speakers are different in brands and has unique characteristics, we could tune it to what the specific speakers sound at most. [ patrick  Mar 19, 2017 ]
    I had a long conversation with advisor David. We discussed this product versus other similar products. He advised on this product based on my needs and specifications. [ Patrick D.  Mar 14, 2017 ]
    needed a great product for a factory head I went with the dq-61. [ Christopher  Feb 14, 2016 ]

    3 questions already asked

    More information is needed to help work out the estimated cost of installing all the gear to upgrade the system in your 2009 BMW. I recommend contacting an advisor on 1-800-324-9695 to discuss this and work out all the details on the gear you need and to get the estimated install cost. We look forward to hearing from you soon! My Bio: [ Paul  Mar 12, 2017 ]  Staff
    The power rating for the DQ-61 is for the input stage the sub amp will be used on the output stage, so no worries there. [ Steven  Dec 26, 2016 ]
    Yes, the processor is pre-amp meaning the amp comes to play AFTER the DQ-61 [ LeBron  Dec 22, 2016 ]
    I suggest you reread the spec's for this unit. This is made to go between a factory/OEM with speaker outputs into the DQ-61 (up to 400w) and then into whatever you want via RCA's out of the back. This unit has 3 channels of output, front, rear and sub. If your head unit already has RCA outputs, then you don't/won't need this. You could have 5000 watts of power in amplifiers, if you wanted. The 400w limitation is the factory deck power and is not relevant to your external amplifier power. If this doesn't help, I recommend you call Audio Control directly. Peace, Mark D [ mark  Dec 22, 2016 ]
    The 400 watt limitation is for the inputs. It is setup to accommodate that in case you're running off of an amplified factory system. The Alpine should work nicely. [ Anthony  Dec 22, 2016 ]
    How to replace. Battery [ lewis  Oct 18, 2014 ]
    The processor will output the signal as it comes in. Granted, the processor allows for time alignment and EQ functions. This processor is dead silent. It will not add any noise of its own. The signal has to be "clean" in order for this to happen though. The static will still come through. I would try to resolve the problem at the source. My car has Bluetooth audio streaming & it does not have any noise issues. [ Juan  Oct 08, 2014 ]
    I cant afford to shell out the $800 for the upgraded head unit and also i dont like the look. Any suggestions to get this fixed? [ Eddie  Oct 08, 2014 ]
    Are you using a factory radio and in what car is it on? [ Robinson  Oct 08, 2014 ]