New technologies continue to demand higher performance, while competition and market pressure simultaneously require low-cost consumer products. The audio system developer now has to achieve a balance between high performance and low cost. For example, developers using a traditional approach face the dilemma of having a good solution but with a relatively high cost. New, flexible DSP platforms provide a solution. This paper describes a high-performance DSP with extended microprocessor functionality that can enable high-quality audio performance and implement optimized compression algorithms while affording competitive system costs.