This paper presents a systematic review of several digital signal processing (DSP)-enabled technologies recently proposed and demonstrated for high spectral efficiency (SE) 400 Gb/s–class and beyond optical networks. These include 1) a newly proposed SE-adaptable optical modulation technology—time-domain hybrid quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM), 2) two advanced transmitter side digital spectral shaping technologies—Nyquist signaling (for spectrally-efficient multiplexing) and digital preequalization (for improving tolerance toward channel narrowing effects), and 3) a newly proposed training-assisted two-stage carrier phase recovery algorithm that is designed to address the detrimental cyclic phase slipping problem with minimal training overhead. Additionally, this paper presents a novel DSP-based method for mitigation of equalizer-enhanced phase noise impairments. It is shown that performance degradation caused by the interaction between the long-memory chromatic dispersion compensating filter/equalizer and local oscillator laser phase noise can be effectively mitigated by replacing the commonly used fast single-tap phaserotation-based equalizer (for typical carrier phase recovery) with a fast multi-tap linear equalizer. Finally, brief reviews of two high-SE 400 Gb/s-class WDM transmission experiments employing these advanced DSP algorithms are presented.