Headphone Testing

Applications of SoundCheck for Headphone Testing Include:

  • High-speed production testing Research and development
  • Incoming inspection
  • Circumaural (sealed), Superaural (open air), Earbud, and Canal (In-ear monitors) headphones
  • Amplifiers
Microphone Productio0n Test Screenshot

Industry Standard Headphone Tests

  • Frequency response
  • Phase
  • Distortion
  • Left/Right earphone tracking
  • Maximum sound pressure level
  • Diffuse or Free-field corrected responses according to IEC 268-7 and IEC 581-10
Microphone Lab test


Features and Benefits of SoundCheck for Headphone Testing

Production Testing
SoundCheck offers fast and accurate system production line testing. All acoustical and electrical quality-related parameters including frequency response, distortion, rub and buzz, polarity, impedance and sensitivity are measured simultaneously, resulting in fast and thorough headphone evaluation. SoundCheck’s unique stepped sine excitation signal (Stweep™) permits such detailed tests to be performed in as little as 3 seconds without sacrificing test accuracy, and its proprietary HarmonicTrak™ algorithm maintains measurement accuracy even in noisy environments.

The software can be configured for one-click access to commonly used tests, and various levels of operator control prevent modification of the test sequence. Results can be presented as a simple pass/fail indication, or a detailed failure mode analysis. Pass/Fail limits can be user-defined, determined by offsetting data from a measurement (e.g. ±3dB from the response curve of a reference headphone), or determined statistically using SoundCheck’s statistical analysis module. Detailed results can be exported to other programs such as Microsoft Excel® for additional processing, statistical control, and generating documents in standardized formats.

SoundCheck interfaces with barcode readers, footswitches, and other digital I/O devices such as TTL controlled relays, RS-232, and IEEE-488 to integrate fully with automatic production lines.

R&D Testing
SoundCheck is a powerful and flexible tool for the R&D laboratory. Its advanced measurement algorithms enable rapid characterization of prototypes, performing comprehensive tests such as frequency response, phase, sensitivity, distortion, and impedance in a matter of seconds. SoundCheck is available with either a sound card or with National Instrument’s data acquisition cards for high precision measurements.

SoundCheck offers unrivalled flexibility at every stage in the test process. Input test signals include sine, noise, and any signal stored as a WAV file (e.g. multi-tone, impulse, tone burst, etc.).
In addition, amplitude sweeps can be generated using SoundCheck’s Stimulus Editor to study compression effects and determine maximum SPL. Customized test sequences are easily developed using SoundCheck’s unique point and click interface. SoundCheck can be easily incorporated into existing test programs that utilize ActiveX controls or National Instruments LabVIEW®.

Analysis tools include a FFT analyzer and optional real time analyzer (RTA), which provides the R&D engineer with 1/1, 1/3, 1/6, 1/12, and 1/24 octave analysis. An optional analysis module enables the measurement of a headphone’s free-field response and free-field harmonic distortion in a non-anechoic environment using a continuous logarithmic sine sweep. Soundcheck’s post-processing editor has many pre-programmed routines including Thiele-Small parameters, curve fitting to determine resonances, arithmetic operations to determine the difference between left and right earphone (including phase), diffuse field and free-field corrections, curve smoothing, and statistical functions. SoundCheck can also record the headphone’s response as a WAV file for additional analysis.

Features and Benefits
Same System for R&D and Production
With a common system for R&D and for the production line, it is easy for the tests developed by engineering to be performed on the production line. This makes it easy for manufacturing to carry out the same tests as engineering, even if they are thousands of miles away.

Virtual Audio Test Bench
The SoundCheck software includes a virtual audio test bench. This includes a Signal Generator, Multimeter, Real Time Analyzer, Oscilloscope and Spectrum Analyzer. These virtual instruments pro-vide exactly the same functionality as their expen-sive hardware equivalents, avoiding the need to purchase any additional stand-alone instrumentation.

One System, Many Options
SoundCheck is a modular system. Whether you want a basic sound card based system for production line testing of headphones, or a sophisticated R&D system with National Instrument’s PXI-4461 dynamic signal acquisition module, for high accuracy lab-oratory measurements, we have a system to match your requirements and your budget.


Typical Headphone Test System Configuration

Microphone Test Setup

A typical headphone test system consists of the SoundCheck Basic Software with optional distortion test module, computer, sound card, audio amplifier, artificial ear or test head, and microphone power supply for each ear (options may vary depending upon application).


SoundCheck Options






Associated Hardware


Download our white paper on headphone testing


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