Headphone & Headsets Measurement
Any headphone, any measurement
SoundCheck offers simple, fast and accurate headphone measurement. It can test any headphone or headset – no matter what the form factor, functionality, connector or additional features. It measures a full range of driver parameters via traditional analog, Bluetooth, lightning or USB connections, as well as microphone performance, active noise cancellation (ANC), L/R tracking, headset leakage, and more. SoundCheck can even evaluate the hearable and communications aspects of headsets, covering a full spectrum of hearing aid and communications tests in addition to standard headphone acoustical measurements.
Headphone & Headset Measurements
- Frequency response
- Rub & Buzz
- Left/Right earphone tracking
- Headphone / headset leakage
- Maximum SPL to EN-50332
- Diffuse or Free-field corrected responses according to IEC 60268-7 and IEC 581-10 or other target curves
- Active Noise Cancellation and passive attenuation
- Hearing Aid tests
- Communications Tests (TIA, IEEE etc.)
Headphone Test Configurations
A typical headphone measurement or headset measurement involves playing a test signal through a headphone and measuring the response. In an R&D setting, the response is usually captured with a Head & Torso simulator, or some kind of head simulator with artificial ears. In a production setting, this is more likely to be a coupler with custom fixturing. Additional test components such as Bluetooth interfaces, turntables, speakers, etc. are easily added to expand the range of tests.
Here are example basic headphone test configurations for both R&D and production
These configurations are easily expanded or adapted for more complex headphone measurements. Please scroll to the end of this page for information and setup configurations for Bluetooth headphone test, ANC headphone test, headset microphone testing, end-to-end communication test with headphones and more.
Headphone Measurement Software – The SoundCheck System
The SoundCheck software is fast, powerful and flexible, allowing you to make virtually any headphone measurement you can conceive. Headphone test sequences are created with a simple point-and-click interface and can be saved for future use. There’s an extensive library of pre-programmed stimuli, analysis and post-processing steps to use as building blocks, and you can also create your own from scratch. The test sequence controls Listen’s audio interfaces, amplifiers, and power supplies, as well as any 3rd party hardware needed for headphone test, such as head and torso simulators, ear couplers, turntables, bluetooth interfaces, and more.
Our standard pre-written test sequences offer the equivalent (in many cases) to other manufacturers’ entire test suite, providing a way of getting you up and running and making measurements fast. However, unlike others, they are not subject to limitations, and can be used as a starting point for your own customized measurements. These off-the-shelf sequences cover many aspects of headphone testing ranging from simple production line tests to R&D applications such as measuring active noise cancellation, characterizing a Bluetooth headphone in the presence of background noise, IEC 60268-7 measurements, and measuring Max SPL of Headphones to EN-50332. Many of these can be downloaded free of charge.
In addition to making measurements via test sequences, SoundCheck’s virtual instruments give you full test lab functionality on your desktop for instant, real-time, measurements, for example for evaluating headphone seal, or comparing left and right headphone response. These instruments include multi-signal Real Time and FFT Analyzers, multimeter, signal generator, oscilloscope, distortion meter and more.
SoundCheck’s state of the art measurement and analysis algorithms offer some of the most advanced measurement techniques on the market and permit both open and closed loop testing. Total test flexibility and compatibility with a wide range of 3rd party equipment means that you can create the tests you need, and are not constrained by your equipment.
Headphone Measurement Hardware
AudioConnect 2: A low cost, high resolution, portable, laptop-powered audio interface with 2 TEDS-compatible input channels to power a range of microphones. This is our most cost-effective solution for headphone test.
AmpConnect 621: For test requirements requiring more than 2 input channels, or where an amplifier is also required, AmpConnect 621 is the 6-in, 2-out all-in-one test interface that does it all.
SoundConnect 2: If you are using an interface that does not have microphone power, this rugged and cost-effective microphone power supply will provide power for SCM, IEPE, or even 200V polarized microphones.
Bluetooth Interfaces: We offer both research grade and production line interfaces for Bluetooth headphone test
Current Monitors: Current monitors are useful for battery drain tests, for example monitoring battery consumption of ANC headphones.
Turntable: Measurement turntables for VR headset and headphone leakage measurements.
For more complex test requirements, we also offer: MEMS interfaces and amplifiers, as well as 3rd party hardware such as Head and Torso Simulators (HATS), ear couplers, headphone test fixtures and more.
Future-proofed Headphone Measurement
Headphone R&D is constantly changing, and one of the benefits of SoundCheck for headphone test is its modularity in terms of both hardware and software. Should your needs change, for example, if you manufacture conventional wired headphones and you introduce a Bluetooth product, it is a simple upgrade to add a Bluetooth interface – there is no need to buy a new test system.
The same applies to software. As headphones and headsets become more multi-functioned, if you need to add hearing aid tests such as attack and release measurements, or communications tests such as POLQA measurements, the additional modules required to do this are a low-cost add-on to your existing system and can be delivered electronically.
Examples: How do our Customers use SoundCheck for Measuring Headphones and Headsets?
These are just some of the headphone and headset measurements that our customers are making:
- 100% Production Line QC of earbuds measuring frequency response, polarity and sensitivity, as well as rub and buzz detection
- R&D evaluation of the performance of active noise cancellation with battery drain
- Incoming QC on microphones and drivers to be embedded in headset
More information? See the right sidebar to view detailed information about relevant test sequences, white papers, webinars and more about headphone and headset testing.
Recommended Equipment For R&D Headphone Measurement
SoundCheck Plus (part #1102) or SoundCheck Advanced (part #1103). The most common starting point for customers measuring simple transducers, SoundCheck Plus includes the Sequence Editor and the Signal Generator, Multimeter, and Scope-FFT virtual instrument modules, as well as everything in the basic package. SoundCheck Advanced is a more powerful version for R&D testing which additionally includes the Real Time Analyzer virtual instrument, Time Selective Response (for performing simulated free field measurements), Polar Plot, and the Equation Editor.
Optional Software Modules
2019: Intermodulation (IM) & Difference Frequency (DF) distortion, including 2-tone stimulus
2020: Multi-Tone Excitation
Recommended Equipment For Production Headphone Measurement
Soundcheck Basic (part #1001) or SoundCheck ONE (part # 1007). Created with cost-sensitive production customers in mind, SoundCheck Basic performs simple sine-based measurements such as frequency response, sensitivity, and harmonic distortion. It does not include the sequence editor, so an additional system with a higher package is required to generate test sequences, or the sequence editor module should be added. SoundCheck ONE is a low-cost entry level package that includes AudioConnect 2 Hardware and is restricted to running standard tests (parameters and limits may be adjusted). It is future-upgradable to a fully programmable SoundCheck system by paying the difference in price.
Specialty Headphone Measurements
There are many types of headphones, each with their own specific testing needs. Expand the sections below to learn more about making measurements on Bluetooth and TWS headphones, testing active noise cancellation, VR headset leakage tests, measuring headphones to communications standards, hearables measurement and more.
Bluetooth Headphone Measurements
It’s easy to make comprehensive audio measurement on Bluetooth Headphones, headsets and hearables with SoundCheck. With the simple addition of a stand-alone Bluetooth interface to your existing test configuration, measurements can be made exactly the same way as your conventional wired headphones. Read More >
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) Headphone Measurements
Active noise cancellation tests are a common headphone measurement. SoundCheck makes these measurements easily, and can even measure the battery drain caused by active noise cancellation. The configuration for active noise cancellation test is similar to a regular headphone test, in that you need a head and torso simulator or alternative headphone test fixture, and an audio measurement system such as SoundCheck. Read more >
Hearables testing represents the convergence of tests from headphones, microphones, telephones, telephony, hearing aids, and more. Between these, a huge number of test stimuli, algorithms, analysis options and signal paths options are necessary, not to mention many ‘useful-to-have’ features such as integrated background noise and a test configurator that makes it easy to run many iterations of a test continuously. Read more >
Measuring to Headphone Standards
Headphone standards such as IEC 60268-7 and EN-50332 cover many aspects of headphone measurement. SoundCheck is the ideal system for measuring to headphone standards as it features both flexibility and future-compatibility. Furthermore, Listen offers pre-written test sequences to measure to common headphone standards such as IEC-60268-7 and EN-50332. Read more >