Seminars in UK and Germany: The Challenges of Testing Speech Controlled Audio Systems

smart_speakersYour devices got smarter. Did your test system?

Learn how to implement open loop tests for both playback and recording in a range of devices including smart speakers, automotive audio, robots, IoT devices and more in this practical half-day seminar.

Open loop testing (testing devices where inputs and outputs are independent) enables many types of smart devices and their components to be tested in various formats and situations including:

  • Smart speakers, smart watches and other smart devices
  • Microphone arrays
  • Speech recognition systems with microphones
  • In-vehicle audio systems
  • Audio devices/systems with no physical inputs or outputs
  • Testing in noisy environments

We explain how to measure the same parameters as traditional loudspeakers, discussing such challenges as injecting and extracting response signals, time delays, and triggering the system using voice commands. We also demonstrate how to measure microphone array performance, speakerphone performance and more. Course content includes:

  • Stimulating and capturing responses from a device where you don’t have direct access to the microphone or speaker (open loop testing).
  • Delays, asynchronous stimulus / acquisition, and working with the ‘cloud’
  • Testing with real world signals such as speech and music, and how to analyze results from these test stimuli
  • Voice Recognition – key word spotting, wake word testing, directionality, and the effect of background noise on voice recognition performance
  • Telephony – testing smart speakers for hands-free calling

There is no charge for this one-day seminar and lunch will be provided. Space is limited, so please RSVP today.

 

Locations and Dates:

PrintUK: Tuesday Sept 25th, Sharnbrook Hotel, Bedford, England. The Sharnbrook Hotel, Park Lane (off A6), Sharnbrook Bedfordshire MK44 1LX. Note: If you need to stay here overnight, tell them you are with the ACSoft group to take advantage of a discounted rate.

 

Germany: Thursday September 27th. Venue TBD (Munich area). Please save the date – we will announce location shortly.

Denmark: Venue and date TBD (Copenhagen area, September)

 

Full Agenda (9am-1.30pm)

  • Introduction to Open Loop Testing
    • What is it?
    • What Kinds of Analysis Can Be Done?
      • Classic Acoustic Testing: Frequency Response and Distortion
        • Stimulus Signals
        • Distortion Methods: THD, THD+N, Rub and Buzz, Perceptual Rub and Buzz, Non Coherent Distortion
    • Mixing Digital and Analog Units
    • Capturing Signals Asynchronous to the Stimulus
    • Dealing with Triggering, playback and recording Delays, digital clock Resampling, and corresponding Frequency Shift
  • Open Loop Applications for Playback
    • Smart Devices
      • Frequency Response and Distortion
      • Directionality
    • Automotive
      • 6 Mic Tree for Audio Tuning
      • Distortion methods
      • HATS for Impulse Response Testing @ seated position
  • Open Loop Applications for Recording
    • Smart Devices
      • Frequency Response and Distortion
      • Voice Recognition
      • Directionality
    • Automotive
      • Frequency Response and Distortion (general and to ITU P.11xx)
      • SNR placement study
      • Impulse Response function from HATS mouth -> microphone
      • Directionality
  • Handsfree Communications
    • Terminology for Handsfree Communications
    • Introduction to Telephony Metrics

 

Presenters:

Steve Temme and Marc Marroquin – Listen, Inc.

 

 

Seminar: Smarter Measurements for Smarter Speakers – Chicago and Boston

Smarter speakers require smarter test methods!

smart_speakersLearn how to test smart speakers, robots, voice-controlled automotive audio and other IoT devices in our practical half-day seminar taught by industry experts Steve Temme, and Marc Marroquin of Listen, Inc.

Although acoustic testing of smart speakers and other voice-activated devices presents challenges such as injecting and extracting response signals, time delays, and triggering the system using voice commands, it is still possible to measure the same parameters as traditional loudspeakers, In addition we can also measure microphone array performance, speakerphone performance and more.

We demonstrate how to do this, focusing on:

  • Stimulating and capturing responses from a device where you don’t have direct access to the microphone or speaker (open loop testing).
  • Delays, asynchronous stimulus / acquisition, and working with the ‘cloud’
  • Testing with real world signals such as speech and music, and how to analyze results from these test stimuli
  • Voice Recognition – key word spotting, wake word testing, directionality, and the effect of background noise on voice recognition performance
  • Telephony – testing smart speakers for hands-free calling

There is no charge for this one-day seminar and lunch will be provided. Space is limited, so please RSVP today.

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Locations and Dates:

Addison (Chicago area): Wednesday July 18th, 2018 – 9.00am – 1.30pm. Hilton Garden Inn, 551 N Swift Rd, Addison, IL 60101

Waltham (Boston area): Friday July 20th, 2018 – 9.00am – 1.30pm. Hilton Garden Inn, 450 Totten Pond Rd, Waltham, MA 02451

 

Agenda (9am-1.30pm)

  • Introduction
  • Open Loop Testing
    • What is ‘open loop’ testing?
    • Can you really measure frequency response and harmonic distortion in an open loop?
    • Using Frequency Shifting to time align asynchronous stimuli and response
    • Working with cloud based services
  • Testing with Real World Signals
    • How to use real voice and / or non test tones to evaluate acoustic performance
    • Analysis techniques used for evaluating non test tone stimuli
  • Voice Recognition
    • Key Word spotting / Wake Up word testing
    • Room effects, environmental distractors, and SNR…how they affect voice recognition performance
    • Measuring directionality
  • Telephony
    • What voice quality metrics are important for speakerphones?
    • Challenges of testing speakerphones in different environments
  • Networking lunch

Reserve your space

Korea Headphone Seminar

Over 150 people attended the Listen, Inc./G.R.A.S. headphone seminar in Seoul on Tuesday March 6th, where Steve Temme, Peter Wulf-Andersen, Dr. Sean Olive and Prof. Lee spoke to a packed room about headphone measurement, perception and design and tuning. It was a great event and exciting to meet so many of Korea’s top audio design engineers. Thank you for coming! And of course a huge thank you to our very special guest speakers, Dr. Olive and Prof. Lee.

Videos of the event (in English and Korean) can be viewed using the links below (videos will open in a new tab).

Peter Wulf-Andersen – G.R.A.S.: https://youtu.be/sTZpShVDaoI

Steve Temme – Listen, Inc.: https://youtu.be/35TtshAENdo

Prof. Lee – New Media Communication Joint Institute of Seoul National University: https://youtu.be/mhLW03PvLmw

Dr. Sean Olive, Harman International: https://youtu.be/B8cNf0Q3tNs

Photo Gallery

Headphone & Headset Measurements – Seoul, Korea – March 6, 2018

Presented by:

listen_gras_logos2

 

headphones
Due to popular demand, we are now holding our headphone testing seminar in Seoul!

Learn about the latest in headphone test systems and methods from design to EOL Test. Industry experts Steve Temme (Listen, Inc.) and Peter Wulf-Andersen (G.R.A.S.), as well as guest speakers Dr. Sean Olive (Harman International) and Prof. Lee (New Media Communication Joint Institute of Seoul National University) will discuss test equipment (ear couplers, test fixtures, test software and hardware) and demonstrate practical test setups for both R&D and QC headphone testing. It will cover in-ear monitors, Bluetooth, lightning/USB, noise-cancelling and high resolution headphones, in addition to conventional analog headphones. You can even measure your own headphone using our equipment in the hands-on session. Please see the full agenda below.

There is no charge for this one-day seminar. Space is limited, so please RSVP today.

Location and Dates:

Seoul: Tuesday March 6th, 2018. Korea National University, 1 Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul.

 

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See what people are saying about this event (we presented similar last year in the US)

Agenda (9am-4pm)

  • Introduction
  • Overview of Headphone Test Systems and tools
    • Traditional tools vs. modern consumer demands
      • Introduction to head and ear related terminology and definitions.
      • Historical perspective and background for the tools and standards used today.
      • Limitations vs. Possibilities in term of the measurement capabilities. How does that relate to the modern challenges with Bluetooth and ANC related testing tasks?
    • Tools for Next Generation Headphone Testing
      • Solutions to some the challenges addressed above.
      • Examples based on products and measurements.
    • What about frequencies above 20kHz? Science or marketing? Measurement Consistency – Development vs. Production
      • Progress in measurements from Head and Torso Simulator (KEMAR) to Production Test Fixture (45CC – flat plate). How the different components affect the measurements:
    • Software and hardware for headphone testing including typical headphone measurements and test setups
  • Practical examples of headphone measurements on.
    • Analog Headphones
    • Bluetooth Headsets
    • ANC Headphones
    • Lightning/USB Connected Headphones (using triggered recordings)
    • Hi-Res Headphones
    • In-ear monitors
  • Measurements including:
    • Frequency Response relative to a target response
    • Left/Right tracking
    • Impedance
    • Noise attenuation
    • Distortion including Non-Coherent Distortion
    • Standards including Max SPL EN-50332 & IEC-60268-7
  • Design & sound tuning of earphones  (Guest Speaker Prof. Lee, New Media Communication Joint Institute of Seoul National University)
  • Headphone Design: Perception and Measurement of Headphones – What is the Preferred Target Response? (Guest Speaker: Dr. Sean Olive, Harman International)
  • Hands-on testing: Bring your own device and test it using one of our measurement setups

Reserve your space

Boston SoundCheck and Electroacoustics Training – April 11-13, 2018

We are holding a 3 day training event on April 11-13 in Waltham, MA (Boston area). This event will feature a 1-day course on electroacoustics testing, presented by Marty Alexander of Alexander Acoustics, followed by a 2 day SoundCheck training class.

Electroacoustics – April 11th
In the Electroacoustics class, you will learn about the theory behind your audio measurements. The content will cover:

  • Hearing and  psychoacoustics
  • Basics of acoustical measurements
  • Basic quantities and how to describe them
  • Sound sources, room acoustics and radiation
  • Acoustic Instrumentation
  • Loudspeaker measurements
  • Microphone measurements
  • Headphone/Earphone Measurements
  • Communication System Measurements, e.g. telephones, mobile phones, speakerphones

Course presenter: Marty Alexander – Alexander Acoustics, LLC.
Cost: $495 ($350 with valid SoundCheck support contract)

 

 

SoundCheck – April 12th-13th
This hands-on class covers all the major features of SoundCheck version 16, including writing sequences, test signals, analysis, distortion measurements and more. The class is a combination of presentations interspersed with hands-on exercises to ensure that you are comfortable with all the concepts and methods taught before you leave the classroom. Although no previous SoundCheck experience is assumed, the course still offers plenty to users familiar with writing basic sequences.  Content includes:

  • Overview of SoundCheck software
    • Software Options
  • Hardware
    • Configuring audio interfaces and external equipment
    • Listen Certified Sound Cards
  • Calibration
    • Calibration of different DUT types (telephones, speakers, etc.)
  • Virtual instruments
    • Spectrum Analyzer, RTA, Multi-meter, Signal Generator, Oscilloscope
    • Virtual Instruments – hands-on
  • Online forum, bug and wish lists
  • SoundCheck Steps & Sequences
    • Philosophy & Architecture
    • Creating and editing SoundCheck Test Sequences and Steps
    • Using the Sequence Wizard
    • Stimulus & Acquisition Step details
    • Basic analysis
    • Display
    • Data Management Hands-on
    • Limits
    • Sequence Development – hands-on
    • Printing
    • Serial numbers
    • Autosave and recall
    • Messages – user prompts, calling external devices
    • Post-processing
    • Sequence Development (part 2) – hands-on
    • Statistics
    • Sequence loops and jumps
    • Advanced sequence development

Course presenters: Steve Tatarunis, Mark Latshaw – Listen, Inc.
Cost: $950 ($665 with valid SoundCheck support contract)

Location / Dates / Time
Hilton Garden Inn, 450 Totten Pond Rd, Waltham, MA 02451
April 11-13, 2018. Coffee / snacks / sign-in starts at 8:00 AM and the training course runs from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM each day.

 

 

Seminar: Smarter Measurements for Smarter Speakers

Smarter speakers require smarter test methods!

smart_speakersLearn how to test smart speakers, robots, voice-controlled automotive audio and other IoT devices in our practical half-day seminar taught by industry experts Dan Knighten, and Marc Marroquin of Listen, Inc.

Although acoustic testing of smart speakers and other voice-activated devices presents challenges such as injecting and extracting response signals, time delays, and triggering the system using voice commands, it is still possible to measure the same parameters as traditional loudspeakers, In addition we can also measure microphone array performance, speakerphone performance and more.

We demonstrate how to do this, focusing on:

  • Stimulating and capturing responses from a device where you don’t have direct access to the microphone or speaker (open loop testing).
  • Delays, asynchronous stimulus / acquisition, and working with the ‘cloud’
  • Testing with real world signals such as speech and music, and how to analyze results from these test stimuli
  • Voice Recognition – key word spotting, wake word testing, directionality, and the effect of background noise on voice recognition performance
  • Telephony – testing smart speakers for hands-free calling

There is no charge for this one-day seminar and lunch will be provided. Space is limited, so please RSVP today.

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Locations and Dates:

Cupertino (San Jose area): Wednesday February 14th, 2018 – 9.00am – 1.30pm. Hilton Garden Inn, Cupertino. 10741 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014

Culver City (Los Angeles area): Friday February 16th, 2018 – 9.00am – 1.30pm. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Los Angeles – Westside. 6161 W Centinela Ave, Culver City, CA 90230

Agenda (9am-1.30pm)

  • Introduction
  • Open Loop Testing
    • What is ‘open loop’ testing?
    • Can you really measure frequency response and harmonic distortion in an open loop?
    • Using Frequency Shifting to time align asynchronous stimuli and response
    • Working with cloud based services
  • Testing with Real World Signals
    • How to use real voice and / or non test tones to evaluate acoustic performance
    • Analysis techniques used for evaluating non test tone stimuli
  • Voice Recognition
    • Key Word spotting / Wake Up word testing
    • Room effects, environmental distractors, and SNR…how they affect voice recognition performance
    • Measuring directionality
  • Telephony
    • What voice quality metrics are important for speakerphones?
    • Challenges of testing speakerphones in different environments
  • Networking lunch

 

Reserve your space

Headphone & Headset Measurements – Chicago and Boston Dates

Presented by:

listen_gras_logos2

headphones

 

 

 

Due to popular demand, we are now holding our headphone testing seminar in Chicago and Boston!

Learn about the latest in headphone test systems and methods from design to EOL Test. Industry experts Steve Temme (Listen, Inc.) and Peter Wulf-Andersen (G.R.A.S.), as well as guest speaker Dr. Sean Olive (Harman International) will discuss test equipment (ear couplers, test fixtures, test software and hardware) and demonstrate practical test setups for both R&D and QC headphone testing. It will cover in-ear monitors, Bluetooth, lightning/USB, noise-cancelling and high resolution headphones, in addition to conventional analog headphones. You can even measure your own headphone using our equipment in the hands-on session. Please see the full agenda below.

There is no charge for this one-day seminar and lunch will be provided. Space is limited, so please RSVP today.

Locations and Dates:

Chicago: Friday October 13th, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago Wood Dale-Elk Grove, 1200 N Mittel Blvd, Wood Dale, IL 60191

Boston: Monday October 16th, Hilton Garden Inn, 450 Totten Pond Rd, Waltham, MA 02451 NOTE: THIS VENUE HAS CHANGED. DUE TO HIGH DEMAND FOR THIS SEMINAR WE HAVE HAD TO MOVE IT TO A LARGER VENUE. Note that this is 2 days before the start of the AES show in New York – a short flight or 3.5 hour train ride away. Consider combining this informative seminar with your AES travel!

Print

 

 

See what people are saying about this event (we presented similar earlier in the year on the West Coast)

Agenda (9am-4pm)

  • Introduction
  • Overview of Headphone Test Systems and tools
    • Traditional tools vs. modern consumer demands
      • Introduction to head and ear related terminology and definitions.
      • Historical perspective and background for the tools and standards used today.
      • Limitations vs. Possibilities in term of the measurement capabilities. How does that relate to the modern challenges with Bluetooth and ANC related testing tasks?
    • Tools for Next Generation Headphone Testing
      • Solutions to some the challenges addressed above.
      • Examples based on products and measurements.
    • What about frequencies above 20kHz? Science or marketing? Measurement Consistency – Development vs. Production
      • Progress in measurements from Head and Torso Simulator (KEMAR) to Production Test Fixture (45CC – flat plate). How the different components affect the measurements:
    • Software and hardware for headphone testing including typical headphone measurements and test setups
  • Practical examples of headphone measurements on.
    • Analog Headphones
    • Bluetooth Headsets
    • ANC Headphones
    • Lightning/USB Connected Headphones (using triggered recordings)
    • Hi-Res Headphones
    • In-ear monitors
  • Measurements including:
    • Frequency Response relative to a target response
    • Left/Right tracking
    • Impedance
    • Noise attenuation
    • Distortion including Non-Coherent Distortion
    • Standards including Max SPL EN-50332 & IEC-60268-7
  • Headphone Design: Perception and Measurement of Headphones –  What is the Preferred Target Response? (Guest Speaker: Dr. Sean Olive, Harman International)
  • Hands-on testing: Bring your own device and test it using one of our measurement setups

Reserve your space

Lightning Headphone Test (Open Loop Test)

open_loop_headphone_screenshotThis sequence tests a stereo headphone connected to a portable audio device such as a mobile phone or MP3 player. It is particularly useful for testing headphones with proprietary connectors such as the Lightning connector which otherwise can’t be tested in a conventional “closed loop” test configuration.

The test stimulus is created in SoundCheck, saved as a WAV file and loaded on to the portable device for playback. Both left and right earphones are measured simultaneously using a continuous log sweep from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The sequence uses a short 1 kHz tone, pre-pended to the normal test stimulus to automatically trigger the test when playback of the test signal begins; it also serves as reference tone for any frequency shift calculations. Post-processing precisely synchronizes the stimulus and response waveforms, and then calculation of the measurement parameters proceeds as with any conventional headphone. In this case, analysis is performed using the Time Selective Response (TSR) algorithm which performs THD and fundamental frequency response analysis simultaneously in addition to producing an impulse response. The fundamentals are then post processed to derive the sensitivity of the left and right channels at 1 kHz.

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Listen Awarded Patent for SC Amp Amplifier

patentListen’s revolutionary audio test amplifier, SC Amp, has been awarded US Patent # 9,386,387. This patent covers Listen’s unique high accuracy single channel impedance measurement method, which used a unique feedback circuit to offer dual channel accuracy using just a single channel. This enables full electrical and audio tests to be carried out simultaneously and with high accuracy using just 2 channels.

Specifically designed for the audio test market, SC Amp also incorporates several other features unique to the needs of audio test and measurement, such as low distortion (THD <0.025%) and a low noise floor (>100dB). Fixed gain eliminates calibration errors as there is no gain knob to be accidentally knocked or tweaked when it is in use. It supports the application of a DC voltage offset to the AC signal for testing transducers under adverse conditions, and features overload/output protection to prevent damage in case of shorting or overload.

Many unnecessary features found in regular audio amplifiers have been eliminated to keep production line operation simple and error-proof. Although it is designed to integrate seamlessly with Listen’s SoundCheck audio test and measurement software, it will also work well with other brands of test system.

Listen president, Steve Temme commented, ‘We are thrilled that the innovative design of this product has been recognized with this patent, and we are confident that this method will be quickly recognized by the marketplace.’

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New Manufacturing Team

evan_and_nickListen has expanded its manufacturing team with the addition of Evan Driscoll (left in picture) as Production Supervisor.  Evan graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology in 2015 with a B.S. In Electronics Engineering Technology, where he also received the President’s award. Evan is very familiar with manufacturing at Listen, having held several internships and temporary positions at Listen over the past 3 years.

Evan replaces Nick Alston (right in picture), who has been promoted to the position of Manufacturing Supervisor after 2 years in the Production Supervisor role. Together, Nick and Evan manage all of our manufacturing and hardware assembly, test, and QC, ensuring that products are build and delivered on-time to high manufacturing standards.