SoundCheck 18, the latest release of Listen, Inc.’s flagship audio test and measurement system, contains many new features focused on automation and simplicity. Some of these are specifically designed for large-scale integration in factory environments, while others are designed to accelerate R&D testing, particularly where multiple channels are required and/or voice-activated devices are being tested.
Test configuration data, such as limits, test levels, and test signals, can now be passed into SoundCheck from external programs using TCP/IP commands. By externally storing parameters, a single sequence can be used for multiple products, simplifying the number of sequences that a large organization needs to maintain, and reducing test configuration time. This functionality is also useful for applications where a sequence needs to be run many times with different parameters, for example, testing voice recognition with a range of voices or test levels, or where SoundCheck tests are run as part of a larger automated test framework controlled using Python, C#, Visual Basic, LabVIEW, etc.
Setup time is reduced with true plug’n’play hardware configuration. Listen and Portland Tool & Die interfaces are simply connected via the USB cable, and the software automatically creates input and output signal paths and populates parameters such as sampling rate and calibration values. Furthermore, when substituting devices of the same type, SoundCheck will re-use the configuration previously set up, either manually or during a sequence, so that signal paths and sequence configurations do not need to be updated. This offers significant time-savings when deploying a sequence over multiple stations accelerating set-up time for large-scale operations. New TEDS Support (with compatible Listen hardware) enables automatic identification, configuration and calibration of TEDS microphones and accelerometers, also saving time on initial hardware setup or whenever hardware is changed.
The development and optimization of test sequences has been simplified with improvements to gain control selection. Similarly, sampling rate management has been streamlined with automatic latency rate adjustment for devices where latency varies with sampling rate, and the ability to set sampling rate in the stimulus editor. Sampling rate when using WAV files is also now automatically adjusted, making it simpler to make measurement with wave file signals such as speech or music.
For MEMS microphone tests, the Portland Tool & Die MEMS interfaces can now be controlled from within SoundCheck for faster setup as well as greater measurement reliability as the device settings can be built into the test sequence. Sequences using the R&D grade DCC-1448 interface will also work seamlessly with the production-grade PQC-1448, making it much simpler to transition sequences from the R&D lab to the production line.
Additional new features include WASAPI driver support for improved multichannel capabilities, and enhanced digital I/O control for easy conversion of sequences between hardware options.
The updated BTC-4149 Bluetooth measurement interface now supports the aptX HD and aptX-Low Latency Bluetooth protocols for accurate measurement of high definition and low latency Bluetooth devices, in addition to the standard aptX, CVSD and mSBC codecs previously available. This enables manufacturers of Bluetooth audio devices to accurately test the audio of the latest high performance Bluetooth sink and Bluetooth source devices, making the same measurements as on traditional audio devices. In addition, the device has a new, larger color screen for improved ease of operation.
The BTC-4149 is designed as a R&D interface, testing both sink and source devices with full control over Bluetooth protocol settings, including explicit control over codec choice and transmitter power, as well as various pairing options.
Also available is a lower cost production tool, the BQC-4149. This tests Bluetooth Sink devices only, and offers only the standard aptX, CVSD and mSBC, along with more limited control of Bluetooth parameters. This model has been updated to use the same chipset as the BTC-4149 to ensure accurate production line replication of R&D tests for those customers who use both interfaces.
Both interfaces integrate seamlessly with SoundCheck, so that all parameters can be set and modified from within a test sequence for fully-automated testing of Bluetooth devices. This accelerates testing, particularly on the production line as it avoids the need to manually adjust Bluetooth settings, reducing the possibility of error. It also enables a device to be tested using multiple Bluetooth protocols and settings by taking sequential measurements using different settings in one continuous test.
In this short video, sales engineer Les Quindipan gives a brief overview and demonstration of the new features and functionality of SoundCheck 17, including the new level and cross-correlation trigger, average curve/waveform post-processing functionality, new color palettes, save to MATLAB option, and more.
Listen is excited to announce the release of SoundCheck Version 17. This new Windows/Mac release offers many features to simplify multi-channel and voice controlled testing, such as a new level and cross-correlation trigger, average curve/waveform post-processing functionality, the ability to easily read and work with multichannel wavefiles, multiple DC Connect control, and enhanced database options. On the usability side, SoundCheck 17 offers increased flexibility in color palettes, save to MATLAB option, and the ability to recall CSV formatted text files.
Today’s modern audio devices have two important testing requirements: the ability to test a voice activated device with no analog input, and the ability to control and test multiple channels simultaneously, for example, microphone or speaker arrays. SoundCheck 17 contains a host of new features to facilitate this. For voice-activated measurements on devices with no analog input, such as smart speakers, wearables, hearables and smart home devices, the new level & cross-correlation ‘smart trigger’ offers improved performance. By using a chirp-based conditioning tone and searching for the exact log sweep frequency, it is more robust and less susceptible to false triggers than simpler level and frequency triggers.
To save time when testing smart devices where it is necessary to test microphone or speaker arrays, SoundCheck 17 can now directly read multichannel WAV files from the memory list, signal generator and stimulus steps. Also for testing multi-channel arrays, multiple DC Connects can now be controlled, independently configured, and used for data acquisition within SoundCheck. The new Average Curve/WFM post processing function which allows the average curve (or waveform) of a selected group of data in the memory list to be obtained, is particularly useful for power averaging selected curves, averaging curves from different spatial positions (e.g. microphone arrays), and complex averaging of multiple measurements with background noise. Finally, the database module has been enhanced and is now it 4x faster and 3x more space-efficient than previous versions. This is particularly important for testing modern audio products with multiple transducers (microphone arrays, multiple speakers, etc.), as these often generate large volumes of data.
Usability enhancements include improved color pallets which offer ultimate flexibility in defining colors for backgrounds, grids, cursors and graph lines. New default color palettes are included, and user-defined palettes can be saved as pre-set files which will be applied to any new display created. Multiple palettes can be saved, for example allowing different color sets for different applications. In addition, SoundCheck can now save any data (including memory list curves and Soundmap (time frequency analysis) data ) to MATLAB for additional processing. Data is saved as a standard MAT file and can be manually or automatically saved in this format.
Additional new features include support for the new APTX HD codec for high resolution Bluetooth testing, a 64 bit Demo / Data Viewer which enables measured data to be recalled and viewed without the need to own a separate license, and the ability to recall CSV files as well as TXT files.
More Information: https://www.listeninc.com/products/soundcheck-software/specs/
For a limited time we are offering deep discounts on a system upgrade to enable you to get up to date with the latest version of SoundCheck. The upgrade offer is a simple flat rate: $3,950 for owners of SoundCheck 11 or 12, $3,250 for owners of version 13, $2,500 for owners of versions 14 through 15, and $1,395 for owners of version 16. All the modules on your present system will be included.
SoundCheckTM 17’s feature-packed release offers many features to simplify multi-channel and voice controlled testing, as well as many usability upgrades including:
- Improved color pallets for ultimate flexibility in defining colors for backgrounds, grids, cursors and graph lines.
- Save to MATLAB – All data including memory list curves and Soundmap (time frequency analysis) data can now be saved to MATLAB for additional processing. Data is saved as a standard MAT file and can be manually or automatically saved in this format.
- A new Level & Cross-Correlation Trigger (requires optional module 2006 – Time Selective Response) for improved performance for open loop measurements
- An enhanced database (optional module) is now 4x faster and 3x more space-efficient than previous versions, making it an extremely powerful data management tool for customers testing modern audio products with multiple transducers (microphone arrays, multiple speakers, etc.), as these frequently generate large volumes of data.
- SoundCheck can now read multichannel WAV files directly from the memory list, signal generator and stimulus steps, simplifying the testing of multichannel devices such as microphone or speaker arrays
- SoundCheck can now control multiple DC Connects which can be configured independently
- A new Average Curve/WFM post processing function allows you to obtain the average curve (or waveform) of a selected group of data in the Memory List.
- SoundCheck now supports the new APTX HD codec for high resolution Bluetooth testing
- A 64 bit demo / data viewer replaces the 32 bit demo version. When the software key is not installed, previously measured data can still be recalled and viewed.
- CSV formatted files can be recalled in addition to TXT files.
Call your sales engineer today to receive a quote for upgrading all your SoundCheck systems. These discounted rates have been extended until June 7th, 2019 but will not be available after that, so please get your order in soon!
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If you are using a version prior to version 11, please contact your sales engineer for discounted price information.
- Effective Jan 01, 2018, versions of SoundCheck prior to version 13 will no longer be supported. We highly recommend that you take advantage of this limited time offer to upgrade your systems to version 17. Please contact your sales engineer to discuss additional multi-system upgrade discounts.
- If you have multiple systems with different purchase dates, we are happy to work with you to get them all upgraded to the latest version and onto the same annual support contract cycle.
- You can also reduce your future upgrade costs by purchasing an annual support contract for an additional $950. With this, you will receive SoundCheck 18 when it is released at no extra charge, as well as priority support service.
Please note that these prices are applicable to the US only. Users outside the US should contact Listen or their local representative for pricing information.
Please fax your purchase order to 617-556-4145 or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact us on this email address if you would like to pay by credit card, have any questions, or need additional paperwork to support your order.
Please also see the detailed information on new features.
Listen offers ETSI Standard background noise generation system
Listen, Inc. has launched the ETSI standard background noise generation module, a SoundCheck test sequence which calibrates a 4.1 speaker array to conform with the ETSI ES 202 396-1 Standard. This provides an equalized, calibrated playback solution to stress devices in a standardized and repeatable way. The sequence includes a library of real-world binaural recordings from the ETSI standard: cafeteria, pub, crossroad, vehicle, single voice distractor, and office noises. Custom or user-defined binaural recordings can also be used. With a purchase price of just $5,000 for the test sequence, this offers an extremely economical alternative to a conventional $20,000+ stand-alone background noise generation system.
Furthermore, it offers the advantage that the ETSI standard library is fully integrated with, and managed by, the SoundCheck test system. This means that the calibrated background noise levels can be fully controlled and adjusted as part of a pre-programmed test sequence, significantly reducing test development time as well as simplifying the physical setup.
This has many applications, for example evaluating ANC, noise suppression, SNR optimization of microphone arrays, beamforming directionality studies, and more. It is particularly useful for voice recognition testing as the test sequence may include loops to incrementally increase the volume or change the noise and repeat the test until the voice is no longer accurately recognized.
Most significant is the inclusion of a new frequency trigger. This allows frequency-based triggering of acquisition from an external source using a pilot tone at the beginning of a test sweep. This allows for improved accuracy over previous level-based triggering when capturing responses from a device where you don’t have direct access to the microphone or speaker, especially in noisy environments. This technique optimizes open loop test methods for smart speakers and other voice-controlled devices such as smart phones, robots, automotive audio, smart thermostats, hearables and more. You can view a short video explaining this feature here:
We also have a free measurement sequence using the frequency trigger that can be downloaded from our website so that you can test it out right away! View Sequence.
SoundCheck now also fully integrates with the Mentor A2B interface for testing automotive audio connected via the Analog Devices A2B digital bus. The Mentor Analyzer, which handles the transmission of signal in to and out of the bus, is viewed as an ASIO interface by SoundCheck, enabling SoundCheck to read/write to the device and therefore analyze any transducer connected to the A2B bus. A custom VI permits control of the Mentor A2B interface configuration via SoundCheck. This means that it can be controlled from within a SoundCheck sequence, for example loading configurations and starting/stopping ASIO streams. This makes it an ideal R&D or production line test solution for automotive audio, or for anyone testing transducers connected via A2B bus. More.
Also available (additional cost) with this new release are two optional sequences – background noise simulation to the ETSI ES 202 396-1 standard, and the TIA-920B dual-bandwidth telephone test standard.
The background noise simulation sequence (part number 3121) is a cost-effective alternative to dedicated background noise generation systems. It calibrates a 4.1 speaker array to conform with the ETSI ES 202 396-1 Standard, providing an equalized, calibrated playback solution to stress devices in a standardized and repeatable way. The sequence includes a library of real world binaural recordings from the standard, and custom or user-defined binaural recordings may also be used. Applications of this sequence include evaluating ANC, noise suppression, voice recognition testing, SNR optimization of microphones, beamforming directionality studies of microphone arrays and more. More.
The TIA-920B sequence (part number 3111) tests to the TIA-920B dual-bandwidth standard that applies to both narrowband (NB) and wideband (WB) devices. It also allows a choice between Free Field (FF) and Diffuse Field (DF) as the Listener Reference Point (LRP). The current release measures digital communications devices with handset features, according to TIA-920.110-B and speakerphones, according to TIA-920.120-B. Support for headset measurements, according to TIA-920.130-B will be added in a future release. More.
We are excited to announce that SoundCheck fully integrates with the Mentor A2B interface for testing automotive audio connected via the Analog Devices A2B digital bus. The Mentor Analyzer, which handles the transmission of signal in to and out of the bus, is viewed as an ASIO interface by SoundCheck, enabling SoundCheck to read/write to the device and therefore analyze any transducer connected to the A2B bus. A custom VI permits control of the Mentor A2B interface configuration via SoundCheck. This means that it can be controlled from within a SoundCheck sequence, for example loading configurations and starting/stopping ASIO streams. This makes it an ideal R&D or production line test solution for automotive audio, or for anyone testing transducers connected via A2B bus.
Watch a video demonstration of an automotive audio test using the Mentor A2B interface:
Please see our knowledgebase article for download links and installation instructions.
Contact your Listen sales engineer for more information.