With over 100 combined years of audio measurement experience, our team has created a wealth of technical papers, sequences, articles and other useful information to assist you with your audio test needs. Please browse the collection below, or filter by type of resource.
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This 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.
In order to minimize costly warranty repairs, automotive manufacturers impose tight specifications and a “total quality” requirement on their part suppliers. At the same time, they also require low prices. This makes it important for automotive manufacturers to work with automotive loudspeaker suppliers to define reasonable specifications and tolerances, and to understand both how the loudspeaker manufacturers are testing and also how to implement their own measurements for incoming QC purposes.
Specifying and testing automotive loudspeakers can be tricky since loudspeakers are inherently nonlinear, time variant and affected by their working conditions & environment which can be change dramatically and rapidly in a vehicle. This paper examines the loudspeaker characteristics that can be measured, and discusses common pitfalls and how to avoid them on a loudspeaker production line. Several different audio test methods and measurements for end-of-the-line automotive speaker quality control are evaluated, and the most relevant ones identified. Speed, statistics, and full traceability are also discussed.
Authors: Steve Temme, Listen, Inc. and Viktor Dobos, Harman/Becker Automotive Systems Kft.
Presented at the 142nd AES Convention, Berlin, Germany
This SoundCheck ONE template sequence contains all the essential steps for basic headphone measurements using SoundCheck ONE and AudioConnectTM. The sequence can be easily customized and saved for specific products by turning individual measurements on and off, and by adjusting settings within each sequence step such as stimulus range and level, tolerance limits, graphical displays, and data saving.
Please note that sequences in SoundCheck ONE cannot have steps added/removed or the layout modified – the full version of SoundCheck is required for this capability.
As in-vehicle audio system output level increases, so too does audio distortion. At what level is distortion audible and how is sound quality perceived as level increases? Binaural recordings of musical excerpts played through the in-vehicle audio system at various volume levels were made in the driver’s position. These were adjusted to equal loudness and played through a low distortion reference headphone. Listeners ranked both distortion audibility and perceived sound quality. The distortion at each volume level was also measured objectively using a commercial audio test system. The correlation between perceived sound quality and objective distortion measurements is discussed.
Authors: Steve Temme, Listen, Inc. and Patrick Dennis, Nissan Technical Center North America, Inc.,
Presented at the 141st AES Convention, Los Angeles, CA 2015
This sequence demonstrates the two most common microphone measurements, frequency response and sensitivity, on a microphone embedded in a recording device. Typically when measuring a microphone the response of the device can be captured simultaneously with the stimulus. However, with devices such as voice recorders and wireless telephones forming a closed loop can be cumbersome or impossible. This sequence demonstrates how to measure such a device by recording the signal on the device under test, transferring that recording to the computer running SoundCheck and then using a Recall step to import the recorded waveform and analyze it.
Note that this specific sequence, v3, is an improvement on the prior versions. The v1 release required that the audio file containing the recorded response waveform be manually windowed outside of SoundCheck before being analyzed. The v2 release utilized a new feature in SoundCheck 14, using values from the memory list to semi-automatically trim the waveform before analysis. This v3 release completely automates waveform editing.
This test sequence performs frequency response and distortion measurements of a Bluetooth speaker using both a wireless Bluetooth and wired stimuli, and compares the results. This sequence is configured for use with a Portland Tool & Die BTC-4148 or BQC-4148 Bluetooth interface.
Initially, the sequence prompts the operator to turn on the Bluetooth device under test and set it to pairing mode. BTC message steps will connect the Bluetooth device (operator selects the device from a list of detected Bluetooth devices) and connects Bluetooth audio. A 1 kHz test tone is transmitted, and if detected, the test sequence proceeds. A stepped sine sweep from 20 kHz to 100 Hz is played wirelessly to the Bluetooth speaker and measured via a calibrated reference mic.
Two post-processing steps convert the sampling rate and alignment of the response, then an analysis step calculates the frequency response and THD. The Bluetooth is disconnected, and the Bluetooth frequency response and THD curves are displayed on graphs. The operator is then prompted to connect the wired analog input into the Bluetooth speaker, and the same measurements are performed using the analog connection. Analog frequency response and THD curves are temporarily displayed on graphs, followed by graphs containing both Bluetooth and analog curves for comparison.
Linear motors (also known as linear vibrators or linear resonant actuators) have become increasingly popular in handheld devices such as phones and tablets for providing haptic feedback to the device’s user. The performance characteristics of these devices can now be tested using your SoundCheck system – the same software you are familiar with from your audio tests! The main difference between linear motor testing and audio testing is that an accelerometer (rather than a microphone) is used to measure the performance of the device under test.
A linear motor is designed to have a strong resonant frequency across a narrow frequency bandwidth; the motor is then operated at its resonant frequency to produce maximum output (vibration) while having minimal power demands on the portable device. The strength of the vibration is controlled by adjusting the magnitude of the AC signal input to the motor. In this sequence, first a sine sweep is applied to the device to calculate the resonant frequency, impedance and related values, and then a single tone at resonance is applied to measure characteristics such as rise and fall time.
It is well-known that the frequency response of loudspeakers and headphones has a dramatic impact on sound quality and listener preference, but what role does distortion have on perceived sound quality? To answer this question, five popular headphones with varying degrees of distortion were selected and equalized to the same frequency response. Trained listeners compared them subjectively using music as the test signal, and the distortion of each headphone was measured objectively using a well-known commercial audio test system. The correlation between subjective listener preference and objective distortion measurement is discussed.
Authors: Steve Temme, Sean E. Olive*, Steve Tatarunis, Todd Welti*, and Elisabeth McMullin* *Harman International
Presented at the 137th AES Conference, Los Angeles 2014