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 measures the directional response of a microphone and graphs the result as a polar plot. A log sweep stimulus is played from 100 Hz to 10 kHz at each angular increment, and the acquired waveform is analyzed using the Time Selective Response algorithm. This method allows the test to be performed in a non-anechoic environment by placing a window around the direct signal, eliminating the influence of reflections. Commands are sent automatically to the LT360 turntable via an RS-232 connection, instructing it to move in 10 degree increments after each measurement. The sequence measures the response every 10 degrees from 0 to 180 and mirrors the polar image, which simulates a full 360 degree polar and saves test time. The response at each angular increment is compared against the on-axis response to create a normalized curve. This removes the influence of the device’s frequency response and sensitivity, such that the polar plot only shows the directional response. The final display also contains a graph of the directivity index in decibels versus frequency.
This sequence demonstrates a method by which SoundCheck can measure the performance of a microphone embedded in a so-called “smart speaker”. This example assumes that the DUT is an Amazon Echo but it can be adapted for use with virtually any other type of smart speaker by substituting the Echo’s voice activation phrase WAV file (“Alexa”) with one specific to the desired make and model.
The sequence begins by playing a voice activation phrase out of a source speaker, prompting the DUT to record both the voice command and the ensuing stepped sine sweep stimulus. A message step then prompts the operator to retrieve this recording from the DUT’s cloud storage system. This is accomplished by playing back the recording from the cloud and capturing it with a Triggered Record step in the SoundCheck test sequence. The Recorded Time Waveform is then windowed (to remove the voice command) and frequency shifted prior to analysis and the result (Frequency Response) is shown on the final display step.
This sequence demonstrates a method by which SoundCheck can measure the performance of a loudspeaker embedded in a so-called “smart speaker”. This example assumes that the DUT is an Amazon Echo but it can be adapted for use with virtually any other type of smart speaker by substituting the Echo’s voice activation phrase audio file (“Alexa, play Test Signal One”) with one specific to the desired make and model.
The sequence begins by playing the voice activation phrase out of a source speaker, prompting the DUT to playback the mp3 stimulus file from the cloud, followed by a pause step to account for any activation latency. Following the pause, a triggered record step is used to capture the playback from the DUT. The Recorded Time Waveform is then frequency shifted prior to analysis and the results (Frequency Response, THD and Perceptual Rub & Buzz) are shown on the final display step.
We recommend reading our AES paper on this subject prior to continuing as it contains additional details on the test methods devised for this sequence.
Quantitatively measuring the audio characteristics of IoT (Internet of Things) smart speakers presents several novel challenges. We discuss overcoming the practical challenges of testing such devices and demonstrate how to measure frequency response, distortion, and other common audio characteristics. In order to make these measurements, several measurement techniques and algorithms are presented that allow us to move past the practical difficulties presented by this class of emerging audio devices. We discuss test equipment requirements, selection of test signals and especially overcoming the challenges around injecting and extracting test signals from the device.
Authors: Glenn Hess (Indy Acoustic Research) and Daniel Knighten (Listen, Inc.)
Presented at the 143rd AES Conference, New York 2017
This sequence tests the send and receive performance of a stereo Bluetooth headset with a built-in microphone using a mixture of analog and digital channels. The left and right earphones are measured simultaneously with a stepped sweep from 20 kHz to 20 Hz using two Bluetooth profiles: A2DP and HFP. The mic is measured with a stepped sweep from 8 kHz to 100 Hz using the HFP profile.
A short 1 kHz tone is pre-pended to the test stimulus which serves as reference tone for resampling and frequency shift operations. Post-processing resampling and frequency shift precisely synchronizes the stimulus and response waveforms prior to analysis. In this case, the HarmonicTrak algorithm is used for frequency response and THD analysis. A2DP frequency response and THD curves are displayed on the first display, followed by A2DP & HFP curves superimposed on a subsequent display. Lastly, the Bluetooth headset’s microphone is tested with HFP and its frequency response is shown on the final display along with the previously collected data.
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.