ISEAT 2022,October 29-30 2022, Shenzhen, China.

Listen President, Steve Temme, will be presenting a paper entitled ‘Enhanced perceptual rub & buzz measurement for loudspeaker production test’.  Due to Covid-19 regulations, this paper will be presented by video.

ISEAT Web Site


Enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz Measurement for Testing Automotive Loudspeakers

Loudspeaker Rub & Buzz faults are a problem for automotive manufacturers as they sound harsh and immediately give the perception of poor quality. There are two places such faults can occur – during speaker manufacturing and installation of the speaker in the car. A buzzing loudspeaker in a car is disappointing to a customer and is costly to replace. It is also challenging for a service center to determine exactly where the buzzing is coming from and whether it is caused by a faulty loudspeaker or bad installation. Perceptual distortion measurements are often considered the holy grail of end-of-line testing because rejecting speakers with only audible faults increases yield. Although such measurements have been around since 2011, production line adoption has been slow because until now, sensitivity to background noise has made limit-setting challenging. In this paper, a new algorithm is introduced that uses advanced technology to reduce the impact of background noise on the measurement and offer more repeatable results. This facilitates limit setting on the production line and makes it a truly viable production line metric for increasing yield. This same metric may also be used for end-of-line automotive quality control tests. Results from various algorithms will be shown, and their correlation to subjective and other non-perceptual distortion metrics explained.

Authors: Steve Temme, Listen, Inc.
Presented at 2022 AES Automotive Conference, Dearborn, MI

Full Paper

End of Line Distortion Measurements

Steve Temme discusses the importance of detecting manufacturing-induced defects such as Rub & Buzz and Loose Particles during end-of-line testing, and explains the various algorithms that are used. He compares conventional and perceptual metrics for the measurement of Rub & Buzz, including Listen’s new enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz algorithm, and discusses why it can be beneficial to use both conventional and perceptual measurements in tandem.

Full Article

SoundCheck 20 New Features Video

In this short video, Devin Vaillancourt gives a brief overview of SoundCheck 20 new features including the new enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz, features for multichannel testing including the new multichannel RTA, new features for communications testing, POLQA analysis, signal generator upgrades and more.

Enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz Demo Sequence

This sequence demonstrates how SC20’s new enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz algorithm compares to normalized Rub & Buzz and subjective listening. Running this sequence on a batch of good and bad buzzing loudspeakers should help identify by measurement, audibly defective units and where to set production limits. Starting the sequence, the user is asked at what test level to play a stepped sine sweep (Stweep™) in 1/12th octaves, from 20 kHz to 50 Hz. The user is encouraged to try different test levels and change sweep parameters to find the optimum settings to catch buzzing loudspeakers. The loudspeaker is measured via two channels of the audio interface. A calibrated reference microphone is connected to one of the channels and an impedance reference built into the SC Amp or AmpConnect is connected to the other. A HarmonicTrak™ Analysis step analyzes the recorded waveform from the reference microphone, and displays both the enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz and normalized Rub & Buzz graphs.


SoundCheck 20 Released: ePRB, Features for communications testing, POLQA, Multichannel enhancements and more

SoundCheck 20, Listen’s flagship audio analysis software, introduces a new state-of-the-art perceptual distortion algorithm for end-of-line testing – Enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz. It also includes a host of new features for multichannel and communications testing, increasing its capabilities for audio measurement of smart speakers, infotainment systems, headphones and hearables, and other voice-activated and multichannel devices.

The new enhanced Rub & Buzz algorithm is a reliable and repeatable perceptual method for detecting audible Rub & Buzz faults on the production line. This offers manufactures the option to increase yield by rejecting only those devices with audible distortion defects. Based on the sound psychoacoustic principles used in Listen’s industry-standard 2011 perceptual algorithm, new research offers refinements that improve listener correlation and new, patent-pending, noise reduction technology offers unrivaled repeatability and reliability for end-of-line use. In fact,this algorithm performs like a human ear under normal listening conditions with the background noise of a manufacturing environment! SoundCheck measures perceptual Rub & Buzz using the same stepped sine wave, simultaneously with other end-of-line measurements, enabling this valuable analysis to be added to production line tests with no extension in test time.

Two of SoundCheck’s virtual instruments, the multichannel RTA and the Signal Generator, have been significantly upgraded. The multichannel Real Time Analyzer now includes expanded functionality for real time observation of audio signals. It displays multiple channels simultaneously, and offers real time calculation and display of channel, subtraction, maximum, minimum and power average. Applications for this new feature include real-time observation of active noise cancellation, automotive industry standard 6-microphone array infotainment measurements, validating headphone seal on a test head prior to measurement by comparing left and right earphone response, and more. RTA curves are now seamlessly integrated with SoundCheck’s standard graphs and can be dragged and dropped into any graph for easy comparison to limits and reference curves. This is useful for quick comparisons to reference standards or golden units, tuning automotive infotainment systems, and more.

An overhauled signal generator brings additional functionality and simplified operation, particularly when using wav files. In addition to standard audio stimuli (sine, white noise, pink noise, etc.) with user-selected sampling rates and resolution, it can play any wav file, any memory list file, and any complex waveform created by the stimulus editor. The level can be referenced to Peak, dB or RMS. The signal can be equalized in real time, and custom EQ curves applied, which is useful when using a non-flat source such as a mouth simulator. A specific portion of a waveform can be selected to play, either by selecting a start and stop time in seconds, or by examining the waveform, and signals can play for a fixed duration, a fixed number of times, or in a continuous loop. Outputs from 2 or more signal generators can be mixed on the same channel, and waveforms from multiple signal generators can be synchronized, or delayed for phase control during playback.

The optional POLQA (Perceptual Objective Listening Quality Analysis) module brings Opticom’s POLQA 3 algorithm, implementing the ITU-T P.863 standard, right into SoundCheck, where it can be used for perceptual measurements of speech degradation in communications applications ranging from telephones to smart devices. Used just like any other analysis step in a sequence, this is a fast and cost-effective alternative to a panel of human listeners. In addition to speech degradation measurements, it may also be used to assess the impact of noise reduction algorithms, evaluate bluetooth degradation due to packet loss, or to analyze distortions introduced into the audio path.

Several new features expand the software’s post-processing capabilities for testing communications devices. These include batch processing of external files, a silence stimulus step, and RMS level versus time and histogram post-processing steps. A pre-written test sequence for categorizing Doubletalk performance to two international standards, ITU-T P.502 and ETSI TS 126 132 (part #3114), from communications expert John Bareham, is also available. Other enhancements include a stimulus editor upgrade, the ability to export multiple SoundCheck recorded waveforms to a single multichannel wav file and a hardware reset option for quickly changing audio interfaces or restoring hardware to a known configuration.

Enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz Event – Asia Edition

March 24, 2022. 10:00am China time

Listen continues to lead the way in perceptual distortion measurements with our new Enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz algorithm. This new product, based on years of original research, offers unrivaled repeatability, reliability and correlation to human hearing, making it an unbeatable solution for end-of-line perceptual audio test.

Our launch event will include live demonstrations, results, technical explanations and more. Be the first to know. Sign up below.

Listen 凭着新的增强型感知摩擦音算法(Enhanced Perceptual Rub & Buzz algorithm)继续引领著感知失真測量。這種基於多年原始研究的新產品提供了無與倫比的可重複性、可靠性和与人类听觉的相关性,使它成為生產線末端感知音頻測試的無與倫比的解決方案。

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