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Seminar at Sound Hub

Today, Steve Temme presented on how to measure voice activated devices such as smart speakers, hearables and automotive audio, as well as how to use SoundCheck for basic audio measurements at Sound Hub Denmark, the world’s leading audio innovation hub and co-working space.In the morning, he presented the basics of SoundCheck, and taught attendees (many of whom had access to the SoundCheck system at Sound Hub) how to build a test sequence in SoundCheck. recommendations for the equipment used. After lunch, he explained in depth how to test voice activated devices such as automotive infotainment systems, hearables, and smart speakers. These devices are complex to test as they have numerous wired and wireless connections and often contain signal processing, both on the record and the playback side. In this session, he outlined the test configurations, tools and techniques that enable accurate measurement of the audio performance of such devices under the many various real-world conditions in which they are used.

Audio Testing with SoundCheck at Sound Hub Denmark

February 25th, 2020. 8.30-17.00

Learn how to measure audio quality of both simple and complex modern audio devices, in both R&D and production environments. Get to know the basics of SoundCheck; one of the world’s most popular audio test software systems, and learn about how to build a test sequence incl. recommendations for the equipment used. Additionally, you will get familiar with specific methods and conditions applied for voice-activated audio testing for e.g. automotive among others.

Join us for an inspiring day, where the Founder and President of Listen, Inc., Steve Temme from US together with Danish representatives and people from GRAS share knowledge about do’s and don’ts.

Sound Hub Denmark has the software and recommended equipment in house to further assist you after this course.

Program Outline

8.30–9.00: Sign-in & welcome

9.00-12.00: Audio Measurement Basics: What to measure and why

  • Learn about different test configurations and the products you need for a test system (software, microphones, interfaces, chambers etc.)
  • Understand the basics of SoundCheck – one of the  world’s most popular audio test systems used on over 10,000 production lines worldwide
  • Learn how to build a simple test sequence for speakers and microphones in SoundCheck, and how to adapt this for different products
  • Common challenges and pitfalls with audio testing
  • Transitioning test from the R&D lab to the production line

12.30: Light lunch

13.15-16.00: Voice-Activated Device Testing, Automotive, smart speakers, hearables

  • Automotive infotainment systems, hearables, smart speakers and many other audio devices are now voice-activated. Such devices are complex to test as they have numerous wired and wireless connections and often contain signal processing, both on the record and the playback side. This means that their characteristics change according to ‘real world’ conditions of the environment that they are used in, such as automotive cabin and roaad noise, background noise, playback levels, and room acoustics. Furthermore, many aspects of the device may need to be tested, ranging from voice recognition to music playback, operation as a hands-free telephone, and even hearing assistance. Often measurements need to be made at different levels and different environmental conditions. In this session, we will discuss the test configurations, tools and techniques that enable accurate measurement of the audio performance of such devices under the many various real-world conditions in which they are used.

16.00-17.00: Hands on and drinks

Space is limited so please sign up on the event page on the Sound Hub Website.

Practical Testing of Voice Controlled Devices

Author: Steve Temme.  Reprinted from the Jan 2020 issue of AudioXpress.

This article discusses tools and techniques that are available to accurately measure the audio performance of voice-controlled and connected devices under the many various real-world conditions they may be used. It covers basic acoustic measurements such as frequency and distortion response, which have always been carried out on conventional wired systems, and the more complex real-world tests that apply specifically to voice-activated devices, along withthe techniques and standards that may be used.
Full Article

 

 

 

 

 

The Challenges of Testing Voice-Controlled Audio Systems

Smart devices that are voice-controlled such as smart speakers, hearables, and vehicle infotainment systems are notoriously complex to test. They have numerous connections from wired to wireless and contain much signal processing, both on the record and the playback side. This means that their characteristics change according to ‘real world’ conditions of the environment that they are used in, such as background noise, playback levels, and room acoustics. Furthermore, their multifunctional nature means that there are many aspects of the device that may need to be tested, ranging from voice recognition to music playback, operation as a hands-free telephone, and in the case of hearables, hearing assistance. Due to their complex non-linear use cases, these devices often need to be tested at different levels and different environmental conditions. This paper focuses on tools and techniques to accurately measure the audio performance of such devices under the many various real-world conditions in which they are used.

 

语音控制的智能设备(例如智能扬声器、听觉设备和车辆信息娱乐系统)非常难以测试。它们具有从有线到无线的多样连接方式,并且在接收端和重放端使用了诸多信号处理技术。这意味着它们的特性会随着使用环境的“现实世界”条件(例如背景噪声、播放级别和室内声学条件)的不同而变化。 此外,它们的多功能特性意味着可能需要测试该设备的许多方面,包括语音识别、音乐播放、作为免提电话或听觉设备或助听器使用时的性能。由于其复杂的非线性使用情况,这些设备通常需要在不同级别和不同环境条件下进行测试。本文重点介绍在各种实际条件下准确测量此类设备的音频性能的工具和技术。

Author: Steve Temme, Listen, Inc.
Presented at ISEAT 2019, Shenzhen, China.

Full Paper – English Version
Full Paper – Chinese Version

Testing Audio Performance of Hearables

Smart headphones or “hearables” are designed not only to playback music but to enhance communications in the
presence of background noise and in some cases, even compensate for hearing loss. They may also provide voice
recognition, medical monitoring, fitness tracking, real-time translation and even augmented reality (AR). They
contain complex signal processing and their characteristics change according to their smartphone application and
‘real world’ conditions of their actual environment, including background noises and playback levels. This paper
focuses on how to measure their audio performance under the many various real-world conditions they are used
in.

Authors: Steve Temme, Listen, Inc.
Presented at AES Headphone Conference 2019, San Francisco, CA.

Full Paper
Poster Presentation

Triggered Record Using Chirp Trigger and WAV File (Version 17 and later)

This test sequence demonstrates SoundCheck’s Triggered Record – Chirp Trigger function for open loop testing of devices without analog inputs such as smart speakers, wearables, smart home devices, tablets and cellphones.  A stimulus WAV file is created in SoundCheck and transferred to the device under test, where it is played back and the response recorded in SoundCheck as if the stimulus were played directly from SoundCheck. The Acquisition step is triggered by the chirp in the stimulus file. Chirp triggers are more robust than level and frequency triggers which are susceptible to false triggering due to background noise.

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AISE, Orlando, FL, Jun 9-10, 2019

This years AISE (ALMA International Symposium & Expo) will be held on June 9-10 in Orlando, FL. Listen will be showcasing its suite of audio measurement equipment for measuring smart speakers, wearables, smart home audio, hearables and automotive audio, as well as conventional transducers such as loudspeakers, headphones and microphones.

In addition to exhibiting, Steve Temme will present a half-day seminar on smart speaker testing. This informative and educational seminar will discuss the challenges of testing smart devices such as smart speakers, smart home devices, wearables and more, and demonstrate various methods of testing such devices. Steve Temme will also present a paper on testing smart hearable devices, and Les Quindipan will demonstrate automotive audio testing using the Mentor A2B interface with SoundCheck.

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