We have a new automotive test sequence to measure Transient Distortion (also known as buzz, squeak, and rattle, Rub & Buzz, or impulsive distortion), Frequency Response, and Max SPL to the suggested measurement methods set out in the AES Technical Committee on Automotive Audio’s recently published white paper on in-car acoustic measurements. The three measurements are incorporated into one overall test sequence, making it fast and simple to run the entire suite of tests. This sequence facilitates evaluation of the committee’s proposals, and also serves as a basis for any similar in-house measurements. The white paper, which may be obtained from the TC-AA, outlines both measurement methods and physical configuration such as microphone and seat positioning in an effort to simplify comparison between vehicles.
The new AES75-2022 standard for Measuring Loudspeaker Maximum Linear Sound Levels Using Noise is a complex test process which uses the M-Noise test signal developed by Meyer Sound to measure the maximum linear sound levels of a loudspeaker system or driver. This test signal was specifically developed to emulate the dynamic characteristics of music.
Implementing the standard manually relies on an operator’s subjective judgment of real time spectrum analyzer data, and is labor intensive since it requires multiple iterations of a measurement. Our free SoundCheck test sequence fully automates the entire measurement, using calculated results to drive subsequent steps in the procedure. This removes subjectivity, increasing reliability, and saving time. This short video introduces the test sequence with a short demonstration.
Try it Yourself
Would you like to try this yourself? If you already have SoundCheck, you can download the AES75 (M-Noise) test sequence. Please note that you will need the waveform filter (part # 2032) and transfer function (part # 2021) modules installed on your SoundCheck system. You can download the AES75 Standard from the Audio Engineering Society website.
Make Max SPL Measurements to the AES 75 Standard using M-Noise
Our pre-written test sequence automates measurement to the new AES 75 standard for Maximum SPL, removing subjectivity, increasing reliability, and saving time.
This standard details a method for measuring maximum linear sound levels of a loudspeaker system or driver using M-Noise, a test signal specifically developed to emulate the dynamic characteristics of music. Clearly defined limits for linear frequency response and coherence determine the Max SPL level and remove any measurement ambiguity.
Implementing the standard manually relies on an operator’s subjective judgment of real time spectrum analyzer data. It also requires multiple iterations of a measurement, therefore is labor intensive.
Our test sequence is fully automated. We use the same test signal and calculations outlined in the standard, but automated analysis steps objectively calculate the measurements and drive the next steps in the procedure.
Let’s take a look.
Here, you can see we are using the freely available M-Noise test signal introduced by Meyer Sound. This stimulus features a relatively constant peak level as a function of frequency, but a diminishing RMS level with increasing frequency.
First, we use a test signal approximately 20dB below our expected Max SPL to obtain a provisional linear frequency response, linearity, coherence and signal to noise ratio. We then increase the test level by 3dB, and compare the results to the initial value. The results must be within +/- 1dB, have a coherence of at least 97% and a signal to noise ratio 15dB or higher so that we know we are operating in the speaker’s linear region and our signal to noise ratio is sufficient for accurate measurements.
Next we automatically increase the test level by 3dB and compare it to the initial results, normalized to the current test level. Multiple measurement iterations take place until one of the ‘stop’ conditions is reached. These conditions are either:
- the live measurement differs from the linear frequency response by at least 2 dB over at least two octaves
- the live measurement differs from the linear frequency response by at least 3 dB anywhere, or
- the Coherence Reduction Target is met – this means the signal to noise ratio is 10dB or less and/or the coherence is 91% or less.
When one of these limits is reached, the sequence then reduces the test level to the last level that passed and repeats the measurements in 1dB increments to find the precise Level at which the response deviates from the base level.
Once this level is established, the device enters a burn-in process, where the M Noise stimulus is played through the DUT for five minutes and fifty-three seconds and again compared to the initial result. This long duration measurement is also used to generate peak, rms and A weighted RMS sound levels. If the response curve remains consistent, this curve is the Max SPL curve according to the standard. If it is not within the acceptable limits, the device is cooled down and the tests repeated with a longer stimulus duration.
All the operator needs to do is enter any stimulus limits based on the operating range of the DUT into the sequence before starting, then return when the test is complete.
As well as saving time, SoundCheck mathematically calculates the data in analysis steps within the sequence, which avoids the subjectivity of relying on operator interpretation of real-time spectrum analyzer outputs. This increases repeatability and confidence in the results. This sequence is available free of charge on our website. Check it out!
This sequence is an example of the many types of tests that can be performed quickly and simultaneously on a loudspeaker production line. A stepped sine sweep (StweepTM) from 20 kHz to 50 Hz is played through the speaker under test and 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 outputs Frequency Response, THD, Normalized Rub & Buzz, Perceptual Rub & Buzz (ePRB), Loose Particle Prominence and Threshold (eLP) and Polarity. A Post-Processing step calculates the Average Sensitivity from 100 – 10kHz. A second Analysis step analyzes the recorded waveform from the impedance reference and outputs a curve of impedance versus frequency. A Post Processing step performs a curve fit of the impedance curve and calculates the max impedance (Zmax), precise resonance frequency (f0), and the quality factor (Q) of the resonance peak. All measurements and parameters are tested against limits in Limit steps. All these limits can be adjusted to suit your own DUT.
The RT60 room acoustics sequence measures reverberation time and clarity of a room using multiple microphones to accurately characterize measurement environments. This is important for smart device testing as measurements of both speech recognition and audio output often need to be made in fully characterized rooms with known reverberation times and clarity. The method used in this sequence is fast, accurate, and made using fully calibrated signal paths. This sequence uses an omnidirectional speaker to play a Log Sweep from 250Hz – 15kHz and four microphones measure the impulse responses generated. These waveforms are analyzed using the Time Selective Response and room acoustics algorithms to calculate reverberation time (T20, T39, T60) and clarity (C7, C50 and C80) according to ISO 3382-1:2009.
This Background Noise Simulation sequence follows the ETSI ES 202 396-1 standard. It will automatically calibrate a standardized 4.1 speaker / subwoofer setup in accordance to the ETSI ES 202 396-1 standard “Loudspeaker Setup for Background Noise Simulation” and provide an equalized, calibrated playback solution to stress your device in a standardized and repeatable way.
Included with the sequence is 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 to create background noise tests directly applicable to your product. This sequence has many applications including evaluating ANC on headphones, noise suppression on communication devices, voice recognition testing of smart speakers / IoT, SNR optimization of microphones on telepresence devices and beamforming directionality studies of microphone arrays.