Soundcard-Based Production Line Loudspeaker Test

Author: Steve Temme
Reprinted from the July 2004 issue of Voice Coil
Steve Temme discusses high-end loudspeaker manufacturer, Peerless’s choice of SoundCheck® as their standard for testing their loudspeakers.

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Article Introduction

Soundcard-Based Production Line Loudspeaker Test
By Steve Temme, Listen Inc.

Quality and reliability are critical factors for success in the audio industry. In today’s global manufacturing environment, product testing is more important than ever, and products built in low-cost countries must be tested to the same standards as those manufactured in the US and Western Europe.

Peerless, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-end audio speakers, produces over half a million loudspeakers a year. Peerless belongs to the Danish Sound Technology group (DST), together with Vifa and Scan-Speak. Their headquarters in Karlslunde, Denmark, still produce a majority of the speakers, and the DST manufacturing facilities in China produce a growing number of speakers.

Every single speaker that Peerless manufactures is tested for acoustic quality using SoundCheck®, a soundcard-based electroacoustic test and measurement system. This offers significant advantages over conventional hardware-based systems including fast and simple production line use, low capital expenditure and easy analysis and sharing of test specifications and results (Photo 1).

Peerless has manufactured loudspeakers in Denmark since 1926, and in 1995 the former Vifa-Speak (now DST) established an additional manufacturing facility in Panyu, China. In 2002, Peerless established a second facility in Xiaolan, China. These modern facilities offer cost-effective, high quality manufacturing to supplement the output of the Danish factory.

Peerless conducts 100% quality testing of its products, and tests to exactly the same standards regardless of where the product is manufactured. In the Xiaolan facility, SoundCheck is also used for R&D work where a dedicated SoundCheck system measures frequency response and Thiele/Small parameters in a large 2pi room. With production lines several thousand miles apart, using the same test setup and equipment simplifies quality control (Photo 2). As Carsten Tinggard, the engineer responsible for the test systems, explains, “Our reputation is built on quality and reliability. Therefore, every loudspeaker that Peerless manufactures, either here in Karlslunde, or in China, is 100% tested as it comes off the production line using SoundCheck electroacoustic test software.”

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