Audio

As the world of communication and entertainment evolves at a relentless pace, speech intelligibility and sound quality are crucial factors in meeting today’s consumer expectations for any device reproducing music or transmitting speech.

Manufacturers of electroacoustic equipment are under continuous pressure to deliver high‐quality acoustic performance by continuously innovating and optimizing their products and processes – from design, development, manufacture and beyond.

Unprecedented realism

Our HATS provides unprecedented audio realism through physical reproduction of human ear features, reducing product development times and improved audio quality to consumers.

 

Protecting our customers’ brand value

Accurate and repeatable measurements throughout the product life cycle ensuring that quality products are delivered to the customer.

Delivering peace of mind

Customers expect and receive assured quality and reliability in the products we deliver.

Your Partner Through the Entire Product Life Cycle  

New electroacoustic devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and speakers keep pushing the boundaries of design, with manufacturers trying to squeeze in ever-more impressive capabilities while fulfilling international telephone standards for voice capture and reproduction. With HBK speech and hearing simulation solutions, manufacturers can accurately evaluate their products to provide advanced acoustic and electronic signal processing combined with superior design.

Protecting brand value increasingly requires living up to the quality expectations of customers, and manufacturers are constantly enhancing production tests to ensure and maintain the quality achieved in design and development. Applying HBK knowledge and systems to production testing gives a competitive advantage to products, ensuring products live up to consumer expectations and international regulations and standards. 

With the products in the hands of consumers, now is the time for manufacturers to learn from the mistakes made in the introduction and growth stages. Data collected from products returned for service or repair can be gathered and used not only for immediate fixes but also for extended product life and future development. Using HBK's acoustic test products allows rapid evaluation of returned products, improving customers’ understanding of in-service issues.

Key Areas of Application

Advances in high-speed technology has changed the way we communicate, with the mobile phone – with an estimated installed base of 6.3 billion – largely responsible for this evolution. Constant connectivity – often to several devices simultaneously – is affecting our daily lives and the way we socialize. We demand high-quality audio in every situation – from chatting on the phone on a busy street to taking business calls in a car. And to stay ahead of the game, manufacturers must deliver the quality of sound as promised by the brand.

An estimated 1.5 billion people suffering some form of hearing loss globally, an ageing population and a growing and substantial incidence of hearing loss among young people (most likely as a result of excessive noise exposure) are all fuelling the market for audiology devices. The challenges facing today’s manufacturers not only relate to sound quality and background noise rejection, but increasingly to personalisation and design for specific inner and outer ear conditions.

Bone conduction

Bone conduction technology bypasses the outer and middle ear to deliver sound to the cochlea. Learn more about our solution for the measurement of bone conduction devices used in audiology and communication.

Audio performance has become increasingly important to our everyday lives, both in entertainment but also, crucially in communication, where real-time global meetings between multiple people are held in often challenging environments with high background noise levels. Addressing these issues requires complex designs and accurate measurements to ensure customer satisfaction with the audio quality.

Our Customer Stories

Industry Insights

A new approach to the evaluation of BSR artifacts in audio reproduction

There are many, well-established approaches to measuring and evaluating distortion that impact audio quality in products.

 

THD and rub & buzz metrics are used for evaluating harmonic distortion and the PEAQ algorithm is effective in evaluating total distortion when accurate and aligned reference signals are available. But the harmonic metrics cannot evaluate many artifacts that are characterized as buzz, squeaks, or rattles (BSR) when not coherent with the source, and the PEAQ algorithm is optimized for detecting small impairments from various general audio issues and depends on accurate time-alignment of the reference and output signals.

 

An alternative approach, using a difference model of time-varying loudness, is proposed.

Why do we like the sound of analogue recordings when measurements look bad?

Simple frequency response measurements were made on a range of sound reproduction systems including:

 

1. Compact disc

2. Streaming audio (MP3)

3. A vinyl record player

 

The measurements were then compared to a simple 'blind listening test' involving a small group of listeners. Based on frequency response alone, it is clear that the measurements do not correlate to listener preference.

 

To deliver quality sound, it is essential to analyze the sound produced by your device during the development phase, as well as ensuring the audio quality is maintained during manufacturing.

Testing piezoelectric MEMS micro speakers

Advancements in MEMS fabrication processes have resulted in a new micro- speaker using piezoelectric materials to actuate an acoustic structure. The radiating surface or membrane has many desirable attributes including, stiffness/rigidity, lightweight, high break-up, fast transient response, low thermal expansion, and moisture/humidity resistance. Packaged in a familiar semiconductor housing, these piezoelectric MEMS micro-speakers are SMT reflowable on flex/PCB or can be soldered with leads. Full Hi-Resolution/HD audio with 20 Hz to 20 kHz bandwidth is achieved in an occluded earbud design.

 

This presentation details the challenges of making audio measurements with piezoelectric MEMS micro-speakers using HBK's Type 3670 audio interface with Type 4157 coupler and Type 4620 ear simulators.

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