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The Importance of Audio Analyzers in the Audio Equipment Industry

It is expected that the value of the global home audio equipment market will reach just shy of $50 billion by 2026. This market covers various devices including smart speakers which already account for over 40% of the total market. The global earphone and headphone market was already worth $25 billion pre-pandemic and is now expected to grow at a very healthy CAGR of 20.3% up to 2027.

The demand for electronic audio equipment continues to grow but competition is also fierce. Consumers expect higher quality products from manufacturers, and this means rigorous testing.

Product testing costs money, but it is also what allows manufacturers such as Sennheiser, and Ultrasone, to charge the prices they do for their high-end products. This testing is made possible by audio analyzers. But, what is an audio analyzer, and what do they do?

What is an audio analyzer?

These pieces of equipment are sometimes referred to as spectrum analyzers. An audio analyzer is a device used to measure sound performance in audio equipment.

They can be used to test a wide variety of instruments, gadgets, and devices for sound quality. A number of metrics are employed to judge harmonic distortion, noise, and more.

An audio analyzer can review the performance of another device by sending a test signal. This signal is then emitted by the device being tested. Now, the output signal can be assessed against the original from the audio analyzer.

Typically several metrics will be looked at under testing:

  • Total harmonic distortion
  • Noise
  • Gain
  • Phase
  • Signal-to-noise ratio

Crosstalk is a key parameter in audio performance testing. This is where unwanted signals can cross over from over circuits. It can affect phones and radios, and also computers.

What do audio analyzers test?

They are used on electronic-audio and electro-acoustical devices. The latter includes devices such as microphones or speakers. The term refers to any audio signal that starts as acoustic but is turned into an electrical form. For example, this could be a vocal sung into a microphone and emitted through a loudspeaker.

The purpose of audio analyzers is to make sure audio equipment produces high-quality sound. While manufacturers of cheap $1 disposable earphones may not put too much work into testing sound quality, the big brand names certainly do.

They are used to test the following, and more:

  • Mobile devices including smartphones
  • CD players
  • Speakers
  • Amplifiers
  • Microphones
  • Car stereos
  • Radios

Audio analyzers also play a part in the medical world. A patient with loss of hearing will sometimes need an evaluation or audiological test to establish treatment. Sometimes rehabilitation can help recover loss as can surgery. Aids are commonly used to help patients suffering from hearing loss.

These hearing aids are also tested with audio analyzers to make sure the sound quality is high, and that they can perform in different environments. Hearing aids need to carry an accurate signal to the user, and analyzers can help to test these products comprehensively.

Why are audio analyzers important to the audio electrical industry?

In 2014, Apple acquired Beats from Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine for a whopping $3 billion. This was one of the first signs of how seriously tech companies were taking audio equipment.

Beats had been selling earphones and headphones for hundreds of dollars a pair for several years by this point. This helped prove to Apple that there was a market for higher-end headphones for the average consumer.

What was interesting about these particular headphones is that the sound quality wasn’t that great or that accurate. Clearly, the name helped carry the product to a degree.

Now though, consumers are more demanding. People are willing to part with good money for audio equipment, but they expect a certain degree of quality, especially audiophiles.

The audio equipment industry understands the need for producing equipment that has high-quality sound performance.

What areas do audio analyzers help within the industry?

The audio equipment industry is growing, and the global wireless home speaker market alone is expected to boom over the next six years. To compete, manufacturers will need to produce quality products.

With ecommerce growing and the availability of the internet, consumers have more choices than ever and aren’t limited to a few vendors. Manufacturers can use audio analyzers in the following ways to help them produce the best devices and equipment.

Product testing

The main purpose of an audio analyzer is to test a range of products. These can be speakers, smartphones, tablets, or radios among others.

The sound quality of a device is compared against signals emitted from the analyzer. There are standard signals for different devices to gauge against. The DUT or device under test will also be checked to see if it suffers from crosstalk or any other interference.

Product testing is essential to check that any given device works as it should and reaches performance goals before it hits the shelves. Poor performance will lead to poor reviews, and in turn, poor sales.

Product development

Testing products shows where flaws are and where improvements can be made. The results from testing can be analyzed to see how a product’s sound can be bettered, and how to iron out any problems.

To ensure quality standards are met

Quality assurance is vital, especially for any brand name. Today, brand awareness is a crucial part of marketing, and many businesses can sell a product purely on their name and logo alone. However, when quality drops so do sales and reputation.

Not only do products need to meet manufacturer’s standards, but they may have to meet local and international requirements also.

The US has some regulations for headphones at the state and federal levels. Underwriter Laboratories established a set of standards covering various aspects of headphones including a mark for HD quality. FCC also concerns itself with ensuring wireless earphones don’t suffer from interference from other devices.

Testing can help manufacturers reach approval from UL and FCC which can help to show consumers that their product is of high quality, and matches or betters the set regulations.

Who else uses audio analyzers?

After seeing the revenue involved in the audio market, it is easy to understand why manufacturers and their R&D departments would use audio analyzers for testing. But, they aren’t the only people these devices are important too.

Sound engineers frequently employ the use of audio or spectrum analyzers. They use these devices to assess their work. They can check different channels and can help when mixing tracks. They help to identify issues such as peaks or problems with acoustics.

Audio analyzers don’t necessarily come cheap though. It could cost $10,000 to pick up a good analyzer, but now there are mobile apps for use at home. These can help consumers when setting up home audio and visual equipment.


One of the big online shopping and ecommerce trends is in the electronics and audio equipment area. Manufacturers who would previously sell their products only in retail units are finding more customers online. They can reach out to a bigger market than before, but consumers are also more discerning today.

With the internet, there is the ability to check easily for technical specs and reviews. To keep on top, brand names need to test their products to make sure they achieve the performance that consumers expect. For audio equipment, this means using these analyzers to maintain quality assurance.