LAST UPDATED: January 11th, 2021
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Electrical devices are sensitive. Building one from scratch is even more tedious. Small errors here and there can mess up the entire system. Hence one needs to be extra careful while designing the circuits.
However, how do you ensure that the system is flawless? How can you read the digital signals to make sure that end-to-end encryption is working? Well, you need the best oscilloscope for audio.
You can get visual-only oscilloscopes as well, but having an extra set of senses can only enhance your deducing abilities. So, if you are interested in an oscilloscope for audio, then keep on reading.
Best Audio Oscilloscope Comparison in 2021
Last update on 2021-01-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Oscilloscope for Audio Review
Since you have found this article, we will assume that you are confused about which oscilloscope to grab. We do not blame you for the confusion as the market has hundreds of models. However, we do have a comprehensive list that will help you in choosing an oscilloscope for audio.
Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscopes
Shopping for an oscilloscope can be intimidating; we understand that. These machines can have tons of features and eventually be super expensive. They can be sophisticated and be out of a beginner’s grasp as well.
So, if you are looking for an oscilloscope that has the perfect combination of useful features and the right price, then Rigol has just the product for you. The DS1054Z is a handy gadget that has all the features a beginner may want.
At the same time, even a professional will be very satisfied with this model. As it has various connectivity options and a big display for analyzing, it is a practical device. The model features USB, ethernet, and several triggers for secure connectivity.
Installing external software for improving the output of the model is also possible. The storage capacity of the Rigol DS1054Z is also impressive. Hence you can back-up some data in case you need it in the future.
You can do so much with an audio oscilloscope. Making a fantastic animated motion picture that moves along with music is also possible with such devices. And having a storage capacity helps a lot in that process.
Moreover, you get a well-lit monitor for analyzing the smallest spikes in the electron movement. So, you can catch errors with ease. You can also switch to a signal intensity setting if you are more comfortable with analog waves.
The machine is portable too. It weighs less and does not take much space. So, you can work in a relatively less cluttered workspace.
Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL
Reading signals is not easy, primarily as it occurs in multiple forms. It is almost impossible to separate and identify one signal. However, with oscilloscopes, you can do that. More importantly, the Siglent SDS1052DL is among the top audio oscilloscope for a reason.
It has advanced triggers besides beginner-friendly triggers that can isolate specific signals. Thus you can troubleshoot each wave if the disturbance is not readily visible. The 32 Kpts real-time recording length also ensures that you get a crisp image of the wave.
A great feature of this model is the built-in frequency counter, math, cursor, and automatic measurements. Hence you can keep your cursor in a specific place to pinpoint the abnormality. This feature saves time and increases accuracy.
The smooth and intuitive functions of the oscilloscope make it an ideal choice for beginners. All the essential keys are on display, and you can get used to it in no time. Moreover, the 50 MHz digital storage makes room for longer work hours.
You can keep this machine anywhere you want as it is portable. It is 6.2 inches in height, and the plastic casing provides for less weight. It also eliminates the chances of rust formation.
However, you need to maintain the product if you want durability. Scanning the wavelength in hard copy is also possible as you can download the images in .bmp format.
To do that, you can use USB, Ethernet, and LAN for connecting to other devices. Overall, it is an excellent purchase for the price, and professionals can also use it comfortably.
Related Guide: Rigol DS1052E vs Rigol DS1054Z
Hantek DSO5072P Digital Oscilloscope
A large display is crucial when it comes to oscilloscopes. You purchase such a product to view the waves and identify errors with ease. If the screen is crappy and you cannot do that, then what is the point of such a device?
So, to ensure you never run into such an unfortunate situation, Hantek manufactures one of the best audio oscilloscopes. It comes with a magnificent seven-inch display that can capture the wavelength graciously.
It even has a color display that can sort different signals into individual colors. So, you can identify each object in one glance. We can assure you that such a feature is rare to find. Besides amazing display features, it has a recording length of 40k.
In other words, it has a large memory capacity. This factor means you can work for long hours before the oscilloscope needs refreshing. The 70 MHz bandwidth allows various sizes of waves that you can process using the device.
So, it is a versatile product that beginners, as well as professionals, can use. All the function keys are available at the right-hand side of the monitor. You even get a user-manual to get started.
We also recommend that you read through the manual if you are a beginner. Doing so will help you use the product more efficiently. As for professionals, you will get four separate math functions, such as FFTs standard and multiple triggers.
The USB also ensures that you can connect with ease. Carrying and storing the model is super easy as well. You even get a small collapsable handle at the top of the machine.
Siglent Technologies SDS1102CML
Like the other product from Siglent that made our list from Siglent, the SDS1102CML is also worth mentioning. If you were not satisfied with the output of the previous product and wanted something more, then you hit the jackpot.
The SDS1102CML has all the intriguing features of a Siglent Technology oscilloscope, but it can pack more punch. For any oscilloscope, the standard wavelength width is typically 50 MHz. However, this model offers 100 MHz.
As a result, you can use this device for many purposes starting from circuit function test to training and educational purposes. The broad wavelength, along with the real-time sampling feature, allows for easy demonstration.
So, students can understand the concept when they see it in real life. Moreover, professionals can also debug inconspicuous errors thanks to the sensitive sensors. The seven-inch display certainly helps in that purpose as well.
Also, the color TFT-LCD display makes sure that every incident is on record. You can use the 2 Mpts memory depth to your advantage as well. While offering more features, this model still keeps its compact shape.
Its size makes it ideal for smaller workspaces. Most importantly, it has accessible functions for every setting. The five parameter display and zooming options also help in identifying every curve of a wave.
Among rare features, this model has 12 embedded languages. So passing commands will be as smooth as butter. Besides, it also has instant controls for printing and storing as well. It also has 32 different auto measurements and math functions.
Analog Discovery 2: 100MS/s USB Oscilloscope
There are several coding software that you have to use for designing sophisticated systems. Hence your oscilloscopes should also be compatible with such coding languages. Sometimes you even need analog wave options to precisely gauge the inaccuracies.
Luckily the oscilloscope by Diligent is compatible with software like Python, C++, and API. Thus you can directly feed instructions from your computer to the analyzer — no need to put up with the hassle of completing the coding fully.
Moreover, the Analog Discovery does what the name suggests. It can quickly turn the codings into an analog wave. Hence you can see the continuity and the smallest nuances. The oscilloscope does the conversion smoothly and does not corrupt the signal.
This model also has a well-lit display like any other oscilloscope. It can even accommodate the signal that the 2-channel arbitrary waveform generates. Besides that, it also has a 2-channel spectrum analyzer as well.
The feature enables noise floor, SNR, THD, and much more. It is an excellent device for engineers, but its compactness makes it ideal for cars as well. And it is the best handheld oscilloscope car audio as it only weighs 5.6 ounces.
It has a small box-like shape and can fit anywhere in your car. Thus maintaining and storing the product also becomes manageable. The device is extremely user-friendly as well.
Moreover, the 16-channel digital logic analyzer and pattern generator remove the need for any guesswork. You can export data and plot points at will, and even analyze protocols. In short, it makes data analyzing a piece of cake.
Tektronix TBS1052B-EDU 50 MHz
To have the opportunity to debug the coding while you are making it can create a world of a difference. It can save your time, effort, and also help you learn your mistakes in real-time. As a result, you can train yourself not to make the same mistake again.
You can rarely find the option to form waves in real-time with most oscilloscopes. However, with the TBS1052B by Tektronix, you can do that and much more! The sophisticated in-built processing unit lets you sample each signal as you are coding.
Hence you get the result immediately in the luxurious seven-inch wide display. Moreover, the dual-display system makes the analyzing process much faster and efficient. You can observe both the frequency and time domains on the same screen.
For all these benefits, this model is an excellent choice for educational purposes as well. The color display, along with useful features, will allow the students to experiment and observe nuances more easily. It also has a multiple-language user interface and 34 automated measurements.
More importantly, the oscilloscope comes with clear guides and manuals in case the teachers need to know how to use an oscilloscope for audio. So, the product becomes instantly user-friendly. Besides, the manuals, this model has several other handy features.
It has a zooming button that can pinpoint the exact location where the frequencies are acting up, or a two-channel frequency counter to debug the issue. The auto-set and auto-ranging functions also help in analyzing. Moreover, with a cutting edge USB porting, connecting the devices will never be a problem.
Hantek DSO4102C 2 Channel 100MHz Digital Oscilloscope
The whole point of purchasing an audio oscilloscope is to be able to analyze sound as well as the visuals. Although lots of brands claim to be an audio oscilloscope, they rarely can deliver.
However, the Hantek DS04102C can surely satisfy you in that field. This device has 20 different audio measurement points. So, the machine will be able to detect the smallest sounds and transfer them into visuals.
It will need several samples to do that, of course. But the high memory capacity will assist in this regard. Moreover, the sampling rate is 25 MHz, which means it can also support arbitrary wave formation.
Along with that, the peak detection system enables you to capture high frequency and random glitches.
Moreover, the exterior design is also extremely sophisticated and durable, and the different trigger systems of this machine truly make it worth the purchase.
You will get fundamental triggers as well as slope, edge, pulse, and video types. So, even if the data is complicated, the graph will appear as a simple form on the two axes.
And how can we forget the 12-bit high-resolution display? It also has a 7-inch 64K LCD color display. So, Hantek thought of everything while designing this model. Thus you can see all the graphs in crystal clear form using this machine.
What to Look for in an Oscilloscope for Audio
Now you have some oscilloscope recommendation for audio use. However, to fully conclude which product you should buy, you need to know why each factor is required. So, to help you understand that, we have gathered all the features that you need in your oscilloscope.
Size of the Device
Gone are the days of giant oscilloscopes with bulky exteriors and hazy displays. Everything about a digital oscilloscope is compact and portable. Hence the screen is small and has a high resolution.
Even the buttons have their designated place to save space and ultimately reduce the size of the product. The outer exterior also has high-quality plastic instead of metal or steel.
Thus, it deteriorates slowly and also becomes weightless. Moreover, these are the best oscilloscope for car audio as they are portable.
Analog or Digital Oscilloscope
The variation in the waveform will determine whether any of the above models will come in handy for you. Because if you are working with analog signals the most, you should choose an oscilloscope that can read and convert into the analog wave.
However, some products can interchange between the two forms. So, if you test both kinds of signals, then certainly choose a dual-mode oscilloscope. But you should be aware that dual functionality will cost you a bit more.
The ways by which you can connect the oscilloscope to your source matters a lot. Because if you cannot feed the analyzer in the first place, then how can it form waves from the samples and audio?
Commonly USB cables are accessible by digital oscilloscopes. So, the USB will have two ends, and it should be compatible with your computer or radio. However, Ethernet or LAN connectivity options are gradually becoming more common among these devices as well.
One of the essential factors of an oscilloscope is its bandwidth. Usually, all kinds of digital oscilloscopes will have 20 MHz at the very least. However, for an audio oscilloscope requires much bigger bandwidth.
Because a more significant bandwidth means more frequency can pass through the amplifiers at once and form a sharp image. It also means the processing will be much faster, and you will get outputs in a jiffy.
So, if you are dealing with a large cluster of data, it will be wise to choose a device that has a bigger bandwidth. Otherwise, it will take ages and not be 100% accurate at all times.
The rate is the number of samples your oscilloscope will need to form an accurate wave. However, this rate is directly proportional to the memory capacity of the device.
If, for example, the machine needs four samples, but the memory is too weak, then the wave will not be accurate. Hence before purchasing, you should know how detailed your waves are and how much capacity you will require.
Oscilloscopes also have different sampling modes. It also depends on the number of signals. So, based on your line of work, choose the mode. Some models even offer both modes in the same device.
A crucial factor that you must not overlook is the display. If you have to deal with sensitive data and cannot afford any mistake, your screen should have the best resolution.
You can have an intricate system and accurate reading, but if the display is faulty, then the ultimate result will not be precise. So, look for an LCD or display with multiple triggers.
Some brands, even over the color display, which makes the data reading extremely easy. Your screen should also be able to connect audio to the oscilloscope. Otherwise, it will only take in half the data leading to a misguided result.
Oscilloscopes are a technical device and specific to scientific work. However, that does not mean only well-versed engineers and technicians should be able to read an oscilloscope.
So, if you are a beginner, you should certainly look for a product that is versatile and is suitable for beginners as well as professionals. After some use, you will get a grasp of the machine. You do not want to purchase another oscilloscope when that happens.
There are many products which fall in the middle and has the right number of functions and mode. However, if you do not mind spending some extra bucks, you can choose a simple oscilloscope to begin reading. Having a user or manual guide also helps.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most commonly asked queries regarding the best oscilloscopes for audio:
Can I increase the memory capacity?
Yes, some brands have software that can upgrade the memory capacity
Do these devices only provide digital waves?
No, you can also interchange between analog waves.
Can I change the resolution of the formed image?
You cannot change the fixed display resolution. However, you can choose up to a specific resolution for printing.
Can these devices display on horizontal and vertical axes?
Yes, these devices have X and Y axes.
What is the best bandwidth for oscilloscopes?
It depends on your need, but a standard oscilloscope has 50 MHz bandwidth.
You can go for tedious products such as voltmeters to analyze and test circuits. But with the best oscilloscope for audio, you can get better output with less time and more accuracy. And the best part is that you do not have to compromise on your budget either!
So, why wait when you can put all your research to work and get the perfect oscilloscope for your needs.