LAST UPDATED: January 12th, 2021
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Any electronic device that is in front of you seems like a seemingly simple machine. However, tons of hours of coding, designing, forming and calculating went before manufacturing all these machines.
Certainly, nobody hit the jackpot on the first try and had to troubleshoot and debug numerous errors. How do you think engineers and technicians do that? Well, previously, voltmeters, multimeters, and several other tools where prevalent. However, oscilloscopes are all the rage now.
In fact, digital oscilloscopes can do the work of several debugging tools and much more. They have well-built screens, sensors, and detectors that can make your life so much easier.
So, if this new tool has caught your interest, then let’s jump right into this digital oscilloscope review.
Best Digital Oscilloscopes Comparison in 2021
Last update on 2021-01-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Digital Oscilloscopes Review
Although this kind of device is relatively new, there are still different models in the market. However, our personal opinion is that digital oscilloscopes are the best in this game. So, we are eager to present to you some of the top digital oscilloscopes from the market.
Rigol DS1054Z Digital Oscilloscopes
Any person who works with oscilloscopes knows how helpful probes can be. However, most brands fail to include a helping tool. This element causes slower processing, which ultimately costs you time and effort.
However, Rigol makes sure you do not have to face such issues. Hence they not only give 1 but 2 different probes. Both the tools are double passive modes, so, it packs more power.
Moreover, the DS1054Z has 50 MHz bandwidth with multiple channels. The four different channels enable a speedy transmission of data. As a result, real-time sampling becomes easy. It also means that this device follows the RTS system.
Since the model has 12 Mpt memory capacity, it can hold the data for a more extended time and display for longer as well.
Moreover, you can buy software and upgrade the memory to 24 Mpt whenever you want. So, dealing with more massive data sets becomes manageable, and with that, it can capture up to 30,000 waveforms.
The display is also large and spacious with ultra-vision technology. So, whatever appears on the screen will be clear as water. With this feature, you can reduce the chances of misreading completely.
It is a powerful machine, but you can carry it with ease since it is so lightweight. The durable plastic body allows the tool to be portable. However, you do not have to worry about it breaking.
Suggested Topic: Automotive Oscilloscopes Review
Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E 200 MHz Digital Oscilloscope
When the input capacity of any electrical device is higher, it naturally means that the machine can complete the work faster. So, if you wanted an oscilloscope that had more than the traditional bandwidth, SDS1202X by Siglent is your product.
It is among the good digital oscilloscopes, as it has a whopping 200 MHz bandwidth. That means the frequency count per second will now be higher. Thus the machine can sample much quicker and deliver satisfactory results.
The recording length also extends up to 14Mpt, which means it has a higher memory capacity. So, it can assist the sampling process further by holding on to the data for longer. Thus the wave will get more screen time.
Consequently, you can take your time to analyze and observe. Besides, the screen is of excellent quality. It features a 256-level intensity grading display function, which will enable you to identify different traces in the form of colors.
Also, it has unique features such as the 1M point FFT math function and several sensitive triggers to guide you in the wave formation process. The dual-channel acts as the cherry on top during the whole process by creating two pathways.
You can use USB cables to connect the tool with your signal source. Since the device feeds in real-time, the wave should start forming as soon as you plugin.
Related Guide: Rigol DS1054Z vs Siglent SDS1202X-E
Siglent Technologies SDS1052DL
Oscilloscopes can help in super technical jobs or for simple repair and debugging work. However, their prices and function also vary on those criteria. However, if you wanted an oscilloscope for repairing but do not want to compromise on quality, then check out SDS1052DL by Siglent.
It has all the necessary features you would need for simple debugging and analyzing, plus some more unique features. So, if in the future you want to branch out and do more experiments, you can — no need to purchase another sophisticated oscilloscope.
The bandwidth on this model is 50 MHz, which is the standard setting for most digital oscilloscope. On top of that, this device can also sample at a rate of 500 MS/s via one channel. So, the ultimate output will not take long.
Moreover, it features two channels. So, while one channel samples, the other one can store the data. The memory on this device is 32 Kpts and can help in forming detailed waves. Due to the two channels, the sampling will also be much faster.
Although this model works for general debugging, it still has some unique features such as a moving cursor, zooming system, and built-in frequency counters. So, students can learn and observe with the help of this machine. It also has different math functions and multiple triggers.
Consequently, you can isolate individual signals and process them.
Rigol DS1102E 100MHz
This device can be a great learning instrument as it shows frequency, power-level, and even the discrepancies. However, purchasing an oscilloscope with such a steep price for educational purposes does not seem worth it.
But we have the DS1102E from Rigol, which can satisfy all your needs and be gentle on the wallet. One of the primary reasons why this model is excellent for classrooms is its smooth functionality.
It has a large panel of function keys and a manual guide as well. So, even if you have no idea about oscilloscopes, the guide can show you the process. Moreover, to pin-point and identity each wave, the model has three types of cursors.
These are an automated cursor, a manual, and a track cursor. The automated one moves along with time, while with the manual mode, you can jump from wave to wave. The tracking cursor helps in keeping track.
Also, this model has 20 types of wave parameters for automated measuring and an external trigger channel along with regular dual channels. Hence the data can flow through the 100 MHz bandwidth smoothly.
With multiple language interfaces and a built-in menu, sending commands to the machine also becomes a piece of cake. Also, it has several math operations and a replay-key to trace back. All in all, it is an excellent Rigol oscilloscope.
SainSmart DSO212 Pocket Size Portable Handheld
Just as oscilloscopes have multiple features and usage, they also come in different sizes. So, what if you wanted all the benefits of an oscilloscope but in a pocket form. That would make maintenance and storage so much easier.
Well, if that was one of your wildest wishes, then it has come true because SainSmart has the perfect oscilloscope for you. It is small, it is pocket-sized, and has all the features a regular oscilloscope can provide!
Moreover, the model also has a durable battery life and will not drain out quickly. We had to mention it specifically as most pocket-sized oscilloscopes tend to have weaker battery life. But you do not have to worry about this model as it has a 500 mAh battery.
Also, if you were worried about a smaller screen, do not be, as this model has a TFT LCD color screen. So, even though the screen is 2.8 inches, it can display crystal clear images. On the plus size, the color display can also accommodate more than one wave.
This small but powerful device has multiple trigger sensors and math functions as well. So, you can automatically measure the frequency count without having to do it manually.
Furthermore, ascend/descend and edge triggers are rare among mini oscilloscope. So, this model is genuinely versatile. You can conveniently connect the oscilloscope using USB cables. However, since this device is small, you will need a micro USB.
Being able to see the wave formation cuts half the work during debugging and processing. So, it would help a lot if your oscilloscope had better displays and color gradients.
Fortunately, the DS05072 by Hantek has one of the best screens. It has a TFT display, which means it has multiple color receptors. So, when there is more than one wave, the screen can differentiate.
Moreover, the seven-inch size makes for vibrant visuals. You can even use the cursor to move around and add or deduct frequencies. Thus when it comes to displays, this model can do no wrong.
Besides that, it also has high bandwidth and multiple channels to support the signal passing. The higher bandwidth allows a speedy process, and the dual-channel helps in real-time sampling. So, when one channel samples the wave, the other holds on to the data.
The 40K memory depth further facilitates this holding off process. As a result, the machine can sample at a rate of 1 GAs/s. Plus, you get tons of math functions to calculate data automatically.
It has other auto-measurement systems for frequency, period, minimum, maximum calculations as well. You can connect it to other sources with a USB with ease. So, this oscilloscope can do most of the work for you.
SainSmart Mini DSO213 Handheld Pocket-Sized
Digital oscilloscopes are amazing, and their pocket-sized versions are convenient. However, mini versions have lots of issues, and they are usually not worth the purchase.
But if you still need a mini oscilloscope, you should certainly check out the DSO213. It is by Sainsmart and one of the high-quality oscilloscopes. That is because it has almost all the features plus excellent battery life.
This model has a 1000 mAh battery. Hence it will not wear down after one or two use. Besides the longer battery life, it also has four channels. Two of them are, of course, digital channels. But you can even work with analog signals with this device.
So, the four channels can simultaneously work on sampling both kinds of signals. However, the display can only show either a digital wave or analog. But still, you can process both signals.
As for the display, it still features a 3-inch display even though the oscilloscope is a mini version. The screen resolution is 400 X 240, which is more than enough for clear visuals. So, you can tell that the device is compact, and it only weighs about 129 grams.
It has 8 MB USB flash disc memory, so as long as the device stays connected through a micro USB, it will run.
Tektronix TBS1052B Oscilloscope
Even though oscilloscopes have excellent features, sometimes, the engine can create unwanted noise. As a result, the audio oscilloscopes can misinterpret signals. Even regular oscilloscopes can face that problem.
So, if you want a tool that works quietly and maintains a noise-less floor, then purchase the TBS1052B by Tektronix. This device does not have any internal fans. Hence the origin of the noise is gone.
The result you will get is a noiseless machine. However, with overuse, this model can heat up quickly. But since it has dual channels, the processing does not take long. So, you can avoid overworking the machine, which can result in zero heat emission.
Moreover, the rate of sampling per channel is 2.5 Kpts, and the overall sampling rate is 2GS/s. So, the processing unit of this machine is fantastic. And the result shows on the luxurious 7-inch display.
It is not only wide but also has TFT display and color receptors. The resolution is 800 X 480 pixels, and you can even zoom! Thus it will be a party of waves on the screen.
As for other features, it has limit-testing features, FFT functions, several math modes, and trend-plot testing. Besides that, you get 34 automated measurements that extend to dual windows.
Siglent SDS1104X-E 100Mhz
Often oscilloscopes leave a lot of guesswork for the users. Of course, experts can read and understand what the display is showing, but for common people, it becomes a problem. Even some reputed brands have models that are difficult to understand.
So, if you want an oscilloscope that will do most of the work for you, choose the SDS1104X-E by Siglent. It is an excellent choice for beginners, and even professionals will get their money’s worth.
Since this model has a decoder, it will display some form of interpretation after the signal reading. So, besides forming waves through signal sampling, it will also decode the signal. Meaning you will understand where the problem is and what frequency will be best.
This model will be a treat for a professional as well as it has 100 MHz bandwidth and four different channels to accompany the width. Each channel only allows a series signal, and the sampling rate is 1 GSa/s.
Another incentive for the professionals will be WiFi connectivity. So, you can work instantaneously. The beginners do not have to worry as the device is also compatible with USB cables.
It also has 14 Mpt memory capacity that allows the decoding and processing to be more smooth. The LCD TFT display ties everything by providing sharp visuals and stable images.
An oscilloscope has a lot of factors that make it functional and worth the purchase; among them, having different modes and triggers is one of them. So, if you want to do the most with your oscilloscope and need more functions, then certainly go for a Hantek product.
The DSO5102P by the brand has tons of math functions and language measurements. Hence all you have to do is give commands, and the machine will do the calculations. Besides that, it also provides multiple triggers.
Among them, the most useful triggers are pulse, slope, and overtime. You can even work with video triggers and edge triggers. So, it is a superb device for technicians and engineers.
However, beginners can also have fun with this product as they will get an in-depth guide for all the functions. They will know about the bandwidth, sampling rate, and channels from the guide.
And the model does have a high bandwidth of 100 MHz with dual channels. The sampling rate will also be manageable by both beginners and professionals. To help these factors, the memory depth or recording length is 40K.
As a finishing touch, the 7-inch TFT display makes sure that all the graphs and waves stand out in the monitor. So, you can get clear visuals for deducing and analyzing.
What to Look for in a Best Digital Oscilloscopes
Now that you have a list of some of the digital oscilloscopes, it is time to know more about each feature. Knowing the reason and usage of these features will help you decide.
The higher the bandwidth, the better the output. So, if you have big projects and multiple signals, then choose a product that has at least 50 to 100 MHz bandwidth. Digital oscilloscopes tend to have more than or equal to 50 MHz anyway.
Size and Structure
You can buy mini oscilloscopes, desktop oscilloscopes, or regular oscilloscopes; the options are endless. So, depending on your work, you can go for any of them. However, you should know that a mini oscilloscope will have slower output, but they will be compact.
Channels are vital for oscilloscopes. It determines whether you can do two jobs at a time. So, if an oscilloscope has only one channel, it is better to avoid that product. Moreover, some brands will also allow you to process both analog and digital signals. So, you get more versatility with one product.
The rate at which the device captures each signal to form a wave is the sampling rate. So, naturally, a higher sampling rate means faster output. However, oscilloscopes that are smaller in size will have a lower sampling rate.
So, if you do not want that, go for regular oscilloscopes. Also, memory capacity determines how fast the sampling happens. If the capacity is more, then the visuals will stay on the monitor for a long time.
Digital oscilloscopes have a range of displays. You can get color displays, trigger displays, and even cursor modes. So, based on your needs, you should purchase the oscilloscope. However, always keep an eye for the resolution. If the screen resolution is terrible, then analyzing will become difficult.
There are multiple ways of connecting the oscilloscope, but wireless modes are LAN or Ethernet. However, these connections can have unwarranted disturbances. On the contrary, you can use USB cables as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the most commonly asked queries regarding digital oscilloscopes:
Can digital oscilloscopes be handheld?
Yes, it can be handheld.
How can I track a wave?
Some brands have monitors with cursors using which you can track.
Can digital oscilloscope function on analog?
No, but some brands do provide analog functionality.
What is the power source for oscilloscopes?
Oscilloscopes run on batteries.
Can I control the frequency input level?
No, the machine will accept frequencies within the given range.
There is no denying that digital oscilloscopes can do wonders while designing and fixing circuits. We have also gathered a range of products from being affordable to extremely sophisticated, so you can choose whichever you need. We hope the oscilloscope you purchase can satisfy and fix all errors.