We can all agree that committing to buying a brand new pair of speakers (especially if their specs are awesome) can be one of the greatest feelings ever, but were you aware that specialized speaker testing and measurement software could help you make the right decision even quicker?
AUDMES, TrueRTA, REW, and RT-SPEAKER are some of the best software solutions that allow you to “see” what you hear in real-time so that you can know for sure whether the new speakers you’ve been eyeballing for a while are the right choice for you or not.
Of course, most of these tools were specifically designed with sound engineers and audio professionals in mind, but that doesn’t mean that enthusiasts or hobbyists can’t use them just as easily. The learning curve might be a bit steeper, but the results will be just as great.
AUDMES, which is short for AUDio MEasurement System (yes, the initials are very obvious in the full name of the tool), is a free software solution that was designed to help you perform measurements and tests on your speakers, so that you can see exactly if their real specs match the ones on the box.
This tool doesn’t require that you install it on your computer since it’s portable. That also means that it won’t mess with your registry entries nor create any additional files or folders on your computer.
Among its features, you can find a waveform generator with multiple customization options, an oscilloscope that lets you adjust many of its parameters, a realtime spectrum analyzer, as well as a frequency response graph, which also displays real-time sound data.
TrueRTA is also a specialized software solution that can help you measure and test the output of your speakers in real-time, but this time it’s not a free one.
Although it does come with a trial version that can be used at level one, you still have to buy it in order to benefit from its full range of features.
The level one is free and never expires, but certain menus will be unavailable to you unless you purchase a license.
TrueRTA can be used for a lot of operations, including, but not limited to observing frequency data of live music in real-time, measure frequency responses of loudspeaker systems, combine individual measurements into a spatial average frequency response measurement, study noise characteristics or analyze distortion values of any compatible equipment.
Among the instruments that you can find within TrueRTA, we mention:
- A high-resolution real-time audio spectrum analyzer;
- A low distortion signal generator;
- A digital level meter;
- A crest factor meter;
- A dual-trace oscilloscope;
REW might not say much, but things might change when you find out that it stands for Room EQ Wizard. No?
Well, this software solution was designed with one thing in mind: helping sound aficionados perform various tests and measurements on their audio equipment (mainly their speakers) in a hassle-free, convenient manner.
Fortunately for you, REW is donationware, meaning that, while you can use it for free, you might want to make a donation to its developers if you find it useful and like working with it.
Some of REW’s features that you can make use of:
- Distortion and frequency response measurement tools;
- Offline measurement mode (responses can be generated from imported recordings);
- Real-time analyzer;
- Signal generator;
- Sound level meter;
- Spectral decay plots;
- Impulse response;
- Impedance measurement;
- Room simulator;
- Support for ASIO;
- Automatic identification of response peaks;
RT-Speaker is the last item on our speaker testing and measurement software list, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful than its predecessors. However, for maximum efficiency, it is recommended that you pair this tool with its hardware counterpart, called the FX100 Sound Analyzer.
If done right, using this highly-effective hardware-software combination could help you by correlating its findings 100% to the “subjective perception of the human ear” with its objective “Rub & Buzz” analysis.
Unfortunately, our list ends with a premium item that doesn’t even provide a trial version to its potential customers, but packs some impressive features under the hood:
- Fast testing procedures only last a couple of seconds (at most);
- Can detect speaker malfunctions such as air leaks, uncentered coils, or touching wires;
- Offers automatic calibration sequence;
- Comes with several quality testing clusters;
Obviously, this tool is not intended for home use, as it would serve better somewhere in the hands of quality control specialists, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it yourself, especially if you’re passionate about learning more of your speakers’ capabilities and even defects.
Bottom line on best software for speaker measurement and testing
Truth be told, you can never be sure about something you just bought until you get home, unbox it, and put it to good use, and not even then could you grasp your product’s highs and downs, its qualities, and its flaws. Not unless you have specialized software solutions to help you simplify the process, that is.
Speaker testing and measurement software tools might still be considered niche by many who buy speakers based on which ones have the highest number next to the “W” on the box: “500W? Good! 1000W? Even better!”
However, in reality, things are wildly different. You can end up with a faulty product and without proper training, your ears might not be able to perceive any sound artifacts, which, in turn, could mean an early grave for your pristine brand speakers you just spent a fortune on.
In this situation, tools like REW, RT-Speaker, and AUDMES can really help you save some bucks by providing you with trustworthy measurements and testing routines.