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Test and measurement: Useful software for audio test and measurement

Software listing, in alphabetical order

Acoustic Analyzing System (DSSF3)

DSSF3 is a really nice looking software suite. I purchased a licence for it and used it for a few months until...
I found that the swept THD measurements were grossly inaccurate.
I contacted the developer about it, and provided substantial proof that the software was indeed wrong, and my findings were disputed.
Still - it was cheap (about $30 IIRC).
I cannot recommend this software due to issues with accuracy.


Arta (the free version has some minor limitations)
This is very useful software which is aimed at speaker development primarily, however it is extremely useful for other audio measurements.
The 'Steps' utility can perform swept THD vs frequency measurements. There are other useful functions for calculating inductance etc.
This software is *highly* recommended. Arta Steps is excellent for THD sweeps.


AudioTester requires a licence but has a 30 day 'free' evaluation period. I have mixed feelings about this app. - It will sometimes just crash for no reason - if you have multiple sound cards in your PC, it will sometimes randomly select a different interface during testing. IT will also randomly change sample rates. Fortunately, the active card and parameters is displayed in the status bar, so it's easy to see if something has changed. The software is accurate, and has some really great features. However, my feeling is that it could do with a complete rewrite, as features have been added over time, that have 'broken' things. There are also still many German dialogue boxes that popup with errors.
I suggest that if you are considering a licence purchase, test the software thoroughly first.
A licence is cheap though, at €30
This software is recommended with some reservations - occasional crashes and other odd behaviour - measurements are accurate though.

Distortions Analyser

This is an unusual one - it is a Perl script (Linux only) that generates tones and analyses the THD. The results appear on screen in text format, and are also presented as spectra in gif files (example below).
It's accurate and works very well, if you know Linux well.
This software is recommended, but good knowledge of Linux is required to get the best out of it.

Discrete Acoustics Lab (Oscillometer)

Oscillometer - this is an odd one because...
It's a fantastic app. - however, sadly the developer has passed on, and it's no longer possible to purchase a licence - *BUT* - the demo version will run for 15 seconds at a time and capture a vast array of data - so it's worth trying. There is no need to restart the app after each 15 second run - you just need to click 'Start' and it will resume measurements.
If you are on a budget ($0.00 !!) this is well worth a try.
This software is recommended. Very sophisticated with a lot of functionality. Sadly can no longer buy a licence.


Friture is free software. However it doesn't give THD readings it is limited to spectrum displays (still useful) .
It may be useful in some circumstances, however I've not found it more useful than any of the other software I've mentioned.
Friture is multi platform so will run on Windows, Linux & OSX.
This software is ok but there are no actual THD readings given.

HOLM Impulse

HOLM Impulse (free!) is primarily intended for measuring speakers - however it's also useful for other audio measurements.
It's possible to save measurements, compare measurements and so on.
A really useful, easy to use app which I heartily recommend.
This software is recommended. Quick and easy measurements aimed at speaker testing but quite useful for other testing too.

HPW Works

HPW Works is not free. I've not had much opportunity to test this software, however the short time I did have with it, I found it quite unintuitive to use. It's also not cheap at ~ $550 for a licence.
I've been unable to fully test HPW Works - it is expensive too.

Rightmark Audio Analyser (RMAA)

RMAA is not bad, although it was criticised for some issues by NWAVGUY a few years back. I like to use it for comparative measurements (as against absolute measurements) as it has a useful comparison feature (although this is limited by the fact that all tests you want to compare have to be the same sample rate).
This is free software and I can recommend it, however there are some bugs.
The software is no longer being developed or updated.
I have a PRO licence, however there is no real difference between the PRO and free versions that I could see!
This software is recommended with some reservations about accuracy. Good for quick measurements and easy comparisons.

Room EQ Wizard (REW)

Room EQ Wizard (REW) is free. I quite like this software (and recommend it), but to get the best experience, you need to use the very latest beta version.
I have seen some discrepancies with the signal generator levels, but from memory this was because REW was automatically adjusting my DAC volume levels (this is a configuration option and should be disabled).
This is also cross platform so will run on Windows, Linux /& MAC which is very useful.
This software is highly recommended. Be sure to read the manual to get the best out of it.


SpectraPlus is not free. It's nice software, seems to be accurate enough - but it is expensive!!! The software is 'modular', so you have to buy individual licenses for specific functions and this really does get expensive fast.
On cost alone, I cannot recommend this software.
If you just want SINAD / NOISE / THD / THD+N readings with nice Spectrum and Scope displays then I recommend Virtins Multi Instrument
I cannot recommend this software due to cost. Too many expensive 'modules' are needed to make decent measurements.


TrueRTA offers a (very!!) feature limited free version. It is in fact not even worth using. The licensed versions are expensive, and for best results the 1/24th Octave RTA version is required. I purchased a 'Level 2' licence and the software was basically useless at this level.
There is better software to spend your money on...
I cannot recommend this software due to licence costs. Even the lower levels are expensive and lack functionality.

Virtins Multi Instrument

Virtins Multi Instrument (Virtins MI) is excellent software, however the basic 'lite' version is quite limited, and adding features rapidly becomes expensive (but still relatively cheap). It also has a very complex (to me!) scripting system - "device test plan" - for automated measurements - you pay extra for this.
The 'Lite' version does give THD / THD+N / SINAD / Noise and other measurements though - and this is useful.
I can recommend Virtins MI - a Lite licence is a reasonable $49.95 (but the licence is fixed to the PC) - you can get a USB key which will allow you to use your licence on any other machine for $39.95
This software is recommended, but can get expensive for the more advanced features.

Visual Analyser (free)

Visual Analyser is quite good, although it can be a little tricky to set up and get it working well. I have mostly found the test results to agree with other software apps, however sometimes you can get odd readings, which can leave you scratching your head!
This software is recommended, but can be difficult to set up to get accurate results. Some functionality is still incomplete / unreliable.


This is a companion oscillator to WaveSpectra. It is a very low distortion oscillator (the distortion is determined by your DAC) and has 6 channels, can generate several different waveforms (including custom waveforms).
See this page for English help.
This software is recommended. You need to read the manuals to get the best out of it.
NOTE: The above site appears to be offline now, but you can still download the files from the Internet Archive (link below).

WaveSpectra (free)

At first glance, WaveSpectra looks too simple to be useful, however if you really look into the details, it is very capable software. There is a peak hold option, and FFT results can be stored and then overlaid on new results. There is a THD / THD+N and S/N readout as well.
See this page for English help.
This software is recommended. You need to read the manuals to get the best out of it.
NOTE: The above site appears to be offline now, but you can still download the files from the Internet Archive (link below).

XDXD Solutions - Spectrum Analyser

I tested this software some months ago, and I believe it was still in beta. I thought it was a little complicated to use, and not intuitive.
I listed it here because I thought it would be worth making others aware of it.
They are asking $50 for "Personal, non profit or small companies" to licence it.
I remain undecided about this software.

NOTE: I'm always looking for alternative software to test. If you would like to submit any suggestions, please email me: so that I can include it in this page.
Software for audio test and measurement - DISTORTIONS-ANALYSER
Software for audio test and measurement - WAVEGENE
Software for audio test and measurement - WAVESPECTRA
Software for audio test and measurement - XDXD

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