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I, like most wireless users, don't have test equipment. What kind of simple tests can I perform to choose a wireless?

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There are quite a few you can do with just your ears and some others that require a minimum of audio gear. I'll list some tests you can do, a simple explanation of what that test can show you and then a link to a longer explanation of how to do the test and how to interpret it. The best way to do the tests is simultaneously as a comparison in performance between several systems. It is easy to forget what a given system sounds like if there is a day or so between tests. Sometimes the differences are so dramatic you could remember them years later though.

  1. The Dreaded Key test. Some people complain that this test only shows how well a system reproduces keys. Though true, it also indicates how well a wireless system will handle sibilants. Doing poorly on this test will generally correspond to roughness or spitting in sibilant reproduction. This due to gross overload in the audio circuits due to large amounts of pre-emphasis in the transmitter. Frankly most listeners are not critical of sibilants since if a performer sounds an "s" all they are looking for is a corresponding hiss out the sound system. However, if you are a critical listener, once heard it is hard to ignore. (See Dreaded Key Test)
  2. The Bump Test. This test will reveal the inherent signal to noise ratio of the wireless system and also how well the compandor handles low frequency audio signals. The “inherent signal to noise ratio” is the signal to noise ratio before companding. Poor results in this test will indicate a system that has what is commonly refered to as either "breathing" or a "halo" around the sound. (See Bump Test)
  3. The Input Limiter Test. This test will check to see if the transmitter has an audio input limiter (most don't) and if it does have one, how well the limiter performs. A good limiter lets you operate closer to full modulation, reduces overload distortion and improves the noise and interference performance. Screaming into the microphone is not the best method of checking this feature. (See Input Limiter Test)
  4. The Classic Walk Test. As the name implies, this is a test where one person takes a walk while talking into the transmitter,and the other person listens to the receiver output. The classic walk test is to see how far away you can get with the transmitter before dropouts are bad enough to make the system unusable. You can walk until a count of 8 to 10 dropouts occur, for example, and define that as the limit of the range. Or, walk until the dropouts or hiss buildup is objectionable according to your own assessment. (See Classic Walk Test)
  5. The Short Range Walk Test. A “short range” walk test checks to see how well the receiver handles deep multi-path nulls that occur at a close operating range with a generally strong RF signal. This tests how well the squelch and the diversity system works. This test corresponds well with real world use where the Classic Walk Test is a test of range at distances that are rarely encountered. (See Short Range Walk Test)
  6. The Hard Wired A-B Test. This requires a simple mixer two identical microphones, one connected with an audio cable and the other with a wireless system, to perform a listening test. Better than two mics would be to split one audio or mic signal so that one part goes through the wireless system and the other is direct. (See Hard Wired A-B Test)
Posted 1 year agoby LectroAdmin
#66