HEAD acoustics Launches Modular Multi-Channel Test and Measurement Front End labCORE

January 10 2018, 03:00
A powerful and versatile all-in-one solution for a wide variety of applications, the new modular multi-channel front end labCORE from HEAD acoustics, introduces a powerful and versatile measurement instrument that expands the German company’s application scope. Due to its modularity, its wide selection of digital and analog inputs and outputs as well as its programmable interfaces, labCORE is an all-in-one solution for voice and audio quality measurements. 

The labCORE front end was designed to be future-proof, using a modular design that allows new technologies to be added quickly and easily. Users can expand labCORE flexibly at any time by fitting optional modules and thus tailor the equipment to the exact measuring tasks.

All currently common interfaces that are relevant for measurements of telecommunication devices as well as audio applications are integrated into labCORE. Available by default are a USB host interface, interfaces for I2S (Inter-IC Sound), AES/EBU, ADAT and SPDIF as well as a two-channel headphone connection (6.3 mm jack). Current optional modules include high quality two-channel analog inputs (coreIN-A2) and outputs (coreOUT-A2), available from the outset, which can be switched to XLR/BNC. The THD+N value of these module inputs is -112 dB over wide frequency ranges and the S/N is better than -118 dB. In addition, sampling rates of up to 192 kHz are possible, making labCORE ideally suited for high-end audio testing. 

Additional modules cover functions such as a two-channel mouth amplifier (coreOUT-Amp2), binaural equalization (coreBEQ) and four microphone inputs (coreIN-Mic4). Different coreIP modules are available for users who conduct VoIP measurements and want to measure the voice quality of digital communication devices and transmission networks. Codecs such as EVS, AMR or OPUS as well as the Impairment function, which allows users to simulate different IP network failures directly at the signal source and apply them to the outgoing IP packets of the front end, are part of the optional IP modules. The IP functionalities are provided via the Ethernet interface (up to 1 Gbps) on the front of labCORE.

labCORE enables users to simultaneously transfer up to 32 channels at 48 kHz or up to 8 channels at 192 kHz from PC to labCORE bidirectional. All configurations for the multi-channel front end can be set up quickly and easily in the upcoming version of ACQUA 4.0, the advanced communication quality analysis software from HEAD acoustics, allowing users to conduct fully automated measurements. On the front side of labCORE there is a 2.4” LCD display for status notification purposes. For mobile use, a HEADlab Power Box can be connected to the multi-channel front end as an external battery. labCORE does not require a fan and therefore operates completely silent.
HEAD acoustics ACQUA 4 software, showing the Hardware Overview.

“Customer demands for voice and audio quality are constantly increasing. Thus, the products - such as mobile phones, in-vehicle hands-free systems or IoT devices such as smart speakers - must be tested for the highest requirements. With labCORE, we provide our customers with an extremely powerful measurement instrument that offers completely new possibilities, not least thanks to its multi-channel capability. This enables users from a wide variety of application fields to test their products precisely and to further develop them in targeted manner," says Dr. Hans W. Gierlich, Managing Director of Telecom Division.
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