For the past 6 months or so I've been building and testing some prototype solutions for a complete measuring solution to be used with ARTA/Room EQ Wizard and the like, and I'm at the point where I'd really like some feedback on (a) if anyone would want something like this, and (b) what features or requests you would have if you are
interested. My intent is not to market this to the high-end guys who will plop down hundreds of dollars on fine tuned equipment, but for the average guy who wants reasonable measurements for a low price, and simplification in getting things up-and-running. So far the package would include the following:
1) A measurement microphone extremely accurate from 7hz up to about 5khz, and then deviation of +/-2db up to above 20khz. SPL capabilities are about 115-120db before response becomes inaccurate, which is plenty for most people. I'm working on getting calibration files sorted out, but so far this looks like it will add a significant cost to the project and the benefits would be minimal for the average consumer, especially considering that in car we take an average reading of several different spacial locations.
2) An all-in-one in/out preamp combo. The kit is designed to be used by a laptop with basic audio capabilities; just a microphone or line in and stereo or headphone jack out. This would be the "brain" where you would connect both of these jacks to your laptop, the microphone, as well as a line out that goes to your headunit's "aux in" jack. All connections will be 3.5mm (1/8") "headphone" style. To avoid any noise which might show up from an external power supply, it will be powered by a 9v battery (included) with a life of 100+ hours. Power will be automatically turned on and off by plugging in the microphone. The preamp boosts the mic level by about +20db to increase overall headroom, and doesn't have to be used if you have sufficient input gain from your laptop. You don't have to use all of the connections if you aren't going to be measuring, for example, impulse responses.
3) All cables, color coded to the inputs/outputs on the "brain".
With this setup, you are able to do just about any measurement you want, from basic frequency response plots to waterfall graphs, impulse measurements for extremely precise time-alignment adjustments (if you're using a DSP of some sort), even group delay and phase alignment checks for anyone who is so inclined to get into the nitty-gritty stuff.
If you use Room EQ Wizard (REW), (which is a very powerful and FREE piece of software), there's a massive amount of support on the web. Here's a couple screenshots I posted in another thread a while back just to give you an idea of what you can get:
Frequency response (ignore the arrows, they were added in for the other thread):
Price will be about the same as a pair of cheap coaxials if anyone's wondering.
Any input? Mods: if you feel this is in violation of the TOS of this site, please let me know. If this does come to fruition I will possibly be interested in vendor/service provider upgrades.