labCORE extensions – Adaptation to specific measurement purposes

labCORE provides a variety of hardware and software extensions. Thus, users can flexibly expand the hardware platform and adapt it to specific measurement purposes. Thanks to its modularity, the hardware platform is ideally suited for testing voice and audio quality of devices in various fields of applications and with different transmissions technologies.

The following extensions are available:

Analog Modules

coreOUT-Amp2 (Code 7720), Power amplifier board

The labCORE extension coreOUT-Amp2 adds two separate power amplifiers to the system - each providing 20 watts RMS (class D technology). Thus, one board allows simultaneous operation of two mouths of an artificial head or two loudspeaker drivers – e.g. for In-Car Communication (ICC) testing or acoustic-to-acoustic (end-to-end) testing. labCORE supports maximum two coreOUT-Amp2 boards. coreOUT-Amp2 requires coreBUS.

coreIN-Mic4 (Code 7730), Microphone input board

The labCORE extension coreIN-Mic4 provides four LEMO 7-pin microphone inputs for externally polarized microphones and supports TEDS. With this board, labCORE allows concurrent connection of the ears of an artificial head measurement system as well as measurement microphones. coreIN-Mic4 requires coreBUS.

coreIN-ICP4 (Code 7735), Input board ICP®

The labCORE extension coreIN-ICP4 provides four high-precision low-noise analog input channels for pre-polarized ICP® sensors, e.g. ICP® microphones. Each of the four inputs supports TEDS for data exchange with the connected sensor. BNC sockets ensure easy and secure connection. Key features of coreIN-IPC4 are extremely low self-noise of the integrated constant current supply and GND-sensing for high resilience to ground noise. labCORE supports up to five coreIN-ICP4 boards. coreIN-ICP4 requires coreBUS.

coreOUT-A2 (Code 7750), Analog output board

The labCORE extension coreOUT-A2 provides two high-precision and low-noise analog output channels. Each output has an XLR or BNC connection and provides either a balanced or an unbalanced signal. The output board has a THD+N of at least -114 dB and an S/N of at least 118 dB. Further features:

  • coreOUT-A2 has floating balanced outputs
  • Output level range is adjustable to four different maximum levels between -10 dB and +18 dB to cover a full operation range for any measurement scenarios
  • An internal reference can be used to determine the impedance of a system connected via the BNC connector

Due to its outstanding features, coreOUT-A2 is the ideal choice for analyzing audio systems. coreOUT-A2 requires coreBUS.

labCORE extension coreIN-A2 front view

coreIN-A2 (Code 7760), Analog input board

The labCORE extension coreIN-A2 provides two analog input channels. Each input offers an XLR and a BNC socket. Both inputs are characterized by highest signal precision, which is achieved by lowest distortion and lowest inherent noise. coreIN-A2 has a THD+N of -115 dB. Further highlights:

  • Bootstrapping: Impedances of the inputs are automatically balanced to the asymmetrical impedances of the connection cable (BNC/XLR)
  • Common mode rejection: By means of differential input measurement, common mode interferences are effectively suppressed, resulting in a signal-to-noise ratio of 118 dB(A)
  • Independent AC/DC-Gains: Different gains are adjustable for the AC and DC path to enable an ideal signal analysis

Due to its numerous features, coreIN-A2 is perfectly suited for high-performance audio analyzing. coreIN-A2 requires coreBUS.

Digital and Interfacing

coreUSB-DR (Code 7705), USB extension

The labCORE extension coreUSB-DR enables the hardware platform to simulate a USB audio device (e.g. a USB headset) to arbitrary USB audio host devices (e.g. Smartphones). coreUSB-DR allows performing electric measurements without the need for an acoustic interface. It extends the capabilities of the front side USB Type-C connector of labCORE via an internal hardware module. coreUSB-DR supports a wide variety of configuration options to generate arbitrary test cases.

coreBUS (Code 7710), I/O bus mainboard

The labCORE extension coreBUS is required as interface between the basic unit’s mainboard and the optional boards. labCORE offers space for a maximum of ten boards.

coreIP-AMR (Code 7772), AMR extension

coreIP-AMR is a hardware extension of coreIP. It provides the additional codecs AMR-NB, AMR-WB (G.722.2), and GSM Enhanced Full Rate. coreIP-AMR requires coreIP.

coreBT2 (Code 7782), Bluetooth® extension

The labCORE extension coreBT2 enables the hardware platform to become a Bluetooth® reference access point for acoustic and electric measurements of devices for speech- and audio transmission via Bluetooth® (e.g. mobile phones, headsets, headphones, hands-free devices, loudspeakers). labCORE with coreBT2 can act as handset or hands-free device, as a gateway or a universal A2DP source/sink. It supports common audio codecs, offers various configuration options and profiles and can enforce desired connection types/-settings for the device under test to perform measurements under defined conditions.

coreBT2-AAC-LDAC (Code 7783), Bluetooth® extension

coreBT2-AAC-LDAC is an optional software extension for coreBT2. The extension adds support for the codecs AAC and LDAC (A2DP sink only) to coreBT2.

coreBT2-LC3plus-A2DP (code 7784), Bluetooth® extension, LC3plus Codec for A2DP

coreBT2-LC3plus-A2DP is a software extension for coreBT2. It enables labCORE to apply the LC3plus audio codec for speech- and audio transmission via the Bluetooth® profile A2DP. LC3plus provides high audio quality, extremely low latency, and increases robustness against transmission errors.

coreBT2HID (code 7786), Bluetooth® extension, Human Interface Device

coreBT2-HID is a software extension for coreBT2. It enables labCORE to act as a human interface device. Thus, labCORE can send control commands via Bluetooth® to a connected device, e.g., volume control commands.

coreBT2LE (code 7787), Bluetooth® Low Energy extension

The labCORE extension coreBT2LE enables the hardware platform labCORE to become a reference access point for Bluetooth® Low Energy. Thus, labCORE allows acoustic and electrical measurements of devices for speech- and audio transmission via Bluetooth® Low Energy. The applied audio codec for the signal transmission is LC3. LC3 operates at low latency, low computational complexity and has a low memory footprint. coreBT2LE consists of a license file for applying Bluetooth® Low Energy and a corresponding USB transceiver.

coreBT2LE-Auracast™ (code 7788), Bluetooth® Low Energy extension for Auracast™ broadcast audio

coreBT2LE-Auracast™ is a software extension for coreBT2LE. It enables labCORE to apply Auracast™ broadcast audio. There are two applications for labCORE with Auracast™ broadcast audio. In the main application, labCORE acts as an Auracast™ transmitter. Hence, it provides Auracast™ audio streams for appropriate Auracast™ receivers to assess their audio quality. Users determin the connection parameters for the Auracast™ broadcast via the general user interface in ACQUA. Furthermore, labCORE is also capable of receiving an Auracast™ broadcast for assessing the Auracast™ transmitter audio quality.

coreA2B (Code 7790), A2B® extension

With the labCORE extension coreA2B, the hardware platform is capable to connect to the Automotive Audio Bus A2B® developed by Analog Devices. It enables testing and optimizing devices connected to the bus. coreA2B can be operated as a master or a slave node, listen passively and provides the unique feature of Proxy mode, where it gains full control over all data on the bus. coreA2B requires coreBUS.

Software Extensions

coreBEQ (Code 7740), Binaural equalization

The software extension coreBEQ enables labCORE to equalize the binaural ear simulators of HEAD acoustics artificial head. The extension consists of a set of equalization filters for one user-selected artificial head.

coreBEQ-Add (Code 7741), Additional binaural equalization

The software extension coreBEQ-Add provides an equalization filter set each for one additional user-selected artificial head. coreBEQ-Add requires coreBEQ.

coreIP (Code 7770), Voice over IP extension

Including the labCORE extension coreIP, the hardware platform becomes a reference gateway for voice quality measurements of IP-based communication devices such as VoIP or VoLTE phones. coreIP contains an integrated VoIP SIP client and RTP. It supports many common voice codecs. Some more sophisticated codecs are available as further extension.

coreIP-IMP (Code 7771), VoIP impairment extension

The labCORE extension coreIP-IMP expands coreIP with the feature to delay or to discard specific packets. Therefore, it supports the simulation of network conditions like jitter, delay, and packet loss. The conditions during measurements are reproducible, even with activated Discontinuous Transmission (DTX) / Silent Compression. coreIP-IMP requires coreIP.

coreIP-EVS (Code 7773), EVS extension

coreIP-EVS is the EVS (Enhanced Voice Services) software extension. It supports all specified bandwidths from narrowband to fullband and with all bit rates and modes (incl. AMR-WB interoperable mode). coreIP-EVS requires coreIP.

coreIP-OPUS (Code 7774), OPUS extension

The labCORE extension coreIP-OPUS provides the audio codec Opus in mono as well as stereo audio. coreIP-OPUS requires coreIP.

coreIP-Alexa (Code 7775)

The labCORE software extension coreIP-Alexa enables the hardware platform to act as an Amazon Alexa reference client. It allows labCORE to simulate the remote terminal of Alexa-to-Alexa calls in the otherwise closed Alexa network to route audio data to ACQUA for analysis. coreIP-Alexa allows conclusive testing of speech quality of respective devices, particularly as laid out in the ‘Alexa Communications Audio Requirements’ (ACAR) issued by Amazon. coreIP-Alexa supports any device capable of Alexa-to-Alexa calling, e.g. smart speakers, televisions and soundbars. Control, condition monitoring, diagnostics and access to functionality of regular Alexa clients is performed via a GUI in ACQUA.

Relevant Products

ACQUA Standards
HEAD acoustics Quality Standards (HQS)