Acoustic Cameras in Product Development




In a recent webinar, our CEO & Founder Thomas Rittenschober provided an in-depth look into the fascinating world of acoustic camera technology. This article will summarize the key points discussed, focusing on the technology’s applications, benefits, and innovations.


Introduction to Acoustic Cameras

Acoustic cameras have revolutionized the way we understand and visualize sound. These devices are equipped with numerous microphones that capture sound waves from various sources, allowing for precise localization and analysis.

The core technology involves massive parallel audio data acquisition, typically using more than 100 microphones distributed across a large measurement surface. This setup is crucial for accurately detecting low-frequency sound emissions, which are common in industrial product design and testing.


The Role of Beamforming

Beamforming is a signal processing technique that acoustic cameras use to pinpoint the origin of sound events in space. By processing hundreds of microphone signals, beamforming determines the direction from which sound waves are emanating.

This method, however, has its limitations, especially with high-performance systems that require large, heavy, and expensive equipment.


Advancements in Acoustic Camera Technology

Thomas highlighted a significant breakthrough in acoustic camera technology developed by Seven Bel: sound field scanning. This innovation uses a rotating stick equipped with a few microphones to acquire sound fields at multiple virtual microphone positions.

This approach allows for the creation of high-resolution acoustic images without the need for cumbersome equipment.


Key Advantages of Sound Field Scanning

  • Scalability: The system can be scaled to very large measurement surfaces.
  • High Image Quality: Acquires sound fields at numerous virtual microphone positions.
  • Lightweight and Cost-Effective: The system is designed to be compact and affordable.
  • Cloud Processing: Enables data processing in the cloud, facilitating mobile device integration for further analysis.


Applications in Product Development

Acoustic cameras have diverse applications across multiple industries. Thomas discussed several examples where Seven Bel’s technology has been effectively used in product development.


1. Heat Pump

In this case, unwanted sound emissions from a heat pump were localized using the P132 sound scanner. Engineers identified that the elevated sound pressure level was primarily due to structural vibrations from the compressor.

By analyzing acoustic images, they implemented modifications that significantly reduced noise levels.


Webinar Slide on the analysis of the sound emission from a heat pump



2. Construction Equipment

An excavator that exceeded regulatory noise limits was analyzed to identify dominant sound sources.

By using acoustic images, engineers were able to pinpoint and mitigate the sources of excessive noise, ensuring the equipment met the required standards.


3. Household Appliances

For a refrigerator, engineers used an ultrasound speaker and the P12 sound scanner to detect leaks in the door seals.

Identifying and fixing these leaks was crucial for ensuring the refrigerator’s long-term reliability and performance.


Benefits of Acoustic Cameras in Product Design and Testing

Acoustic cameras offer several benefits that streamline the product design and testing process:

  • Reducing Trial and Error: Helps engineers identify and address acoustic issues quickly and accurately.
  • Enhanced Product Quality: Ensures products meet sound emission standards, improving customer satisfaction.
  • Cost and Time Efficiency: Reduces the need for multiple redesigns and shortens the development cycle.


Addressing Limitations and Enhancing Usability

Thomas acknowledged the limitations of traditional acoustic camera systems, such as their bulkiness, weight, and high cost. The innovations introduced by Seven Bel aim to overcome these challenges by offering compact, lightweight, and affordable solutions that do not compromise on image quality.


Usability Improvements

  • Mobile App Integration: Simplifies the user interface, making the technology accessible and easy to use.
  • Quick Setup: Reduces setup time to just a few minutes, enhancing efficiency in data acquisition and analysis.
  • Field Deployment: The equipment is designed to be robust and suitable for harsh environments.



The webinar provided a comprehensive overview of the advancements in acoustic camera technology and its practical applications across various industries. Seven Bel’s innovations, particularly the sound field scanning technology, have addressed many of the traditional limitations, making acoustic cameras more accessible, efficient, and cost-effective.

Acoustic cameras play a vital role in ensuring product quality and regulatory compliance, helping engineers quickly identify and resolve acoustic issues. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more sophisticated and user-friendly solutions in the future.

This detailed exploration of acoustic camera technology underscores its importance in modern engineering and product development. The ability to visualize and analyze sound in real time opens up new possibilities for innovation and improvement in countless applications.

Did you missĀ this webinar?

Watch it on YouTube and discover how acoustic cameras are revolutionizing sound measurement.