There are so many benchmark tools for testing the performance of your graphics cards and processing ability of your computer. These benchmark tools are used for checking how well a gaming rig is going to perform and whether you need to improve anything to get more juice flowing through the hardware. But not so many tools are available to check the quality of audio hardware. Most of the gamers just buy the best headphones in the market and assume it will work great with your built-in audio interface.
Now you can put your audio hardware to test using a software called RightMark Audio Analyzer. This small benchmark tool can analyze the output and input capabilities of your audio setup including the sound card, the microphone, and the speakers.
An audio benchmark test should always be run in a noise-free environment – ideally in a soundproof room, but closing the doors and windows of your regular room will also work well. Then you can launch RightMark Audio Analyzer, select all the tests to be run and click on the small icons near the bottom edge of the screen to run the tests. There are three test modes available – playback only, recording only and playback+recording.
In a test run, the tool collects information about the quality of the audio playback and recording of some test tones. It offers a number of audio tests like frequency response (multi-tone), noise level, dynamic range, total harmonic distortion (THD), intermod distortion (IMD)+noise, stereo cross-talk, IMD+Noise (swept frequency), frequency response (swept sine), total harmonic distortion (select tones) and impulse/phase response. The results can then be examined in different presentations.
This results of this benchmark tool may not be understood by regular Windows users as it uses technical jargon meant only for the experienced audio hardware engineers. But nevertheless, some of the results are very easy to understand and can tell you about the quality of your sound card or sound chipset.
You can download RightMark Audio Analyzer from http://audio.rightmark.org/index_new.shtml.