How can I properly test for signal noise?

Question by gmprunner: How can I properly test for signal noise?
When I’m testing audio equipment (in this case namely cables and input/output methods), how can I accurately test how much noise there is in the signal/line? (I use the two terms here more or less interchangeably) I can watch a movie and get a sense, but if I hear noise I have a hard time telling if that’s from the signal or if it’s originating from the media itself, in which case it’s inevitable. Same goes for testing with music. Please advise.

Best answer:

Answer by master_trader2006
You need signal generators and an oscilloscope.

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One Response to “How can I properly test for signal noise?”

  1. Grumpy Mac says:

    You have a lot of variables here which is why nobody tests or ranks cables.

    For example – the room you are in has a lot of electrical signal noise floating around. This changes as the sun rises, as business starts up or shuts down, as neighbors fire up washing machines and microwave ovens or use their cell phones.

    So your signal may come from a signal generator (consistent) but your “noise floor” will vary.

    The above poster is correct – a signal generator and an oscilloscope. Hit ebay.

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