Localize noise issues: the magic of acoustic cameras

By Joelle Beuzit

Acoustic cameras are helpful tools for the acoustic engineer. They let him precisely locate the origin of noise or sound by turning high noise levels into red spots on an image.

Localizing noise is not easy

Can you localize sound sources with your bare ears? Try it and you might find the exercise trickier than you thought. You’ll probably be able to say whether the sound comes from the left or right side or even maybe roughly point to the noise source. But would you be able to state which component of an operating machine, an engine or a vehicle is the noisiest?

Look at the dryer below: it is obvious that some noise will be emitted from the operating appliance. But from where exactly? The door, the upper part, the back side? Since it’s an operating device, can you guess at which step of the drying cycle will which component make the most noise? 

The door of a dryer
Could you localize the sound of a dryer without the help of an acoustic camera?

I am not asking just for fun. The smooth and quiet operation of home appliances is an important attribute for consumers. It sets top brands apart from their competitors. For the dryer manufacturer, it is crucial to know which component radiates noise at which stage of the drying cycle. Only then will he be able to take the appropriate countermeasures.

Acoustic cameras help the engineer

Sound source localization might not be as straightforward as it seems. It takes some acoustic engineering knowledge to accurately measure and identify a noise source. Acoustic cameras are adequate tools to accurately localize noise issues, but those acoustic cameras can be complex to set up!

Luckily, we, at Siemens, packed all this acoustic engineering knowledge in a compact and easy-to-use tool: the Simcenter Sound Camera. Taking the Simcenter Sound Camera out of its case and pointing it towards the noisy object is already measuring and analyzing sound. Below is the image we obtained when pointing the Simcenter Sound Camera towards our dryer. Crystal-clear, no?

The acoustic camera show the sound sources as red spots on the dryer's door.
With a little help from Simcenter Sound Camera, it all becomes clearer

Discover the Simcenter Sound Camera

In short, if you face noise issues in your product development process and don’t know where to start, start with localizing your sound source(s). Watch the video below and let Jeroen and Agnieszka, our acoustic experts, explain in a few minutes how you can accelerate your acoustic troubleshooting with sound source localization.

Oh, and by the way: localizing sound sources with the Simcenter Sound Camera will take you less time than watching the video!

Now, are you keen on getting more information on our new sound source localization solution? Then visit our Simcenter Sound Camera website for more details.

This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at