Existing acoustic test benches are usually costly devices based on proprietary designs, sensors, and acquisition devices. In this paper, a low-cost test bench for acoustic purposes is introduced. The design of the test bench takes into account not only the low-cost mechanical design, but also uses low-cost sensors and control boards. This test bench has been designed for a range of signals compatible with those used by thermoacoustic engines, but it can be useful for applications with similar requirements. Taking advantage of an auxiliary pressure reference, low-cost unidirectional differential pressure sensors can be used to significantly increase the accuracy of the sampling system. The acoustic and mechanical design and development are presented along with the sampling system and the sensors arrangement implemented. Both the sensor and sampling system are evaluated by comparison with a high-fidelity sound acquisition system. An unexpected effect on the time error values distribution of the low-cost acquisition system is found and described. Finally, the errors introduced by the system and the sensors in terms of time and pressure sampling are characterized. As a result, the low-cost system’s accuracy has been satisfactory assessed and validated for the conditions expected in thermoacoustic experiments in terms of frequency and dynamic pressure.
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