Acoustic Laboratory

ARA’s Littleton, Colorado facility houses a specialized acoustic laboratory within its extensive 6,000 square foot laboratory space.

Hearing Injury and Protection

The acoustic laboratory has dedicated space for test and evaluation of hearing protection devices (HPDs) and communication equipment. Our custom test fixtures enable the evaluation of devices across a range of performance parameters including the quality of sound transmission, the self-generated noise of electronic devices, and the impact of these devices on a user’s ability to accurately localize sound. We also use multiple shock tubes to evaluate device performance when exposed to impulse noise and peak pressures from 130 dB to 183 dB, allowing us to assess the effectiveness of each device in different exposure environments.

ARA’s acoustic laboratory research has been evaluated against human performance and is documented in a corresponding Test Operating Procedure. These procedures outline metrics to allow for a direct comparison between devices.

Translating laboratory data to field relevant insights.

Acoustic Systems Evaluation, Integration, and Analysis

The acoustic laboratory also supports work in acoustic system evaluation, development, and deployment in support of field test activities and prototyping. In coordination with our Rapid Prototyping facilities, commercial and custom sound sources are evaluated and integrated to meet end-user specifications.

Expertise in acoustic system development for specific technical areas include microparticle manipulation and sensing in air and water, high amplitude acoustic sources, and miniature auditory system sensors. Field activities support sensor system algorithm development in both air and water domains.

At ARA, our focus goes beyond evaluating technology for functionality and effectiveness: we are dedicated to delivering results that are valuable to stakeholders.


The Hearing Protection Optimization Tool is the culmination of our efforts to evaluate and assess the performance of various hearing protection devices. This cloud-based tool enables decision makers to quickly compare hearing protection devices based on characteristics relevant for their specific use-case.


  • GRAS 45CB Acoustic Test Fixture
  • GRAS 45CA Headphone/Hearing-protector Test Fixture
  • Pressure Microphones with sensitivity from 17 – 193 dB SPL
  • Pencil Probes
  • Audio and high-speed data acquisition systems
  • Larson-Davis Model 831 Sound Level Meter
  • Custom Test Fixtures for sound isolation and 3D positioning
  • Shock tubes
  • Ultrasonic immersion transducers with high-speed data acquisition
  • Hydrophones
  • Underwater blast gauges

Ted Argo  •  Email:  •  Tel: 720-328-7256