Phonic PAA3: The secret weapon for super-clear sound

Written by Elliott Clarke. Posted in Live Sound

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Phonic PAA3

Published on May 05, 2012 with 2 Comments

Perhaps not as glamourous as an LED-rich graphic EQ, versatile multiFX or iPad-controlled digital desk, a good quality audio tester is not to be overlooked as essential equipment for pro live sound.

Phonic’s PAA3 is a handheld RTA, SPL, and line meter – with EQ setting, microphone calibration, and speaker phase checking capabilities. The unit runs on AA batteries or from mains AC power, giving up to 7 hours’ continuous use from the former supply.

With USB connectivity and downloadable software (currently PC-only), users have the ability to save settings for future use, enabling (for example) travelling FOH engineers to quickly access consistent EQ curves in multiple venues. However, according to user reviews, the software leaves a lot to be desired.

That shouldn’t take away from the fact that the hardware unit itself is incredibly user-friendly, with large LED display, intuitive feature selection, and (of course) uber-useful functions for FOH, monitor, and even recording systems.

With XLR input/output, the PAA3 has its own noise generator including sine wave and pink noise settings, allowing an engineer to really focus on those problem frequencies. Overall, a must-have piece of kit for any serious live sound engineer!


  • Built-in calibrated measurement microphone
  • 1/3 octave real-time analyzer
  • 31-band EQ setting value display (boost/cut)
  • RT60 measurement
  • Phase checker
  • Noise generator with pink noise, 1kHz and polarity test signal, balanced output
  • Memory and average calculation function
  • SPL meter calibration through sound level calibrator
  • Sound Pressure Level Meter from 30 dB~130 dB
  • Line signal measurement display in dBu, dBV, or Volts (AC)
  • SPL meter and level meter have three level range selections
  • Maximum level, Peak hold displays
  • XLR input and output sockets
  • USB interface for desktop software control
  • Audio test signal CD and supporting software
  • Three power modes: (1) Power Save (2) On (3) Off
  • Operates seven hours with four AA batteries
  • AC power adapter included

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  1. Studio Six offers all of the same features and way more for the i phone. 24 bucks for the initial mod. ive only used the tone generator, spl meter, and RTA. they make and sell all of the break outs for xlr NL4 ETC. there is a high end recording feature, with an internal eq, and effects.

    • Sounds great, Craig – thanks for sharing :)

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