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10 Best Waveform Generators To Buy Online In 2021

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Being an engineer or a lab technician you probably know how significant the role the waveform generator plays in the development of testing and repairing the electronic devices.

Waveform generators are electronic test equipment used to produce electrical signals and analyze the performance of your hardware device by varying the frequencies of different waveforms.

Usually, the best waveform generators will have high-resolution standards, greater efficiency, quality, and performance. Also, beware of environmental factors that affect the performance of the product like temperature, altitude, and humidity before you pay for it.

Read the “Buying Guide” to know how we have chosen the waveform generators…

We spent a couple of days researching the waveform generators, listened to the customer’s requirements and brought you the 12 Best Waveform Generators that are trendy now.

Check out these recommendations that best suit your project requirements.

Best Waveform Generators

Best Waveform Generators: Reviews

1. Siglent Technologies Sds 1202X-E Generator

Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E Generator

Another model is the top-class brand. The name of the product is a Siglent digital oscilloscope. Thought the cost of the waveform generator is high, it is worth the price you pay. That is why we have listed number 9.

It features the latest technology such as color temperature grading and 256-intesity grading to visualize the output waveforms. This is the major difference as compared with the other waveform generator devices in the list.

The Key contents of Siglent model waveform generator are:

  • 200 MHz bandwidth
  • The real-time sampling rate is 1 GS/sec.
  • Standard serial bus Triggering and Decode.

Overall, the performance of siglent waveform generator is good. Though it is bit expensive, great choice for engineers and the electronic enthusiasts. The only downside of this product is that it is made with poor quality materials.

Pros

  • Simply plug & play device.
  • Display multiple signals.
  • Easy to connect with external devices.
  • Color temperature grading system.

Cons

  • Not a budget-friendly device.

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2. Koolertron 15MHz Upgraded Dds Signal Generator

Koolertron 15MHz Upgraded DDS Signal Generator

This is another model from the famous Koolertron brand. The company is mainly focused on digital electronics and home improvement tools. It is good at providing quality products and services to the customers.

When a signal is generated, the maximum frequency could be 15MHz at a sampling rate of 200MS/sec. It features a high-speed microprocessor for performing the tasks and dual-channels for generating sine, square, triangle and saw tooth waveforms.

The koolertron 15MHz upgraded waveform generator contains the following components:

  • DDS signal generator
  • USB cable
  • Power adapter
  • Q9 cable (2) and
  • A CD

Overall, the Koolertron model provides lots of features like 2.4-inch LCD display and USB-connection at affordable prices. But the only downside of this product is the interference of white noise at the output.

Pros

  • Low-price product.
  • High-frequency precision.
  • Delivers high-performance output.
  • Separate duty cycle adjustment option.
  • Measure positive-negative pulse, counting function.

Cons

  • High interference of noise signal.

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3. Siglent Technologies Spd 3303X-E Generator

Siglent Technologies

Next on our list is a triple output waveform signal generator by Siglent Technologies. The SPD3303X-E has a large 4.3 inches TFT display screen that can display 3 channels. These 3independently controlled and isolated outputs with the first one being 32 volts with a 3.2 A current rating, the second has 2.5V , 3.3 V and 5 V with a 3.2 A current rating. 

The total power consumed by this waveform generator is 220W and can generate output modes as independent, parallel and series depending on your requirement. The timing output function gives you trending graphs on the CRO.

Much like most of the devices mentioned in the list, this one too has the standard USB and LAN interfaces. The display can put out about 5 different groups of timing settings and the standard output control is done by front panel operation.

A save and recall setting gives you the power to save or recall the aforementioned 5 groups of settings from the internal storage. This function also supports external storage through which desired settings can be recalled at will.

Apart from this, the machine is truly linear in supply and thus there is very minimal output noise and regulation. There is also an intelligent temperature controlled fan which aids further in the noise reduction. 

The voltage resolution for this waveform generator is 10mV/10mA order. An Easy Power PC software that supports any SCPI commands comes with the SPD3303X-E waveform generator. It also has the standard LabVIEW driver with it. There is no warranty as such on Siglent SPD3303X-E waveform generator. 

The packaging of this generator comes with the following:

  • 4.3 inches large TFT screen
  • Free Easy Power PC software included
  • HDMI port and cable provided

Pros

  • 3 independent channels 
  • Really big screen 
  • Value for money
  • Temperature control fan inside it
  • Low distortion 
  • Great noise control

Cons

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4. Siglent Technologies Sdg 2042X Waveform Generator

Siglent Technologies SDG2042X Waveform Generator

The very first one on the list is from siglent technologies. 88 out of 100 people have given 5-star rating for its multiple working modes and flexible nature. It is best suited for electronic engineers, lab technicians, and DIYers.

This waveform generator offers a sampling rate of 16-bits vertical resolution. It supports several ways of generating a waveform from manual, line, coordinates drawing and makes the users understand & edit the signals.

This device is a bit difficult to break as it is made of high-quality plastic materials. It has major applications in IC testing, simulates sensors and tests the functionality of electrical circuits.

The front end of the waveform generator features the following:

  • Tuner
  • USB-port
  • Adapter
  • Frequency counter
  • On/off switch
  • Input-output ports and
  • Dual-channel (40MHz) touchscreen display

And the back has closed-end. Overall, the performance of siglent technologies is fantastic. The updated features make it more special and attract users to choose this wonderful device. But the only downside of this is the high-cost.

Pros

  • Highly durable.
  • Made of high-quality materials.
  • Easy to communicate with external devices.

Cons

  • Too expensive to buy.
  • Interference of noise signal.

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5. Koolertron 60MHz Dds Upgraded Signal Generator

Koolertron 15MHz Upgraded DDS Signal Generator

Number 4 is from Koolertron brand. The name of the waveform generator is Koolertron 60MHz DDS signal generator. It is considered as one of the best waveform generators for the upgraded features it has.

When compared to others, it has more advantages than other devices because of its easy handling nature. The front panel of the device contains a digital display, tuners, channel-1/channel-2 ports, amplitude-frequency switches, and power button.

All these key features make the device more special and attract the customers to pay for it. When you purchase the Koolertron waveform generator, you get the following contents:

  • DDS signal generator
  • USB cable
  • Power adapter
  • Q9 cable (2) and
  • A CD

Pros

  • Long lasting.
  • High-frequency precision.
  • Generates accurate results.
  • Duty cycle adjustment modes.
  • Can measure up to 1mV amplitude and 0.01uHz frequency.

Cons

  • It is not possible to measure high voltages and currents.

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6. Siglent Technologies Sdg 1032X Waveform Generator

Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E Generator

Siglent SDG1032X is a top-class function generator compared to others on the list. For its low price tag and wonderful key features and made us list in the 2nd place.

This waveform generator works similarly to the others, but the only thing that made special in our list is its portable nature and for generating the low distortion output.

Additionally, it incorporates the dual-channel of each 30MHz, 150 sampling rate and a 14-bit vertical resolution. It adopts an easy pulse/ square technology for triggering the signal by adjusting the rise and fall time.

Overall, the performance is good but the only downside of this product is that it generates the noise signal along with the resultant at the output. If you really wish for it then go for it without making a second thought.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to operate.
  • Highly durable.
  • Low-cost product.
  • Accurate signal generation.

Cons

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7. Kkmoon High Precision Digital Signal Generator

KKmoon

Yet, another one is from KKmoon high precision digital waveform generator. It can generate different waveforms like sine, square, triangular, sawtooth and can be controlled digitally.

It has amazing features starting from the storing element to the adjustment mode, channel-ports and LEDs to make the user understand the current function being operated.  Some of the specifications KKmoon high precision digital waveform generators are:

  • For normal modes it is 0.01Hz-25MHz
  • 01Hz-6MHz for square, triangle and sawtooth
  • Frequency sweep output modulation with the minimum resolution is 10mHz
  • 360° phase
  • Distortion is < 0.8%
  • Storage capacity is 1KB

The list of contents that the package includes:

  • Signal generator
  • USB cable
  • Power adapter
  • Expansion-board
  • Clips cable (2) and
  • A CD

Overall, the performance of Kkmoon high precision waveform generator is fantastic. It is our top priority because of its additional storing capacity (1KB) that none of the listed waveform generators have.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced.
  • Made with pollution-free materials.
  • Store the signal information (1KB).

Cons

  • Interference of noise signal.

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8. Kkmoon Signal Generator

KKmoon Signal Generator, High Precision Digital DDS Dual-Channel Function

KKmoon is comes with the adoption of direct digital synthesizer (DDS) technology and thus provides stable, pure, accurate and a low distortion signal. The 2.4 inches large TFT colour LCD screen has a 320 * 240 resolution and can simultaneously display the graphics and parameters of both the channels CH1 and CH2. 

Both the channels of the waveform generator are completely independent and synchronize operations between the channels. It can give out an output up to 97 different groups of functions or arbitrary waveforms. As for the preset waveforms, you have 33 different groups and a total of 64 user defined waveforms can be stored in it. Out of these 64 groups of user defined arbitrary wave storage functions, all of the waveforms have an 8192 points by 14 bit storage depth. 

There is also the sweep function with linear and logarithmic sweep options with sweep time between 0.01s to 999.99s in roundtrip, backwards and forward directions. 

With the Burst Output function, you can use the manual trigger, the external trigger or the internal CH2 trigger depending on your usage. The output has a range of 1 to about 1048575 pulse trains with a precision of about 0.01°.

Coming to the Voltage Control Output (VCO) has a various range of voltage controlling, frequency, amplitude, offset and various duty cycles along with PWM. The frequency meter has a maximum frequency of 100 MHz and a minimum of 0.01Hz.

The counter function gives you 2 coupling measure models for AC coupling and DC coupling. For this, it can save a total of 20 user defined parameter groups which can be extracted at any time. 

There is a free PC program software that comes with the generator which lets you control all the functions via a communication protocol which stands perfect for secondary development. It makes use of a 14 bit High speed Digital to Analogue converter chip with a 5 Vpp output and the quantization error being less than about 1 mV. 

The sampling rate for the waveform generator is about 250 Million Samples per second with a 14 bit vertical resolution. Coming to the amplitude resolutions, it can reach a high of 1mV within a range of 0 to 20 V (peak to peak). 

It has an output short circuit protection, with all of the channels working for more than 1 minute in the event of a load being short circuited.  Additional features for this includes arbitrary waveform editing options where the user can edit the generated waveform and then download the output waveform from the generator. It can support 16 channel synchronous multi channel output by connecting to more than 2 signal generators as well.

Now coming to the general features, it has the following

  • A TFT screen of 2.4 inches
  • Free PC connector program included
  • Comes with 2 sets of alligator clips
  • HDMI port and cable provided
  • Cross device connectors provided

Pros

  • Highly versatile Digital Waveform Signal generator
  • Great functions and accessories
  • Available in 30 MHz, 40MHz and 60 MHz variants

Cons

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9. Rigol DG1022Z 25 MHz Arbitrary Function Generator

Rigol DG1022Z 25 MHz Arbitrary Function Generator

The 9th option in the list is Rigol waveform generator (DG1022Z). The only reason for listing in the last is because it offers only a few features. It does not come with probes, CD, USB-cable or the power chords.

It is much suitable for those who are willing to invest fewer amounts on waveform generators. Compared to others it also functions the same as other waveform generators, but the only thing is about the display unit.

The front panel of the kit has a display unit to visualize the waveforms in different colors with the peak to peak voltage and current settings. It contains 3-ports (channel-1, 2 and ground connection), tuner for regulating voltage-current readings, switches (counter, waveforms) and a power button.

The performance of Rigol waveform generator is quite exciting for its latest features and portable nature. But the downside of the product is that it doesn’t contain the hardware elements that the remaining waveform generators have.

If you have all the necessary components to verify the output signal of a particular project except the generator itself, and then go with this kit as it saves your time and money too.

If you want to go with the upgradable options in this model then Rigol DG1032Z Function Generator is for you.  Though it is bit expensive than Rigol DG1022Z model, offers 2 channels to supply input with a maximum of 30 MHz frequency range.

Pros

  • Reasonably priced.
  • Signal fidelity technology.
  • Easy to the interface.
  • High-quality display unit.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a handle.
  • User-manual is available in English.
  • No additional components are embedded.

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10. Hantek 2D72 Handheld Oscilloscope 70MHz Waveform Generator

Hantek

Hantek brand provides reliable and quality guaranteed products to its consumers. The product we shortlisted is 3-in-1 option which acts as an oscilloscope, multimeter and waveform generator. It is very simple to operate and convenient to use with 250M sampling rate and 70MHZ bandwidth.

The digital multimeter shows accurate and clear results. As it is portable, it can be carried around easily without any issues. Some of the beneficial factors available with this product are automatic measuring function, stronganti-overload function, cursor measurement, waveform storage function, and several others.

This waveform generator comes with large-capacity lithium battery. On a complete charge, it will for 2 hours (continuously) or for 2 months (on standby mode). It takes almost 2 hours to charge it up completely.

When you choose Hantek 2D72 waveform generator, you will get…

  • 3-in-1 oscilloscope, multimeter and waveform generator
  • Clip probes
  • Test probe
  • Power adapter
  • USB Type-C charging cable
  • Multimeter probe

Pros:

  • Reliable and affordable
  • Minimalistic keyboard design
  • Easy to operate
  • Automatic measuring function
  • Adjustable blacklight brightness
  • Auto power off

Cons:

  • Only one probe is provided
  • No waveform save option

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Buying Guide: How to choose the perfect Signal Waveform Generator

A function generator is a very important tool for generating standard signals and modulations, sweep and burst. These features increase your flexibility of getting your complex jobs done faster.

High-quality true form function generates come with highest signal fidelity that gives you exact waveforms you need for your various measurement requirements. This increases your chances of having an accurate measurement.

The quality of a function generator depends on a certain list of parameters and specifications. Sometimes, there are also a bunch of hidden specifications that might influence your end results. Hence it is vital that you to know what you are looking for before buying a waveform generator. 

These specifications vary because of the types of generators that are available today. We will be mentioning all the different types of these test instruments which range from analogue to digital. We would also consider the price, type and other specifications.

Important specifications to look for before buying a function generator

Listed below are the main specifications you need to look for before finalizing on a waveform generator.

1.Waveforms

The first and foremost thing that you need to look for is the type of waveforms your wave generator is capable of producing. General function generators produce square waves, sine waves, pulses, triangular, ramp or sawtooth waveforms. 

Apart from that, you should also look for the flexibility you have in manipulating the waveform. Here are 3 general types.

Usually, an analogue function generator can create a sine wave from a triangular waveform using 2 back to back diodes that will shape the waveform. While this gives a good sine waveform, it also has high levels of distortions than other test instruments and sine wave generators. 

The sine wave distortion plays an important role and while less than 2% levels of distortion are accepted, anything more should not be encouraged or bought.  There are a lot of generators that offer less than this too. The technique used to generate the sine wave decides the levels and percentage of distortion. 

  • Triangular Wave Linearity:

This indicates some departure of the triangular waveform from a straight line. Usually, the linearity should be better than 99% of the 10 and 90% of the waveform’s amplitude.

  • Rise and fall times of the Square Wave: 

While driving certain logic chips, the rise and fall times of the square wave edge’s might cause some issues. Chips that are synchronous with a clock may require certain edge speed compared to others. 

Usually, a function generator might have a rise time of 100 nanoseconds between 10% and 90% of the waveform. The fall time should also be of the same order. Differences for the same are possible depending on a generator to a generator; the duration may differ.

  • The symmetry of the output:

Function generators come with an option where you can change the symmetry of the output can be changed by about 20% to 80% (with a ±10% variation)

2. Resolution

Resolution refers to the conversion of the analogue voltage generated to the equivalent digital value that is to be displayed on the screen. A signal generator’s resolution could be a limiting factor for getting an accurate generated waveform. The waveform will give you more detailed if the DAC resolution is increased. 

While a 3bit DAC divides the vertical range into 8 discrete levels, it cannot generate voltage differences smaller than 1.25 V with a vertical range of 0-10 volts. 

A 16 bit DAC with 216 discrete levels and an output range of 0-10 V can generate voltage differences which can be as small as 153 microvolts.

You can find the smallest discrete step of a waveform output of a signal generator by dividing the peak to peak voltage range of the DAC to the ‘N’th power of 2 (N is the resolution of the device)

Choose signal generators that offer both offsets and variable peak-to-peak output voltage ranges.

3. Frequency Limits

Usually, a function generator comes with a frequency range with an upper limit of 20 MHz. Any Radio Frequency generators for higher frequency are not function generators as they produce modulated or pure sine wave signals only.

The lower frequency limit for generators are usually below 1Hz and often about 0.1 or 0.2 Hz. It is ideal to go below normal requirements.

Depending on the test instrument’s requirement, these waveform generators cover a frequency range of 1-10 (the range is subjected to change)

4. Bandwidth

The bandwidth of the Signal generator refers to the output signal attenuation frequency which is 3 dB relative to the DC amplitude or any other low-frequency signal. 

The source signal ’s bandwidth is limited by analogue output circuit filters or the output amplifier design. Thus bandwidth becomes one of the major deciding factors on a signal generator’s maxed output frequency

5. Sampling rate

The sampling rate is the rate at which the transfer of digital data progresses from the memory to the DAC. It is measured in the units “Samples per second”.

For this, a digital waveform should be updated two times faster for the highest frequency of the desired signal needs to be generated accurately. 

Higher sampling rates capture more details of the waveform being generated. Thus look for generators with at least double or higher sampling rate compared to the max frequency of the generator.

6. Output Levels

Output levels are continuously variable and will adjust according to the Transistor-Transistor Logic (TTL). But the max limit varies from waveform generator to waveform generator. 

Ideal and usual maximum levels for any waveform generator should be about 10 or maybe 12 volts (peak to peak)

7. Output Impedance

The max load a function generator can drive is also an important factor to consider. Output Impedance refers to the resistance of AC flow going out and thus saves on the waveform. 

Impedance is measured in ohms Ω and the typical output impedance levels of a waveform generator should be about 50Ω.

8. DC Offset

A waveform generator with a DC offset feature would let you change and vary the base voltage levels of the signal over a specified range. The usual offset variable is between +5V to -5V.

9. Frequency Stability

While analogue waveform generators are less stable; digital waveform generators are much stable as they use a crystal for the generator clock. Usually, the figures for change are around 0.1% per hour for analogue and for digital, it is about 500 parts per million.

10. Phase Lock Capability

Phase locking is basically when your generator can lock the phase of the signal to an external clock signal. Phase locking capabilities were not available in the older models but most of the digital waveform generators come with such features. Phase locking enables the waveform generator to give out a more precise and accurately synchronized output.

11. Modulation

While some function generators can modulate the output signal, not all can perform amplitude or frequency modulation. Most of the traditional devices just provide a waveform simulation and nothing more. 

Thus it is important to have your waveform generator to be able to perform a wide range of modulatory operations.

12. Environmental Conditions

Highly unlikely of a factor but for a few experiments temperature is a factor that you need to consider. Also, there is the point of storage and operating temperature ( along with any humidity based specs if required). 

This is usually a factor for analogue instruments as temperature might cause some errors. Digital waveform generators, on the other hand, are easy to use and probably more flexible towards changes in temperature and do not easily get affected by that.

Conclusion:

The Siglent Technologies SDS1202X-E Generator is our top pick from the list of top 12 waveform generator kits because of its high resolution and the elements are made with high-quality materials.  It has the advanced features starting from USB-port, upgrade options, dual-channel touchscreen display.

The performance of this product is fantastic and made us list number 1. It has wide uses in testing and researching at engineering colleges and laboratories. Though it very expensive kit, makes the users buy without having a second thought.

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