GRAS RA0403 Externally Polarized Hi-Res Ear Simulator

A Family of Future-Proof Ear Simulators

Hi-Res audio has become a major market driver in wearable audio. Testing Hi-Res headphones and headsets confront the industry with new challenges: Test equipment must be able to handle high frequencies but at the same time present test objects with a realistic, human-like load– requirements that until now could not be met at the same time. Our new improved 60318-4-based ear simulators change that. They combine realistic loading of the transducer up to 10 kHz with much improved high-frequency capabilities. The GRAS RA0401/02 uses a ½” microphone and can measure up to 20 kHz, whereas the GRAS RA0403/04 uses a ¼” microphone and can measure up to 50 kHz and beyond. Discover the evolution of the IEC 60318-4 ear simulators here.

For more than three decades, the IEC 60318-4 ear simulator has been the recognized industry standard for testing audio transducers with a realistic simulation of the acoustical load presented by the human ear. However, its undamped resonance at 13.5 kHz makes it difficult to use for high-frequency testing.

Therefore, GRAS has introduced two improved variants of the IEC 60318-4 ear simulator. They retain a firm footing in the standard but improve the ability to measure at high frequencies.

The High-Frequency Ear Simulator (GRAS RA0401/02)

The RA0401/02 has a damping system that attenuates the half-wave resonance at 13.5 kHz and thus extends the useful frequency range to 20 kHz. It uses the same ½” microphoneas the original version and fully complies with the standard. If you want to know more, click here.

The Hi-Res Ear Simulator (GRAS RA0403/04)

The RA0403/04 also has a damping system that attenuates the length-related resonances above 10 kHz, but the use of a ¼” microphone extends the useful frequency range to 50 kHz and beyond. The 60318-4 standard calls for a½” microphone - this is the only reason why the Hi-Res Ear Simulator is not standard-compliant,but ”only” standard-compatible, as it fully complies with the standard in all other respects.

You can check the technical specifications here

Explore the benefits

Our new ear simulators build on industry standards- and improve upon them in important ways. They introduce major improvements: High-frequency capability and improved repeatability. When combined with our anthropometric pinna, improved collapsibility, fit and seal are added benefits.



GRAS 146AE withShadow WEB

Hi-Res Ear Simulator

 Drop-in replacement for 60318-4 ear simulator in any test setup

 Improved distortion measurements

 Improved repeatability

 Human-like load up to 10 kHz                                   

 Extended and stable frequency response

 IEC 60318-4 compatible

100 Hz to 10 kHz:   According to IEC 60318-4
10 kHz to 20 kHz:   ± 2.2 dB
20 kHz to 50 kHz:  ± 3.2 dB
Volume:                   1260 mm³ @ 500 Hz
Sensitivity:              1.6 mV/Pa
Damped resonance, with peak @ 13.5 kHz

The GRAS RA0403 is a hi-res ear simulator with an acoustic input impedance closely resembling that of an average human ear.  It includes a 40BP 1/4" pressure microphone and is individually calibrated with this specific microphone. It features a special damping system that extends its useful frequency range to 50 kHz. Its prepolarized equivalent is RA0404.




The GRAS RA0403 is an ear simulator for hi-res audio testing. It is developed to meet the increasing demand for realistic and accurate high-frequency measurements with simulation of the acoustic load presented by the human ear. It is intended as a research and development tool for high-resolution capable headphones.

Using a ¼” microphone and a special damping system to attenuate the internal resonances, the RA0403 offers an unprecedented high-frequency capability for headphone testing.

The RA0403 is based on the standardized IEC60318-4 Ear Simulator but has been modified to improve its high-frequency response. It has the same internal design and its acoustic input impedance closely resembles that of the human ear and, as a result, loads a sound source in very much the same way. Below 10 kHz, the standardized ear simulator does a good job at simulating the human ear. However, above 10 kHz its performance starts rapidly to deteriorate. The primary reason for this is its high Q resonance at 13.5 kHz. This resonance makes the acoustic load that the ear simulator constitutes more complex and imposes an un-linearity on the output above 10 kHz where repeatability is poor and measurements of frequency response and distortion are unreliable.

The RA0403, however, uses a resonance damping system to attenuate the steep resonance at 13.5 kHz. This resonance is attenuated by more than 14 dB. This greatly improves the linearity above 10 kHz and makes it possible to use a ¼” microphone in the coupler and benefit from its extended frequency range. Therefore, the RA0403 is well suited for research and development of high-resolution capable headphones up to 50 kHz.

It is compatible with IEC60318-4 and its acoustic transfer impedance is within the tolerance band specified by IEC60318-4 up to 10 kHz. From 10 to 20 kHz the transfer impedance is within ±2.2 dB, from 20 kHz to 50 kHz it is within ±3.2 dB. Therefore, it is now possible to make measurements up to 50 kHz with good repeatability.

It is measured and calibrated according to IEC60318-4 and delivered with a calibration chart specifying its sensitivity and frequency response.

When mounted in a KEMAR in combination with an anthropometric pinna you have the possibility of performing high-frequency tests including the effects from head diffractions.

Its prepolarized equivalent is GRAS RA0404.


  • Transfer impedance compatible with IEC60318-4

  • 10 kHz to 20 kHz the response is within ± 2.2 dB

  • 20 to 50 kHz the response is within ± 3.2 dB

  • The 13.5 kHz resonance damped by more than 14 dB

  • Calibrated to 100 kHz


  • Measurements with a realistic acoustical load of the test object

  • Measurements below and above 10 kHz in the same test sequence - results below and above 10 kHz can be compared/analyzed in the same process.

  • Measurements below and above 10 kHz both at the ear-drum reference point, i. e. with the same acoustical load.

  • Better distortion measurements, even from as low as 3-5 kHz and upwards.


The RA0403 embodies a number of carefully designed volumes connected via well-defined and precisely tuned resistive grooves. In an equivalent electrical circuit, capacitors would represent the volumes, and inductance and resistance would represent respectively air mass and airflow within the resistive groves.

It is delivered with a built-in GRAS 40BP 1/4" externally polarized pressure microphone and an individual calibration chart for the ear simulator.

Where the standard ear simulator has a high Q resonance at about 13.5 kHz, the high-resolution version has a built-in dampening system that attenuates the volume related resonances by about 14 dB. Also, the shape of the resonances has been softened. The effects of the internal resonances are well controlled. At the same time, the slopes of the resonances are more rounded, making it possible to obtain reliable and reproducible measurement results.

The overall result is a much more useful response, whose effects on measurements are much easier to identify and the useful frequency range of the coupler is extended to 50 kHz.

Typical applications and use

The RA0403 is for measurements on earphones where the influence of the pinna and the head and torso are part of the investigation.

GRAS has a large portfolio of test devices for such measurements, ranging from fairly simple tabletop test setups to comprehensive configurations based on the KEMAR manikin, with or without mouth simulation.

45CA Headphone Test Fixture

The RA0403 is a drop-in replacement for 45CA already configured with an externally polarized ear simulator.

A preconfigured version is available, the 45CA-11 Headphone Test Fixture - Hi-Res Ear Simulator & Anthro. Pin LEMO.

The prepolarized equivalent is the 45CA-12 Headphone Test Fixture - Hi-Res Ear Simulator & Anthro. Pin CCP.


RA0403 is a drop-in  replacement for KEMAR already configured with an RA0045 or a RA0401.

Four configurations are available:

45BB-15 KEMAR for Test of Ear & Headphones with Hi-Res Ear Simulator, 2-Ch LEMO

45BC-15 KEMAR for Test of Headset with Hi-Res Ear Simulator, 2-Ch LEMO

The prepolarized equivalents are:

45BB-16 KEMAR for Test of Ear & Headphones with Hi-Res Ear Simulator, 2-Ch CCP

45BC-16 KEMAR for Test of Headset with Hi-Res Ear Simulator, 2-Ch CCP

GRAS 43-series tabletop Ear Simulator Kits

If you already own one of our tabletop testbeds, the RA0403 is a drop-in replacement for a 43AG already configured with RA0045.

A preconfigured version is available, the 43AG-8 Anthro. Ear and Cheek Simulator with Hi-Re Ear Simulator, LEMO

The prepolarized equivalent is 43AG-9 Anthro. Ear and Cheek Simulator with Hi-Res Ear Simulator, CCP.

Two versions of the 43AC Ear Simulator Kit configured for hires testing are available:

43AC-S6 with Hi-Res Ear Simulator, LEMO and 43AC-S7 with Hi-Res Ear Simulator, CCP

Headphone testing

Realistic test of headphones and earphones requires that they are presented with an acoustic load that simulates the human ear. The traditional 60318-4 coupler does exactly that, but testing above 10 kHz does not produce reliable and reproducible results because of the sharp and very dominant resonance at 13.5 kHz. In practice, this limitation has made it necessary to measure the high-frequency behavior of the transducer under test with other means, such as mounting it on a baffle and measure in the near-field with a ¼” microphone.

With the RA0403 ear simulator, it is now possible to measure below and above 10 kHz in the same measurement setup, at the drum reference point and with the same acoustical loading of the transducer under test. This makes tests of headphones much easier, with improved repeatability.

RA0403 can be used as a development tool for the development of insert type headphones as well as supra- and circumaural types.

For R&D of headphones, the RA0403 can be mounted in a KEMAR. When furnished with the anthropometric pinna, tests of supra-aural and circum-aural headphones can be done to a much higher degree of realism than previously possible. When a headphone is mounted, the anthropometric pinna collapses against the head much like the real ear, and sealing and leakage related effects can better be investigated. For insert type of headphones, the better shape of the ear canal improves seal and fit, vastly improving the repeatability of measurements.

The combined advantage of the anthropometric pinna and the RA0403 is better test results at low frequencies and improved resolution at high frequencies and much-improved repeatability.

For QC purposes, the RA0403 can be mounted in a 45CA Headphone/Hearing-protector Test Fixture.



The RA0403 can be used with a standard LEMO preamplifier, e.g. the  GRAS 26AC-1 1/4" Preamplifier. For dual-channel applications with size constraints, use the GRAS 26AS 1/4" Preamplifier, very short.

Like the RA0045 the RA0403 has a dust protection filter to prevent dust and dirt from entering the internal volume. This filter should be kept clean and replaced when needed as dust build-up will influence the performance of the ear simulator.


200 V / Traditional
Theoretical dynamic range lower limit with GRAS preamplifier
Theoretical dynamic range upper limit with GRAS preamplifier @ +28 V / ±14 V power supply
Theoretical dynamic range upper limit with GRAS preamplifier @ +120 V / ±60 V power supply
Set sensitivity @ 250 Hz (±3 dB)
1,5 mV
Set sensitivity @ 250 Hz (±3 dB)
dB re 1V/Pa
Resonance frequency
Coupler volume
1260 @ 500 Hz
Temperature range, operation
°C / °F
-30 to 60 / -22 to 140
Temperature coefficient @250 Hz
dB/°C / dB/°F
-0.01 / -0.006
Humidity range non condensing
% RH
0 to 90
ANSI standard
IEC standard
Based on 60318-4
ITU-T recommondations
CE/RoHS compliant/WEEE registered
Yes/Yes, Yes
g / oz

Frequency Response

± 2,2 dB
± 3,2 dB

100 Hz -13,5 kHz
10 kHz - 20 kHz
20 kHz - 50 kHz


Fig 1. The transfer impedance of a typical RA0403 Hi-Res Ear Simulator with tolerances. Up to 10 kHz, the response is within the limits defined by IEC 60318-4.  Above 10 kHz, the response is within a fairly tight tolerance band up to 50 kHz


Ordering info

 Optional items


In Ear Adapter


Calibration Adapter


Stop Washer


Tube Adapter


Ear-mould Simulator


Retention Ring


Tube Adapter


1/4" Standard Preamplifier with Integrated Miniconnector


1/4" Preamplifier, Very Short

GRAS Sound & Vibration reserves the right to change specifications and accessories without notice.