The 9 Best Spectrum Analyzers
This wiki has been updated 15 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Whether you work for a phone service provider that is looking for a new cell tower site, an amateur UFO hunter trying to make contact with extraterrestrials, or wondering why your home's wireless internet signal is so poor, you will need to measure the frequency and power of the various signals assailing the area. With one of these spectrum analyzers, you will be all set. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best spectrum analyzer on Amazon.
Rohde & Schwarz FSW43 Manufactured in Germany by a company that specializes in making electronic test equipment, this standalone unit has a sizable detection range of between 2 kHz to 43.5 GHz a maximum real-time bandwidth of 800 MHz and an internal analysis bandwidth of 2 GHz, allowing for the characterization of wideband components. It can accurately measure signals with a duration of down to 0.46 microseconds. rohde-schwarz.com
December 11, 2019:
For this update, I wanted to prioritize ease-of-use. Spectrum analyzers can generally be divided into 3 types: non-DIU’s (non-display interface units) or units that have no display unit and upload data onto a device with a display unit (laptop, tablet, PC) for analysis -these look like hard drives and include the Tektronix RSA306B, Oscium WiPry 5X and Instrustar ISDS205A; standalone units that look like microcomputers and have built-in display interfaces and on-board analysis and tracking generator features - these are the units that look like big microwaves and include the Rigol DSA815-TG Tracking, Siglent SSA3021X, Anritsu MS2721B and Siglent SSA3032, and; portable units that are handheld devices with display units and can also be plugged into a PC for analysis using compatible application software.
For ease of use, I wanted to prioritize portable units because of the obvious benefit of being able to carry them around. I removed the overpriced TTi PSA II and introduced 2 new models – RF Explorer ISM Combo Plus for VLF (Very Low Frequency) to UHF (Ultra High Frequency) bands, and the RF Explorer 6G Combo for the popular 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz (6G) frequency bands. While these models may not have the large range that some of the more expensive models have, these are ideal for job-site professionals who work within these specific and populated frequency ranges, and they’re so cheap.
I wanted to highlight standalone units next, because, while they’re not portable, all analysis features are on-board without the need to access external application software (which you often have to pay for if you want to access more advanced features). I’ve introduced the Siglent SSA3021X as a ‘tapered-down’ version of the Siglent SSA3032 (i.e. the SSA3021X is a cheaper option with a smaller frequency range).