The 10 Best Waveform Generators
This wiki has been updated 11 times since it was first published in October of 2018. Whether your profession requires testing electronic equipment or you are a hobbyist who likes to tinker with and repair your own gear, a good waveform generator will be an invaluable tool in your lab or workshop. Our comprehensive selection includes models perfect for all sorts of applications, including testing amplifiers and introducing error signals into a control loop. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
August 06, 2020:
While this category doesn't produce a tremendous amount of turnover, there is a new exciting model from Rigol in the Rigol DG2052. The most immediately striking difference between it and many of its competitors is its appearance, as it boasts a dark grey housing as opposed to the usual white or cream. That makes it a better aesthetic fit for electronic labs and workshops, but beneath that appearance is a capable device with an unusual feature: a touchscreen. Not only does that make for some quick and intuitive interactions with its menus, but it also allows the physical buttons included on its face to perform specific and useful functions like shift and shape selection, while also decreasing the odds that you'll hit the wrong key by mistake.
Depending on the data sets you deal with and the rest of the equipment you have, you might not need any oscilloscope readout, let alone a touchscreen. For those applications, there are the TTI TGA12104 and the TTI TGA12104. These tend to be targeted at professionals, however, and often come with the highest price tags. One innovative offering we brought to our special honors section doesn't have any readout whatsoever, but is designed to work with a tablet for the control and display of all its features, so the company can update some of its capabilities via firmware and software upgrades, possibly saving you the need to scrap your old unit for a new one down the line.
December 10, 2018:
This category has some pretty big swings in price, with additional output channels, higher bandwidth, and cleaner signals seeming to make the most difference in cost. Established brands like Siglent and Rigol keep their prices reasonably low despite scoring well in all these departments, where others like Fluke and TTi boast excellent features, but are probably more expensive than they need to be.
Liquid Instruments Moku Lab This simple device utilizes an iPad to display its oscilloscope readout and to give you control over a variety of waveform parameters. It can generate sine waves up to 250MHz with the option for cross-channel modulation, and is available in two bundle configurations, with either a one- or three-year warranty. liquidinstruments.com