January 17, 2022

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Best USB Oscilloscopes Reviews in 2021

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If you love tinkering around with electronics and want to learn how certain gadgets work and behave in the presence of electricity, an oscilloscope would be a great tool for you that could help you with such experiments.

With that said, we have picked up some of the most portable and handy oscilloscope options from the market and have chosen them to be on our list of best USB oscilloscopes on the basis of the following features:

  • Bandwidth: The performance of an oscilloscope is majorly dependent on the max bandwidth it can handle. Usually, when the frequency of the incoming signal increases, the accuracy of the oscilloscope gets affected. That said, you should be looking out for an oscilloscope that can handle at least 20MHz frequency where the models with higher bandwidth capacity are better.
  • Real-time Sampling Rate: For an oscilloscope to deliver a detailed graph, it should have the capacity to read the samples of the incoming signals multiple times. Well, the oscilloscopes that we have picked up for you are all different and have variable real-time sampling rates. While some options offer a 2.4MSa/s sampling rate, there are better options also available that offer 250MSa/s or even 1GSa/s. So, you can easily find a suitable option for yourself as per your requirements.
  • Number of Channels: If you are looking for a versatile USB oscilloscope that can be used across multiple connections at the same time, it’s important for you to check the number of channels that are available on the oscilloscope. Some USB oscilloscopes come with either 2 or 4 channels, while some better options even have up to 8 channels as well.

Just like these few aspects, there’s a lot more that you should know as a customer before spending any amount of cash on such products. In case you are interested to know how you can pick the best USB oscilloscope for yourself, we have included a detailed Buying Guide later in this article that will help you with that. Until then, let’s quickly take a peek at the best USB Oscilloscopes that we have hand-picked for you all from the market.

Best USB Oscilloscopes 2022

Best USB Oscilloscopes Reviews

1. Hantek Diagnostic PC Oscilloscope

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Although there are quite a few USB oscilloscope brands out there that are truly good, surely Hantek is one of them as it has been around the industry for quite a long time now.

If we talk about its construction, this oscilloscope has quite a rigid chassis, maybe because it’s one of the best ones to use for automotive works. It simply connects with any laptop that has Windows 10 installed on it and works magnificently.

The best fact about this USB oscilloscope is that it has total 8 channel support, so using it with multiple machines at the same time is possible. Not just that, the real-time sampling rate of the oscilloscope is mentioned to be 2.4MSa/s and supports bandwidth up to 20MHz which is pretty good. Moreover, it has a USB 2.0 for easy connectivity, so using it is quite simple and convenient.

Best Features:

  • Supports max bandwidth up to 20MHz
  • Has support for up to 8 channels
  • The real-time sampling rate is 2.4MSa/s
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Pros:

  • Build quality is pretty good
  • Compatible with Windows 10
  • Easy connectivity with USB 2.0

Cons:

  • The real-time sampling rate could have been better

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2. Aiteme Digital Oscilloscope Kit

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For those of you who want a USB oscilloscope that does not even require a standalone PC to work, you should check out this Tablet Oscilloscope from Aiteme.

Not only is it cheaper than other options, but equally functional, and even better than several options that are listed here. The best part about it is that it features its own 7-inch TFT LCD color display with a resolution of 800×480, hence, you can view the graphical representations right away on the screen itself. Apart from that, it’s unique since it boasts a 6000mAh high-performance lithium battery that lasts for about 4 hours which is good enough.

In addition, this oscilloscope also allows you to take screenshots of the waveforms so you can easily compare the results later on. Thanks to the in-built 1GB storage, it can save up to 1000 screenshots before the storage runs out. Talking about its performance, this oscilloscope has a real-time sampling rate of 1GSa/s and can handle signal frequency up to 100MHz which makes it one of the most powerful and reliable options on this list, despite having a low price tag as compared to what other brands offer. However, the only downside is that it only supports up to 2 channels.

Best Features:

  • Supports max bandwidth up to 100MHz
  • Has support for up to 2 channels
  • The real-time sampling rate is 1GSa/s
  • Features an in-built 7-inch TFT LCD color display
  • Comes with an in-built 6000mAh battery

Pros:

  • Superior build quality
  • Easy to use and operate
  • The screenshot feature is highly useful

Cons:

  • No mention of warranty

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3. Analog Discovery USB Oscilloscope

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In case you are looking out for an all-rounder oscilloscope, the Analog Discovery 2 from Digilent will surely impress you with its features.

First of all, the size of this oscilloscope makes it the best choice for you if you want something that is easily portable and can be used with almost any machine. In this single unit, this oscilloscope features, 16-channel digital logic analyzer, and a 16-channel pattern generator which makes it so fun to use, and highly useful for most electronic applications.

On the other hand, it even supports a two-channel arbitrary function generator and a Stereo audio amplifier that allows you to test out headphones or speakers as well. If we talk about its performance, it’s quite impressive as it offers a real-time sampling rate of 100MSa/s and has a decent bandwidth of 30MHz which is more than enough for most tasks.

Moreover, thanks to the built-in C++ and Python API, its script editing feature is a lot handy. Keeping these things aside, the build quality is a bit on the lower side, but it’s backed up by a 1-year warranty so that’s not a big issue.

Best Features:

  • Supports max bandwidth up to 30MHz
  • Has support for up to 2 channels
  • The real-time sampling rate is 100MSa/s
  • Has built-in script editing
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Pros:

  • Has plenty of useful features
  • Highly compact and portable
  • Easy assembly and operation

Cons:

  • Build quality is on the average side

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4. PICO TECHNOLOGY Oscilloscope

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Speaking of premium brands, PICO TECHNOLOGY is one of the best brands that you can go with as it has a great reputation in the market and offers a wide range of premium oscilloscopes.

From the PICO TECHNOLOGY’s wide collection of oscilloscopes, the 2406B USB Oscilloscope fits our list pretty nicely. You will be glad to know that it’s quite premium in terms of build quality, and supports up to 4 channels which is better than most other options. In addition, the bandwidth supported by this oscilloscope is 50MHz.

Not just that, the reason it’s priced so high is that it has a real-time sampling rate of 1GSa/s which is typically the best you can find in the market right now. Apart from that, the package also includes a 60MHz Passive Probe which is ideally perfect to use with this oscilloscope. As far as the warranty is concerned, PICO TECHNOLOGY offers a 1-year warranty for this oscilloscope, although you won’t need that since the build quality is so good.

Best Features:

  • Supports max bandwidth up to 50MHz
  • Has support for up to 4 channels
  • The real-time sampling rate is 1GSa/s
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Pros:

  • Comes with a 60MHz Passive Probe
  • Construction is very rigid and sturdy
  • Brilliant performance

Cons:

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5. DreamSourceLab USB-Based Oscilloscope

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DreamSourceLab is yet another premium brand that you can go with as it’s highly rated for its amazing after-sales services and top-notch build quality of all its offerings.

The DSCope U2P20 USB-Based Oscilloscope is one of the best options that fit our list due to its reasonable price, and superior build quality. Not just that, the oscilloscope is highly compact, so it’ll be a lot easier for you to carry it and use it wherever you wish. The DSCope U2P20 only features 2 channels, but since it operates pretty precisely and supports 50MHz bandwidth, it’s a highly functional and convenient option for most people out there.

On the other hand, the precision of the oscilloscope is amazing, thanks to the high real-time sampling rate of 200MSa/s which is better than most models that are listed in the market for this price. In addition, it comes with an FPGA-based waveform processing engine and boasts 256Mbits SDRAM hardware memory as well. On top of that, the best part is that it can be used with systems having Windows, macOS, and Linux which is quite great.

Best Features:

  • Supports max bandwidth up to 50MHz
  • Has support for up to 2 channels
  • The real-time sampling rate is 200MSa/s
  • Compatible with Windows, macOS, and Linux systems
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Pros:

  • High build quality
  • Wide compatibility
  • Operates using an open-source software

Cons:

  • There could be more channels

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6. Hantek USB Digital Storage Oscilloscope

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Lastly, we have another decent offering from Hantek which you might be interested in looking at if you want something that is budget-friendly but doesn’t compromise on quality.

Although we have already mentioned an Oscilloscope from Hantek, this one is also worthy to be on our list because of its interesting pricing. It’s one of the cheapest options that you can check out. Since it is manufactured by Hantek, you won’t find any faults in the build quality, and even in terms of any features.

This oscilloscope from Hantek delivers decent performance with a bandwidth capacity of 20MHz and supports up to 2 channels which is quite understandable looking at the pricing. On top of that, it has a real-time sampling rate of 250MSa/s which is good enough to outshine most other high-priced options. Apart from that, it’s widely compatible as it supports all versions of Windows OS

Best Features:

  • Supports max bandwidth up to 20MHz
  • Has support for up to 2 channels
  • The real-time sampling rate is 250MSa/s
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty

Pros:

  • Wide compatibility
  • High-quality accessories
  • Portable and easy to handle

Cons:

  • Does not work with Linux systems

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Buying Guide for USB Oscilloscope

For those who like experimenting with electronics and seeing how various gadgets generally behave to electricity, an oscilloscope is the best tool that you can use for that purpose. Unlike the full-fledged oscilloscopes, the USB oscilloscopes are rather more convenient to use as they are cheaper, work almost with the same precision, and can be easily connected with the computer since they are portable as well.

With that said, if you are interested in buying one for yourself, the list of all the best USB oscilloscopes is mentioned right above this section. However, if you are buying such a machine for the first time, there are certain things that you should keep in mind as a customer and should always check in an oscilloscope before paying for it. So, without wasting any time, let’s get right into it.

Number of Channels

Looking out for the number of channels available on the oscilloscope is one of the most important tasks that you have to do as a customer. In case you want an oscilloscope that can be used while working around multiple devices, you should invest in an option that supports multiple channels. Some of the USB oscilloscopes that we have mentioned on our list either support 2 or 4 channels which are quite good. On the other hand, there are some premium options also available that even support up to 8 channels which is quite a good option to consider for wide application usage.

Max Bandwidth

The accuracy of a USB oscilloscope depends on the max bandwidth it can handle. Electrical signals that oscilloscopes read are generally of variable frequencies, where larger machines with more load have signals of larger frequencies generally. Hence, to decode the signal and represent it graphically on the screen, the oscilloscope should be capable of handling frequencies of such bandwidth.

As the frequency of the signal increases, it becomes harder and harder for an oscilloscope to read the signals. Hence, if the frequency of the signal falls out of the oscilloscope’s supported bandwidth, you won’t be getting accurate results. It’s generally mentioned in MHz, so you can check it before buying an oscilloscope. In this article, you will find oscilloscopes with bandwidth ranging from 20MHz to 100MHz where oscilloscopes with more bandwidth range are considered better.

Real-time Sampling Rate

Another thing that you can consider to check an oscilloscope’s accuracy is its real-time sampling rate. Oscilloscopes do the job of reading the signals and showing you a visual representation of them so that it’s easier to understand. Well, at what pace an oscilloscope does depends on its real-time sampling rate.

If the real-time sampling rate of an oscilloscope is high, it will be able to read signal samples more often and will be able to provide you with an accurate representation. While most USB oscilloscopes come with a sampling rate of 200-250MSa/s, there are few exceptionally good options available on our list that have a 1GSA/s sampling rate which is pretty fast as compared to the latter.

Compatible Operating System

Since USB Oscilloscopes are slightly different from conventional oscilloscopes, they usually require a connection with the PC to work properly. Well, that said, you should check the compatible operating system of the oscilloscope as it could be a major bummer if you buy the wrong one. While most of the modern USB oscilloscopes are capable of working with Windows 10, if you are using some older version, or the latest Windows 11, you might have to cross-check it before buying.

Warranty

Last but not the least, yet another important thing that you should consider checking is the warranty period. Although USB oscilloscopes are generally of very decent quality and don’t die too soon, you should still keep yourself on the safer side. That being said, since we have included only the top brands in our list, you won’t have to worry much. Almost all the brands offer a 1-year warranty for their oscilloscope options so you can easily pick one of them. So, even if the product does faulty after a short period of time, you will get a replacement very easily without spending anything extra.

FAQs about USB Oscilloscope

1. Is a 200MHz oscilloscope a better option?

Ans. Well, that depends on your usage! If you want to test out a signal close to that frequency, then you should definitely have it. Otherwise, if you are testing signals of 50MHz with a 200MHz oscilloscope, the rest of the bandwidth is a total waste for you. In that case, you can stick with a 50MHz oscilloscope and save your money for anything else instead.

2. Can we use a low bandwidth probe with a high bandwidth oscilloscope?

Ans. Yes, you can, but you shouldn’t use a low bandwidth probe with a high bandwidth probe. It’s because by doing so, you will be blocking the oscilloscope’s capability. The best use of an oscilloscope is when both the probe and the oscilloscope are of the same bandwidth capacity. Otherwise, the lower bandwidth element will become the limiting factor for the other element.

3. Does the bandwidth of the signal affect performance of an oscilloscope?

Ans. With the increasing frequency of the signal, the accuracy of the oscilloscope decreases gradually. So, if you are using a 50MHz oscilloscope, and the signal is of 60MHz, the oscilloscope won’t be able to show you accurate representation since it’s not designed to handle such high frequencies. Therefore, in this case, a 100MHz oscilloscope will be the perfect option to use.

Conclusion

That’s it for this article! We hope you have already checked out all the best oscilloscope options that we have mentioned so far in this article. As electronics enthusiasts, we believe that you might already know how to pick the best one for your work.

But, in case you are not that sort of a professional yet, we have mentioned all the important features of each oscilloscope, so you can easily compare them and pick the best one that suits your requirements. On the other hand, if you are a complete beginner, you can take help from the buying guide as it contains a lot of good information for all. Still, if there’s any confusion, picking one from our personal recommendations won’t be a bad decision either:

  • From this list, we personally like the Hantek 1008C+ 8CH Automotive Diagnostic PC Oscilloscope as it’s a reliable option and is designed to work with almost all systems. On top of that, it has a decent 20MHz bandwidth capacity and a 2.4MSa/s sampling rate which is quite decent. Moreover, Hantek offers excellent customer support and also offers a 1-year warranty.
  • For those who are looking for a standalone USB oscilloscope, the Tablet Oscilloscope from Aiteme is one of the best options to pick. It comes with an in-built 6000mAh battery and features its own 7 inches TFT color LCD that makes it highly convenient to use. Moreover, it performs brilliantly, thanks to the 100MHz bandwidth capacity and 1GSa/s sampling rate.
  • On the other hand, if you have no issues regarding the budget, the PICO TECHNOLOGY PICOSCOPE 2406B USB Oscilloscope is typically the best performing option that you can choose to pick. It has a real-time sampling rate of 1GSa/s which is pretty good and has a 50MHz bandwidth capacity which makes it suitable for almost all tasks.
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