Keysight’s 8 Most Expensive Oscilloscopes and Why You Should Buy One

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The goal of most sales pitches is to convince a customer to buy a particular product. A seasoned salesperson will tell them why they should buy it and how it will benefit them. As a sweetener, they may even try to entice the customer with a reduced price tag. But in some situations, getting something at a fraction of the cost doesn't mean you're necessarily getting the best product. For example, a high-end sports car will cost significantly more than a family sedan, but the sports car will offer a much better driving experience.

The same is true about Keysight's most expensive oscilloscopes. Yes, they come with a higher price tag, but you will get some of the best technology and performance on the market. Let's take a look at Keysight's eight most expensive oscilloscopes. We will look at their features and see why these "sports cars" of the oscilloscope world are worth every penny.

Why Are Oscilloscopes So Expensive?

A digital storage oscilloscope is an instrument that allows you to visualize electrical waveforms. You use oscilloscopes for various applications, from engineering new products to scientific research.

To read precise waveforms, digital scopes use very high-speed digital circuits. These digital circuits allow the oscilloscope to take quick and accurate measurements. The speed and accuracy of these digital circuits come at a cost, which is why oscilloscopes are generally more expensive than other types of test equipment.

Note other factors that contribute to the high cost of some oscilloscopes.

Price FactorReasoning
Component typesThe quality of its components determines the performance of an oscilloscope, and high-end scopes use premium components. In addition, oscilloscopes require a lot of calibration and maintenance to function properly, which also adds to their cost.
Research and developmentThe high price of some oscilloscopes is primarily due to the cost of research and development. Designing and building an oscilloscope is complex and time-consuming, and the finished product must meet stringent quality standards. In addition, the market for oscilloscopes is relatively small, so manufacturers must charge high prices to cover their costs.
Manufacturing laborOscilloscopes are complex devices that require highly skilled workers to assemble them. A lot of time and effort goes into testing and calibrating each oscilloscope to ensure it meets the highest standards. Each step is essential to ensuring that the end product is a high-quality and reliable oscilloscope. As a result, the labor cost can be high when manufacturing these devices.
Device complexitySaying an oscilloscope is a complex device is an understatement. Digital oscilloscopes measure electrical signals using various methods. They may convert the signal into a digital format using an analog-to-digital converter or a plug-in card that digitizes the signal. Once the signal is in a digital format, it is displayed on a computer or stored on a hard drive. Digital oscilloscopes can also measure various other signals, such as sound or light waves. However, due to the complex nature of digital oscilloscopes, they are often more expensive than their analog counterparts.
Specialized softwareA digital oscilloscope uses a digital computer to convert the input voltage level into a digital value and displays it on the screen. While this process can be done using simple hardware, another way is using specialized software. This software includes various features designed to make the oscilloscope more user-friendly and allow for more precise measurements. For example, many digital oscilloscopes have built-in waveform-recognition algorithms that automatically identify and display common waveforms. In addition, many oscilloscope software packages include tools for generating custom reports and exporting data to other software applications for further analysis.
Lack of mass productionUnlike analog oscilloscopes, which have been in production for decades, digital oscilloscopes are still relatively new. As a result, fewer manufacturers are producing them on a large scale. This lack of competition means prices remain high, even as technology improves.

While the above factors contribute to the high price tag of some oscilloscopes, a great solution to get your hands on a high-end oscilloscope at a much lower price is to buy a Keysight premium used oscilloscope.

Did you know Keysight offers a wide range of high-quality, premium, refurbished oscilloscopes backed by a 1-year warranty? That means when you buy with Keysight, you can rest easy knowing you're getting a quality product backed by a trusted manufacturer.

See our premium used equipment page and pick up a refurbished oscilloscope with some of the highest standards and specifications in the industry.

Oscilloscope Features That Drive Up the Price

The saying "you get what you pay for" couldn't be more true when buying an oscilloscope. For example, if you are a hobbyist, you won't need all the features of a high-end oscilloscope. However, if you work in a professional setting where precision and accuracy are critical, you will want to invest in an oscilloscope with all the bells and whistles. Here are some of the features that can drive up the price of an oscilloscope.

Bigger Bandwidth

Bandwidth is one of the most important factors when buying an oscilloscope. A scope's bandwidth determines the frequency range at which it can display a signal accurately. Bandwidth becomes more important at higher frequencies. Otherwise, you will only be able to see some signal components, and the high-frequency noise is aliased (moved to a lower frequency).

A scope with a large bandwidth will be more expensive than one with a smaller bandwidth, but it will also be better able to capture delicate signals and provide more precise measurements. A 20 Mhz bandwidth scope would be considered lower-end, while a top-of-the-line oscilloscope has bandwidths reaching up to 100 GHz.

Better Sample Rate

The sampling rate is the number of times per second that a digital oscilloscope takes a measurement (or sample). The Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem states that a signal can be perfectly reconstructed from an infinite series of samples taken at a rate greater than twice the signal's bandwidth.

In a simplified form, this means that the sampling rate must be at least two times greater than the highest frequency component in the measured signal. Most signals of interest require a sample rate in the megahertz (MHz) range. As you can imagine, taking millions of samples per second requires significant processing power, translating into a higher price tag for oscilloscopes with high sample rates.

Number of Channels

Oscilloscopes are generally available with 1, 2, 4, or 8 channels. The number of channels on an oscilloscope refers to the number of input signals that the scope can measure at the same time. So if you are working with a 4-channel scope, you can simultaneously measure up to 4 different signals.

While a single-channel oscilloscope will be enough for many applications, having multiple channels can be extremely helpful (and even necessary) in certain situations. For example, if you are measuring the performance of a system with multiple components, it can be very helpful to see all of the signals on one screen. This allows you to identify any anomalies and diagnose problems quickly.

Of course, more channels also mean a higher price tag. A 4-channel oscilloscope will cost more than a 2-channel scope, and an 8-channel scope will cost even more.

Memory Depth

Memory depth is the amount of data an oscilloscope can store and display. The deeper the memory, the more information the scope will show you. This is important because it affects the sample rate or the amount of information you can see and analyze at a time. A scope with shallow memory might only be able to store a few seconds' worth of data, which will not be enough to see signal anomalies over some time. But a scope with deep memory can keep hours' or even days' worth of data, letting you zoom in for a high-resolution view of whatever portion you're interested in viewing.​​ This is important for applications like power analysis, where you might need to see an entire day's worth of data to identify trends and optimize performance.

The deeper the memory, the more expensive the scope will be. But for many applications, deeper memory is worth the extra cost.

Our 8 Most Expensive Oscilloscopes

Now that we have looked at why premium oscilloscopes are so expensive, let's look at 8 of our most expensive Keysight oscilloscopes and see what sets them apart. We will look at things like

  1. Specs
  2. Uses
  3. Why you should buy

MSOX3104A

The InfiniiVision MSOX3104A redefines oscilloscopes. It sees the most signal detail and does more functions than any other oscilloscope. The industry-leading one million waveforms per second update rate is 20 times faster than the competition and displays the most signal detail. This means that you have the best chance of capturing random and infrequent events that you would miss on an oscilloscope with a lower waveform update rate.

MSOX3104A specs

  • 1 GHz
  • 4 analog plus 16 digital channels
  • Easily view your signals on the 8.5-inch WVGA display
  • Capture more data with up to 4 Mpts memory
  • See more signal detail with a 1,000,000 wfms/s update rate
  • Expand your measurement capabilities with full upgradability. Add memory, 20 MHz arbitrary waveform generator, 3-digit voltmeter, serial trigger and analysis, segmented memory, and mask testing at any time

Why You Should Buy the MSOX3104A

The InfiniiVision MSOX3104A is best suited for advanced applications requiring the highest bandwidth, sample rate, and update rate available. The large 8.5 inch screen is perfect for viewing complex signals, and the deep memory lets you capture long non-repeating signals while maintaining a high sample rate. This is the oscilloscope for you if you need to measure low jitter in today's high-speed digital systems.

MSOX3104T

The MSOX3104T X-Series oscilloscope takes everything revolutionary about the A model and adds even more! A capacitive touch screen, a user interface designed for touch, and the exclusive zone touch trigger. All combined with an industry-leading update rate of 1 million waveform/sec to give you the confidence that you're seeing all of your signal detail and the ability to discover any intermittent faults. And the addition of new analysis capabilities helps you quickly solve your most challenging problems.

MSOX3104T specs

  • 1 GHz
  • 4 analog plus 16 digital channels
  • Large 8.5-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • Zone touch triggering allows you to isolate signals in seconds
  • 1,000,000 wfms/s update rate
  • Capture a massive amount of data with up to 4 Mpts memory
  • Measure more with full upgradability. Add a 20 MHz arbitrary waveform generator,
  • 3-digit voltmeter, serial trigger, and analysis & mask testing anytime

Why You Should Buy the MSOX3104T

If you need an oscilloscope with a capacitive touch screen and a simple interface, the MSOX3104T is for you! From the start of product development, we designed every aspect of this oscilloscope to be seamlessly driven by a touch interface that adapts to show you more. A large, sensitive, capacitive touch screen combined with a graphical user interface makes operation quick and natural, just like your favorite tablet devices.

DSOX4154A

Imagine an oscilloscope that sees everything and can be set to trigger a sweep on any condition. The Keysight DSOX4154A oscilloscope is engineered for next-generation performance, delivering waveform update rates 20 times faster than the competition to display the most signal detail. An industry-leading 12.1-inch capacitive touch screen with innovative hardware-based zone touch triggering provides the most intuitive interface to get you answers faster.

DSOX415A DSOX4154A specs

  • 1.5 GHz
  • 4 analog signal channels.
  • A large 12.1-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • Isolate signals in seconds with exclusive Zone touch triggering
  • Capture more data with 4 Mpts memory and standard segmented memory
  • View incredible signal detail with a 1,000,000 wfms/s update rate
  • Expand your test capabilities with full upgradability. Add digital channels, dual-channel 20 MHz arbitrary waveform generator, 3-digit DVM, serial trigger and analysis, and mask testing at any time

Why You Should Buy the DSOX4154A

If test speed is a must, Keysight's DSXOX415A DSOX4154A is the solution. Powered by MegaZoom IV smart memory technology, the InfiniiVision DSOX4154A lets you see more waveforms and has the uncompromised ability to find the most challenging problems in your design. Unlike other oscilloscopes, uncompromised ability means

  1. Always-fast, responsive operation
  2. No slowdown with logic channels on
  3. No slowdown with protocol decoding on N
  4. o slowdown with math functions turned on
  5. No slowdown with measurements turned on

MSOX4154A

Anomalies and elusive events are the toughest to debug. The MSOX4154A X-Series oscilloscope redefines your debugging experience with MegaZoom IV smart memory technology. The industry-leading 1,000,000 waveforms-per-second update rate means you see more of your signal behavior and can feel more confident in your design.

MSOX4154A specs

  • 1.5 GHz
  • 4 analog plus 16 digital channels
  • Large 12.1-inch capacitive touchscreen
  • Zone touch triggering
  • Capture more data with 4 Mpts memory and standard segmented memory
  • See more signal detail with a 1,000,000 wfms/s update rate
  • Full upgradability. Add dual-ch 20 MHz arbitrary WaveGen, 3-digit DVM, serial trigger, and analysis & mask testing anytime

Why You Should Buy the MSOX4154A

If you need an oscilloscope that is easy to use, it may surprise you just how easy it is to use the MSOX4154A X-Series. A 12.1-inch capacitive touch screen is the largest in the industry. It works like your favorite tablet or smartphone, so debugging your devices is faster than ever. Innovative zone touch triggering makes triggering on anything a breeze. Just draw a box around signals of interest and the oscilloscope triggers on them.

MSOX6004A

The MSOX6004A X-Series has 7-in-1 integration. Combining digital channels, serial protocol analysis, a built-in dual-channel waveform generator, frequency response analysis, a built-in digital multimeter, and a built-in 10-digit counter with a totalizer. It also integrates multi-language voice control for the first time in an oscilloscope. It weighs only 6.8 kg, measures only 15.4 cm deep, and consumes only 200 W, making the MSOX6004A X-Series the world's most environmental-friendly multi-GHz portable oscilloscope.

MSOX6004A specs

  • 1– 6 GHz
  • 4 analog plus 16 digital channels
  • Quickly view and isolate signals on the 12.1-inch capacitive multi-touch screen with zone triggering and 450,000 wfms/s update rate
  • Make more precise measurements with 115 Vrms noise floor at 1 mV/div (1 GHz)
  • Get performance measurements anywhere with the portable 6-in deep size
  • Quickly see analysis details with standard histogram and color grade
  • View signal integrity with jitter and eye diagram analysis options
  • Full upgradability allows you to get more from your scope

Why You Should Buy the MSOX6004A

If you need an oscilloscope with uncompromising bandwidth and sample rates, look no further than the MSOX6004A. It has up to 6-GHz bandwidth and a 20-GSa/s sampling rate, so you can confidently measure digital signals with rise times faster than 150 ps or signals with higher than 2-Gbps NRZ (non-return to zero) data signal rates.

EXR108A

The Infiniium EXR108A is more than just an oscilloscope. Keysight pioneered multiple-instrument integration with the release of the mixed signal oscilloscope (MSO) in 1996. The InfiniiVision 2000/3000/4000 X-Series took the concept to the next level by integrating five instruments into one in 2011. The Infiniium EXR-Series integrates seven instruments in one, making it one of the most integrated oscilloscopes on the market.

EXR108A specs

  • 1 GHz on all 8 analog channels
  • Faster test speeds than ever before with ASIC technology
  • Accurate measurements with ENOB up to 9.0, noise as low as 43 µV
  • Maximum memory is a flexible 1.6 G points
  • Extended capabilities with 7-in-1 instrument integration
  • Upgradeable in every possible way – including bandwidth and channel upgrades

Why You Should Buy the EXR108A

If an extended history mode and segmented memory are a must, then the Infiniium EXR108A is for you. It comes standard with two valuable tools that allow you to look forward and backward in time. With history mode, stop the oscilloscope at any time to review up to 1,024 previous trigger events. With segmented memory, you can capture > 100,000 events post-trigger for analysis, with no limit between events. If your design has an elusive event that only seems to happen when you're not around, these tools can help you arm the oscilloscope to look for it, then let you review what gets captured.

DSOS604A

Whether you debug your latest design or verify compliance, your oscilloscope must display a true representation of your signal. This requires world-class signal integrity, and the DSOS604A Infiniium oscilloscope is designed with that in mind. The DSOS604A provides a superior time base, front-end, and ADC technology blocks. This provides a platform with up to 16 bits of resolution, low noise, low jitter, and high ENOB – giving you visibility into the true performance of your device.

DSOS604A specs

  • 6 GHz bandwidth (upgradable)
  • 4 analog signal channels
  • Achieve up to 16 bits of vertical resolution with our advanced system architecture
  • Capture a longer signal trace with 20 GSa/s maximum sample rate and 100 Mpts/channel of standard memory
  • Get superior signal integrity with an average system effective number of bits (ENOB) of 8.1 bits at full bandwidth
  • Gain increased usability with the multi-touch supported 15-inch capacitive touch screen and a solid-state drive for fast boot and reliability
  • Improve your testing with a wide range of protocol, compliance, and analysis software

Why You Should Buy the DSOS604A

If a superior time base is a must, the DSOS604A has you covered. Time scale accuracy is critical, especially for deep-memory applications. Measurement of jitter is necessary for ensuring high-speed system reliability. Intrinsic jitter associated with an oscilloscope includes the internal jitter measurement of the scope. The lower the value, the better you'll be able to characterize your device. DSOS604A scopes achieve precise time accuracy with a next-generation time base architecture. It has a best-in-industry time scale accuracy of 12 ppb (after calibration) for accurate deep memory measurements and a low jitter measurement floor with 100 fs (typical) of intrinsic jitter.

MSOS804A

The MSOS804A Infiniium S-Series oscilloscope incorporates innovative technology designed to deliver superior measurements. Cutting-edge hardware and a broad software suite work together to give you unmatched measurement capability. Our 10-bit ADC and low-noise front-end work together to provide up to 8 GHz of performance with fantastic signal integrity. A vast selection of high-speed digital debug tools gives you the best troubleshooting and design tools available on the market. We put all of this in an advanced frame with a solid-state drive for fast boot-up and a high-powered motherboard for fast processing.

MSOS804A specs

  • 8 GHz bandwidth
  • 4 analog plus 16 digital channels
  • Achieve up to 16 bits of vertical resolution with our advanced system architecture
  • Capture a longer signal trace with 20 GSa/s max sample rate and 100 Mpts/channel of standard memory
  • Get more value for money with out-of-the-box accessories, including four N2873A 500-MHz passive oscilloscope probes and an 8 GHz BNC calibration cable, 16-channel flying lead set logic probe, MSO cable, and MSO calibration fixture

Why You Should Buy the MSOS804A

If you need an oscilloscope that can do it all with a broad range of capabilities, then the MSOS804A Infiniium is the only oscilloscope you need. It packs 16 digital channels on MSO models and supports up to 100 probes, current and voltage, active and passive, 1 MΩ, and 50 Ω inputs. The MSOS804A supports feature-rich software with 50 automated measurements, 16 math functions, gating, and a spectral viewer.

If you need optional expandable software applications and flexible licensing, the MSOS804A can

  1. Add protocol decode/trigger for dozens of serial buses
  2. Choose from a large selection of analysis applications, including eye diagrams and measurements with SDA, jitter, InfiniiScan, and de-embedding
  3. Test to ensure adherence to industry standards with compliance apps

Buy an Award Winning Keysight Oscilloscope and Improve Test Times!

If you work in an industry that demands consistent, accurate results with no room for test errors, Keysight's line of premium oscilloscopes is the best in the business. They're the best in the business because they carry some of the highest specs in the industry.

Yes, these high-end specs come with a high price tag, but it gives you both the performance and the assurance that our oscilloscopes can handle any task you throw at them and still give you the accurate results you need.

If you're in the market for a high-performance oscilloscope, don't settle for anything less than the best. Invest in a Keysight oscilloscope that gives you real peace of mind.

So why wait? Buy one of our premium, industry-leading oscilloscopes and see your testing times decrease and accuracy increase!

Buy Refurbished and Finish Your Project on Time

You are an Engineer that can’t wait 25+ weeks for your oscilloscope? You just need to finish that project? We’ve got your back! Engineers all over the world trust our refurbished oscilloscopes. Why? With slightly less capabilities, they come with

  • faster shipping times
  • big discounts
  • Keysight Care options & optional warranty

What are you waiting for? We have limited stocks available!

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