Two major problems have been historically associated with self‐contained analog acoustic data acquisition buoy systems. First, analog tape recorder characteristics bound the obtainable dynamic range of the received data. Second, post‐processing of the data tapes to obtain the required acoustic information can be both time consuming and expensive. To address these problems, a new buoy has been developed at NUSC. Acoustic data from each of eight hydrophones is digitized and then fast Fourier transformed by the buoy's micro‐processor. Complex and ensemble averaged spectral results are then written onto a digital cassette tape. An instantaneous dynamic range of more than 72 dB is available over the frequency band 2–350 Hz. The spectral results are computed in 2 Hz increments and harmonic weighting is used. The first at‐sea test of the system occurred in August 1983 at a deep water location near Bermuda. In this paper we will present results from that test. Received signals from stationary and moving cw sources will be emphasized.