An acoustic emission method (AE) is widespread and often applied for partial discharge (PD) diagnostics, mainly due to its ease of application as well as noninvasiveness and relatively high sensitivity. This paper presents comparative analysis of AE signals measurement results archived under laboratory conditions as well as on-site actual AE signals generated by inside PDs in electrical power transformer during its normal service. Three different PD model sources are applied for laboratory research: point to point, multipoint to plate and surface type. A typical measuring set up commonly used for on-site transformer PD diagnostics is provided for the laboratory tasks: piezoelectric joint transducer, preamplifier, amplifier and measuring PC interface. During the on-site research there are three measuring tracks applied simultaneously. Time domain, time-frequency domain and statistical tools are used for registered AE signals analysis. A number of descriptors are proposed as a result of the analysis. In the paper, at- tempt of AE signals descriptors, archived under laboratory condition application possibilities for on-site PD diagnostics of power transformers during normal service is made.