Mini review: 3 speaker microphones

One would expect that making a simple but quality speaker-microphone is one of the easiest things to do. Yet complaints about this accessory are common: bad PTT keys, TX audio sub par, unreliable wiring — and the list goes on.

I acquired three commonly sold models: a generic, brand-less one, an original Wouxun and the latest offering from Baofeng. Below a picture of the three microhpones in the same order.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Generic, brandless
Pro: cheap, reasonably good loudspeaker, but with a tendency to resonate.
Cons: Nasal TX audio (both highs and lows mostly absent).

Wouxun
Pro: nice form factor (larger, more comfortable to hold), reasonably good loudspeaker, quality PTT key.
Cons: muffled TX audio, making the conversation hard to understand.

Baofeng
Pro: cheap, very good loudspeker, excellent TX audio, quality PTT key, shielding at the back.
Cons: wiring a bit stiffer than the competition.

Winner on almost all counts: Baofeng. Warning: this microphone has already been copied. The copy is recognizable by the lack of the metal shielding / mounting plate at the back. A picture of the original below:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPrice: $ 7.79 (€ 5.63) on eBay. Link to seller I got this one from: http://www.ebay.com/itm/171263089606.

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20 comments on “Mini review: 3 speaker microphones

    • The ONLY dealer I would purchase ANYTHING “Wouxun” from is Powerwerx. Their models have consistently been better (firmware, cosmetics) than others I have encountered. And I know why: They care … they are hams, too … they have the “clout” with Wouxun to get things done that need to be done. Their accessories are much higher quality than the nonsense I have seen on eBay and elsewhere. Want quality and support for your Wouxun purchase? http://www.powerwerx.com

  1. Thats a useful review Hans, at the present time I had been looking for a couple of spare Mic’s for my collection of Baofengs etc, so I ordered 3 from the link… The price was right too!

    Your reviews prove to be addictive, you’ll be selling fridges to eskimos next..

    Thanks

    73 G1KQH

    • Could it be your natural voice being responsible? No microphone can fix that! :P

      (or, my old age and decreased hearing, but I would never admit that in public)

  2. Han great review- I have the Wouxon KG-UVD1P HT and the microphone that came with it is just the generic microphone in your review, it has the metal plate/shield on the back.
    Is there a plug wiring diagram ? I would to make different microphone connection.

  3. I’ve got all three. The one on the left so far has been the best one for TX audio and overall robustness, I’ve got a few of them including one that is branded with the Wouxun name.

    . The one in the middle was a Baofeng branded mic, and it was terrible on RX and especially TX. If you take it apart, you’ll see the mic element isn’t even under the area that is cut out for it. The cut outs were off to the side. To make it worse, the cut outs didn’t actually punch through the plastic.. so it was very muffled.

    The mic on the right is OK, the first one I had the PTT switch was broken, had it replaced, second one is “OK” but doesn’t as good as the generic mic on the right.

  4. I own 1 and 3 myself , and after a comparison the first comes out on top by a small margin . Clearer audio both ways for the first mic , I have the 2nd mic ( no2 ) on order ATM . I dare say quality control is possibly quite lacking and the small sample tested is not really useful for saying much of anything except for the individual samples you have . To say one is better than the other GENERALLY speaking would be an error as you would need a much larger sample lot .

    • True — reviews are just a snapshot of what’s available at a certain point in time. Quality can vary over time, depending on the components used. The same applies to anything else I want to review.

      Now if I had LOADS of money (or a continuous flow of free samples), I could do a much better job.

  5. Getting review samples is not nearly as tough as one would think , not easy , but not impossible . The biggest question is ? Does the manufacturer / agent want the product reviewed ? Especially any product where quality control may be minor or non existent . So even in one production lot quality could vary quite a bit . Having done quite a bit of battery testing ( and stuff ) I can say that quality can vary quite a bit , even in the same production run .

    If you want to review products ( free stuff sent to you ) you need a body of work , contact any vendor / manufacturer and provide links to your work , and some figures for page views ( reads ) . The longer your work is out there , the more views .
    I think from mem I have one review with over 10,000 hits , and one that hit 7000 in about 6 months . ( not bad for non mainstream products )

    If 50% of those reading the review follow the provided link back to the sponsors page , then that’s a rather good return for the sponsor . ( ? for sales ) . But for the sponsor its advertising , and exposure . ( People have to know the product exists to be interested in buying it ) . So much stuff out there that people simply have not heard of , just look at Linux , its been around for ever and average joe six pack knows nothing about it .

    • When I was an editor for the Dutch PC Mag, it was easy. Also easy in this market of Chinese radios: Wouxun and Anytone, thanks to Dutch companies like Bamiporto.nl and K-PO.com.

      Baofeng however couldn’t care less about me writing about them, nor the fact that just one Baofeng review alone does 43.000 pageviews a year here. The same applies to many other Chinese brands. So if I can’t get one on loan, I buy one. Not a sample lot however — can’t afford that — but occasionally I do try to get another sample if the results are suspicious.

      • Since I worked in both industries (Motorola for commercial systems, and Ham Radio Outlet on the amateur side), I was always cognizant of claims of “prejudice” or whatever when I reviewed/suggested products and services. How to eliminate a lot of flack? I just purchased stuff for review. NO “disclaimers” necessary. I have never trashed a product that I haven’t actually held in my hands. That way, no claims of “impropriety” can be legitimately made. No, I am not independently wealthy: some products were returned (just do not strain your relationships with dealers). I am fortunate enough to have a Ham Radio Outlet just 30 minutes away, so I can get “hands on” on some things that needn’t be purchased. And for stuff I have purchased but never use, I have donated some to school ham clubs, and used eBay (always donating a portion to a worthy 501(c)(3). I would not expect an overseas firm to desire to ship a $5 cost speaker-mic anywhere outside their country to anyone for “review” purposes. An entire radio setup, possibly. There are a couple firms that DO cater more towards “us.” But common sense needs to prevail. Want to review speaker-mics and publish an article? I would recommend setting up a PayPal “donation” button for the project, be up front with the amount needed for XXX number of items, and have users support such a review. EVERYONE wins: the Web site gets attention. The author purchases through “normal” channels so that if there ARE any problems, he has first-hand experience to relate. And those who donate feel good about being a part of the project (they WILL be listed in the article, of course!) – all it needs is 100 visitors donating a dollar each. THAT article would be very valuable to the community: Retail purchases and honest evaluations from a trusted author!

  6. Yes , getting products to test on loan from retailers / wholesalers is a good way of doing things . At one time ( reviewing computer components ) I was privileged to have 3 retail stores that were prepared to loan me stuff to test .

    I still fondly remember walking out the door one day with about $7000 worth of CPU’s .. ( Large sample lot for testing ) . Just as I was about to walk out the door the manager yelled after me = When can we have them back !

    Those were the days !

  7. The Mic’s arrived today, just over a week, fast! Quality and performance as good as your review, you just cannnot go wrong for the price..

    73 G1KQH

  8. Yesterday received the microphone.
    Microphone is well in hand.
    Good loud TX.
    And a hard RX.

    Good mic for a good price.

    Baofeng UV-B5

    Thanxs Hans ..

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