looking for a good audio monitor active speaker for my new flex-6700

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There appear to be a lot of different suggestions for speakers.  looking to spend around £100 GBP.  Any comments would be greatly appreciated!
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Nicholas Parry

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  • happy

Posted 4 years ago

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Jim Gilliam

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That hss been asked many times before and you will get 100 different answers.


Jim, K6QE

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Jon - KF2E

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elan

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KD4HSO

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Just make sure it takes a line level input as some of the ham radio amplified speakers have 8 Ohm inputs.  I am happy with these on my 6500:

http://www.westmountainradio.com/product_info.php?products_id=COM_spkr
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Bose Companion II
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Simon Lewis

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ditto
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km9r.mike

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They are also great for listening to music. 
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Jim Gilliam

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Don't forget about speaker systems that are wirelessly connected for broadcasting around the house. It is nice (when my wife is not at home) to flood every room with the dulcet tones originating from a Flex. Speakers that are Apple Airplay compatible or the Sonus systems makes this possible.



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elan

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Tim right the Bose Companion II is one of the best sound speaker if you looking for good sound 
low price as well 
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Nicholas Parry

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Many thanks everyone for the recommendations.  I have now made a purchase of the Bose Companion 2 series 3 speakers.  What I like about these is that a utube review did state that they are not just all about base, so many cheap computer speakers push the bass through the floor, OK for modern dance but not good for the 6Khz wide audio bandwidth of the radio!  They also look stylish, thanks again all and 73's de M0NAG


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Duane N9DG

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The Mackie CR3's I have seem to be working quite well.

Also have some M-Audio AV30's, the sound quality is good, but they have more AC hum than I'd like.
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Jay / NO5J

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Duane
A ground loop isolator should fix the AC hum issue.
Heres a good cheap one. ...
http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=6909

Just connect it between the Speakers and the radio and/or the PC.
Which is fairly simple with this 4 channel unit.
You will need to of course provide the adapters between the stereo 3.5mm connectors and the phono connectors, they sell those too. I feed my 6500s audio through one, into the Line in jack on the PC then out to my computer speakers, it gets me around the single input on the speaker problem.
And gives me another set of mixer sliders to play with.

73, Jay - NO5J
(Edited)
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Duane N9DG

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Actually I ruled out ground loop issues, because that was the first thing I suspected. The hum is still present even with only power connected to them and nothing else.

One of the nice things about both the AV30 and CR3 is that they both have RCA connectors on back and also have a front panel 3.5mm connectors as well which comes in handy when I want to quickly patch another sound source into them.
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Barry N1EU

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Jay, have you checked the frequency response of that Monoprice isolation xfmr package?  It looks like a really convenient package but many cheap isolation xfmrs have a pronounced roll-off in the bass.

73, Barry N1EU
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Jay / NO5J

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Barry

I haven't checked the Frequency response except by ear. I don't notice any roll-off.

When radio shack closed their doors I needed a new source, and google pointed these out, Since these cost half of what the RS isolators cost and are actually 4 channels, instead of 2, I figured they were worth experimenting with.

They get the job done.
Are they affecting the audio? Probably, but not audibly.

I use them on any audio inputs I've got 3 PCs, 3 Flexes, 2 mixers, 1 cable box and both PC speakers and an external stereo receiver amp all interconnected. Basically to be able to push audio in and out of any device and listen to it either on pc speakers , or large 12" 3 way room speakers. I never hear any ground hum from anything.

For the price they are handy little things to have.

Monoprice's premium/heavy duty 3.5mm audio adapter cables which you might also consider are very well made but the plug insulators are too fat to fit the standard sound card jack spacing though, so look for their visibly skinnier, cheaper, non-premium adapters and cables. 

73, Jay - NO5J   
(Edited)
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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I also find the two input invaluable in the Bose. I have the older Companion II series 2 which are a bit more expensive. Being able to get both the sound from the PC as well as the Flex is great.
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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They look good too with the Flex :)
(Edited)
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Robbie - KI4TTZ

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Nice photo.  What is that device above the flex control (to the left of the flex radios)?
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Exactly, the SPE Expert 1k-fa Solid State amplifier.
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Just as an aside, I thought I'd tag my audio arrangement on the end here. I adopted a slightly different approach as I wished to channel audio from other non-SDR radios through one set of amplified speakers.

I decided to use use JBL Control 1 Pro monitor speakers after an audition and reading various reviews. These are fairly inexpensive studio monitors, but do require separate amplification. I intended to use a modest hifi audio amplifier to achieve this and indeed route the audio from multiple radios. However while I was looking for a suitable amp, I stumbled across the Yamaha Network CD Receiver CRX-N560D...this not only routes the audio and amplifies for great sound out of the JBL monitors, but also adds Analogue / DAB broadcast radio to my shack and fantastic Net based radio stations too...plus a CD player and the usual USB audio connections for ipod etc!

I love this little receiver, it compliments my shack very well, bringing the best out of my 6500 received audio, whilst also adding more radio to the shack! (and some great music for when i'm working on the bench!)...Picture attached with the white version of the JBL monitors shown (also available in Black) and the Yamaha receiver shown to the left of the Palstar AT2K.

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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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That is a great looking radio shack.
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Richard - MW0XDT

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Many thanks!...I love your shack...the Expert Amplifiers are very clever...I hope your 1.3K is in with you soon!
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EA4GLI - 8P9EH - Salvador

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Thanks Richard! Can't wait to be back in Spain and set up a large 4k monitor.
How does the yamaha receiver deal with RF? Any issues?
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Richard - MW0XDT

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No problems at all with RF, even with headphones listening through the Yamaha, there is no hint of interference....which to be honest, was something I feared if I had gone down the route of 'active' self amplified speakers (I have suffered with poorly shield active speakers in the past!)

I haven't had to install ferrites on inter connecting leads. The only precaution I have employed is mains power filtering and surge protection provided by a 6 way 230v distribution block.

I look forward to seeing how you get on with the 4K screen!...I stuck with a large 2K as I was a little worried how SmartSDR would resolve on such high resolution displays....and nobody had posted comments at that time! Cost is coming down now, so I may well jump to 4K if all goes well with your install ;-)

73, safe journey back to Spain! Rich
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M0GVZ

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JBL Control 2P come with an integral internal amplifier with very low distortion.
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Alex - DH2ID, Elmer

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$15 logitech speaker. Good enough for audio, as I have very good headphones ;-)
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Andrew Holman

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I use the Polk Hampden speakers and they are pretty nice, I also have a set of Klipsch which are better for music, so I keep the Polks hooked up to the radio, great sounding speakers.
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Duane, AC5AA

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After some of the discussion here, I bought a pair of Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers, and while they sound OK for SSB, they are horrible on CW. Case resonances and just ugly sounding single tone output. So, I'm going back to my pair of Creative Labs A50's which are no great shakes, but at least they can render a pure CW tone. A while back I heard Bob Heil recommend a set of studio monitors (JBL Control 2p) but I wasn't ready to lay out $200 for them and then try to find space in the shack - hi! I'd like to improve on the Creative's for SSB, but not sure what to look for at this point. Guess I'll check out more of the other recommendations in this thread.
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km9r.mike

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Bose noise cancelling headphones for cw. Nothing else for me. Great sound, quiet and very comfortable for a full weekend of cw contesting.
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Norm - W7CK

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I have to agree with Alex.  I have tried lots of different speakers and separate sound systems into non-amplified speakers.  In the end, I've simply come full circle and here on the desk sits an inexpensive set of Altec speakers.  I also have an old set of Logitech that do quite well.  I use a pair of wireless headphones when I want to work cw.   I can't stand being tethered by a wire to anything.  I paid a bunch of money for better speakers and I just couldn't hear much difference, but I'm not listening to music in my ham shack.  If your going to listen to music, get a good set.

My station is run off of 12v solar so having speakers that run off of 12v dc was also important to me.
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Duane, AC5AA

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And, just to come full circle on my problem with the Bose speakers, I determined they were definitely defective. I returned them and in their place, I bought a pair of the West Mountain COMspkr's, and they seem to work just fine. A bit lacking in the "bass" octave or so, but I suspect a little ventilation on the back side might help that. They are definitely communications grade speakers, with the narrower response. CW is very clean and clear with no unpleasant raspiness or cabinet resonances. Some day I may go more high end, but for now these will do just fine.
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W7NGA

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I am not being critical of someone's assessment, but the Bose Companion II Series III speakers are not only wonderfully sounding with the Flex, but one of those rare purchases where I reflected on just how good the product is and what a bargain it appeared to be. Now, the response does favor the low end, but I like that. Yields a fullness to both music and voice signals. If not to your liking, the Flex Receive EQ can balance to taste. CW sounds best with headphones methinks.
(Edited)
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Barry N1EU

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Do the Bose Compahion II speakers go low enough by themselves?  Non-Bose speakers that small normally are paired with a subwoofer.
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Ken - NM9P

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I get all the Bass I need from them.  
But then, no one is playing the soundtrack for "Earthquake" on ham radio.... ha.

I do like the Bose Companion 2 Series 3 speakers.  Still going for $99 on Amazon.
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km9r.mike

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Upon further inspection, I have the Bose Companion 20 series which has a surprising low end by utilizing a rear port that will reflect off a wall behind the speakers. They are however more responsive at the high end which results in remarkably clear vocals. The bass is also clear and distinct vice a muddy bass it can however be overpowered by the high end fidelity of the speakers. They really are more than a step above a set of ordinary computer speakers yet not at the price range of high end computer speakers.
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