Speaker recommendations

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Hey folks, I am using the Bose Companion 2, series 3, and better recommendations? these are a little bassie.
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Posted 3 years ago

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Steve W6SDM

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That's what I have and I think they are great.
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Al K0VM, Elmer

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You could try a little RX EQ..

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I use JUST the Bose CUBE speakers, and they are fabulous for voice.  Been using them for years.  I'm 71 years old, and wear hearing aids.
de K0UNX
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Cliff Batson

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I use the West Mountain Radio speakers that only cost less than $50. They're the best bargain in Ham Radio in my opinion.
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Me too. And they sound good enough for a small signal bandwidth for SSB voices

from approximately 300 Hz to 3400 Hz.

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Bill Buchanan

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The Bose Companion 2, series 3 are fine speakers, just EQ them as you like.
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the best speaker to go for  and if you like nice rich sound is this one 

just to add you can feed all your audio speaker mic etc from this unit 

73 elan g0uut/dl9fcc
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Steve W6SDM

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Holy dollar signs, Batman!  I thought my Bose Companion 2 speakers with an auxiliary pair of Bose Bookshelf speakers driven by an outboard audio amp were over the top.  :)
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Can highly recommend the Yamaha MSP3 Powered Studio Monitor. I have used these for more than 10 years. They provide the best audio I have found for radio use - compared to most computer speakers designed for music. I can also recommend the HS5 as an excellent alternative.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Whatever speakers you use, remember that you can fine tune the response by using the RX EQ feature on the Flex.  You can also roll off some stations excessively boomy bass by changing the receive bandwidth in the receive panel.  Drag the low end of the filter up and cut some bass off the signal.

Ken - NM9P
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PERRLA, LLC - Agency

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What am I not understanding?

In SSB mode, I've got my bandwidth set at 100Hz to 3.1KHz. I am assuming most people are transmitting somewhere in that range.

What is the benefit in having super-expensive speakers when the audio material doesn't even extend deep into bass and doesn't extend past about 5,000Hz in the audio spectrum?

I have a home recording studio with embarrassingly-expensive studio monitors but it's never occurred to me to hook them up to my lo-fi HF radio audio.

Not being critical... just not sure what I'm missing...

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The small Yamaha's just plain sound great with voice - when sitting in front of them on my desk and with the SmartSDR equalizer set correctly.  Have 5 radios and bring them all into a Shure SCM262 mixer and mix the audio into a left Yamaha speaker and a right Yamaha speaker. Easy to control audio from one point. I had them, tried them, and they worked.
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Walt - KZ1F

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How something sounds, aside from being a matter of physics is a matter of perception. If one perceives their HiFi sounds better with AR speakers verses Polk speakers, it's their personal preference, that's how it works, not right, not wrong, but it is what they prefer. Kind of like buying a VW Bug vs buying a Buick. For, what it's worth, I agree with you. Someone's preferences are neither right nor wrong, it's a preference.
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All the above is correct. I would add that adding a mixer to your shack will give you the ability to connect all of your other radios and computer to the same great speakers. The mixer is the key device to get great audio; even from your HT!

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Larry Benoit

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I’ve heard Bose Companions and other low cost “computer” speakers with Flex radios (5000A, 6500, 6700). In my opinion a high quality stereo setup is significantly superior.  It comes down to a matter of distortion and how much you are willing to tolerate.  Most “computer” speakers are not rated for distortion products, because they are so poor that the manufacturers don’t publish the data.

It was only by accident that I got to listen to communications audio with a quality stereo system. Before I bought my first transceiver, a Flex 5000A (now own a 6500), my desktop computer was already set up with NHT Classic Two loudspeakers and an Onkyo M-282 stereo amplifier for listening to Blu-ray discs with high definition audio and uncompressed CD audio files.  No low-cost “computer” speakers can match the fidelity of high quality bookshelf loudspeakers driven by a low distortion stereo amplifier.  

Although SSB is typically limited to well under 3.5 khz of bandwidth, fortunately, the vast majority of the information that our ears and brain need to hear and comprehend human speech falls between 300 and 3400 hz.  The clarity and dynamics in that range provided by low distortion loudspeakers, improves intelligibility.

In combination with low distortion drivers, the SmartSDR RX equalizer provides a very effective tool to enhance intelligibility and reduce listening fatigue.  You need to only focus on the audio spectrum below 3.5 khz, whilst the ability to correct for hearing loss at higher frequencies, for example, or roll off muddy bass and enhance output in the critical 1 khz to 2 khz frequency range, provides substantial benefits.

Accordingly, if you are looking for a substantial upgrade over the Bose Companions, I suggest that you consider a pair of high quality book shelf or studio monitor loudspeakers and a low distortion stereo amplifier to drive them. Professional grade, powered studio monitors would also be a good choice (JBL, Yamaha).   

Finally, if you want the best possible solution for hearing weak phone signals, forget about loudspeakers and check out the Bose QC25 headset – they are remarkably good.


Larry KB1VFU

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I have had this conversation about speakers many times with folks on the air. “All Speakers are Speakers but Not All Speakers Are Monitors”.  As a recording Engineer in music production the reason we use “Studio Monitors” is to reproduce the source material as accurately as possible. Think of a studio monitor as a laboratory reference device where as an ordinary speaker is for general purpose use.

In ham radio receive audio can mean something different to each user. Some hams want to hear sharp pure tones for CW some need speakers to copy voice in a pile up while others want full range audio for AM, FM SSB and other voice modes & some even need to compensate for hearing loss. That’s why in my opinion quality “Studio Monitors” are the right choice because you can always adjust your receive audio processing & EQ but you will know that the speakers will handle anything you throw at them and reproduce it accurately.

Because of the awesome inherent technology of SDR radio the possibilities for receive and transmit audio today is virtually unlimited. The Flex 6000 series TX audio response alone is capable of 50Hz to 10Khz. Typical SSB voice is normally 2.7 to 3 KHz and you would be amazed how good 3 KHz audio can sound with a good mic and a little EQ. So to me now more than ever good speakers “Monitors” are critical in the modern ham shack when you want to hear it all.

So what speakers should you choose? Well first let me say you do not need to buy some super hi end speakers we are not mixing the next #1 radio hit!  Generally you will want to look for two way monitors with an 8” woofer. This is going to be the optimal size for anything from Big ESSB HI-FI audio to basic CW Tones. Almost all monitors today have a built in amplifier so you can connect them right to the FLEX without the need for any other equipment. By the way if you are using a FLEX then you will want 2 monitors because of the Stereo/Dual-Channel possibilities the FLEX offers. Also when you use 2 speakers spaced between your ears you also widen the sound field making it even easier to Hear/Copy weak signals as well as make long listening sessions less fatiguing on your ears. SDR also means great Short Wave radio not just the Ham Bands!

Here are a few “reasonably priced” quality monitors that work very well in the shack.

Behringer Truth 8” B2031A $400/PR

JBL LSR308 8" $500/PR

KRK Rokit 8” $500

As for me I’m generally a rag chewer and favor a bit more full range audio. I personally use a quality pair of studio monitors in my shack and do not use any EQ or processing other than AGC on receive because I want to hear as much as possible, a true reproduction of the transmitting station’s audio. For contesting adjust your RX EQ to your heart’s desire (do what ever it takes)!

Now I get it, for some folks good quality home speakers or PC speakers work just fine and I have no issue with that. But for those people that want the best possible SDR audio experience a pair of good monitors are the only way to go.


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Jim Miller

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I sometimes use my 6300 to listen to an oldies am station out of Dallas.  Perfect signal daytime and the rich audio the flex is capable is enjoyable to listen to.  However my 2.1 computer speakers cause some echo on 40 meter phone.  None on 80 or 20 and up.
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Jim Miller

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I replaced my older 2.1 computer speakers with the Bose Companion series 3 upon recommendation by Flexradio and they sound remarkable to me.  Several other speakers or amp combos had problems with tx rf getting into them but the Bose does not even at legal limit power.  I love the rich tone on broadcast stations also.  Flex radios have remarkable audio on rx and ssb or am tx also.  Last night some guys were discussing the receivers on their radios and one commented his was the best he ever heard and ALMOST AS GOOD AS A FLEX!  Seems Flex has set a standard for audio quality that superhet radios cannot match.  Non Fles\x owners have a hard time understanding direct conversion with no if stages and brick wall filtering.  If anyone bleeds over on a Flex they are splattering!
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On the lighter side of a very subjective Topic.

Have a good Day!..
 73 AA0KM
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Ross - K9COX

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David Warnberg

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I'd like to know what FLEX recommends in a speaker?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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As a company, we do not recommend any one brand over another.  I can tell you that I personally use the Bose Companion II Series 2 (not series 3) and I like them very much.
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David Warnberg

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Thanks Tim
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Rich - N5ZC

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I emailed NN4ZZ about his AudioEngine A5+ speakers which convinced me to try them.  They are not cheap.  I found a demo pair on ebay for $300 with free shipping.  I would have tried the less expensive A2+'s but these do not have the volume control in the front nor the power output of the A5+.

They are awesome speakers,  to my untrained ear, they sound excellent.

One of the features (and I'm sure others have this) is the dual input.  I have my 6700 and computer sound card plugged into the speakers. 

Rich - N5ZC
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Be VERY careful of the dual inputs.  Connecting the speakers to the radio and the PC creates a ground loop that can be susceptible to RFI.
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Al / NN4ZZ

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I've been using the Audio Engine A5+ speakers with both the radio and PC connected at the same time for years now and no issue at all.  With 150W of peak power they can fill the room even at half volume.   I've heard of others also using different brands this way too but if there are problems maybe it is specific to the brand/model.    I also have everything in the shack single point grounded (including the PC).  That is a good idea regardless, but if someone does have issues it would be easy to diagnose by disconnecting one of the inputs.  Notes on my grounding and RFI mitigation setup here: 


YMMV but the AE speakers really sound great and it makes for one less set of speakers at the operating position.   


Regards, Al / NN4ZZ  
al (at) nn4zz (dot) com
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Yes, I ran into that very problem when I started using my Bose Companion 2 Series 3.  I solved it with a $9.95 (from Amaxon) ground loop isolator plugged between the computer and the speakers.  It doesn't seem to color the audio from my computer very much, but has eliminated the ground loop induced interference I was getting in the speakers whenever I transmitted on certain bands.

Something like this:

BTW.  I find the Series 3's quite nice, but other ops have reported that the power supply or speaker circuitry itself generates some spurs in the rig.  I have other things doing that, so I can's blame anything on the speakers at the moment.
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Steve W6SDM

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I have used Bose Companion II speakers for years, starting with my Flex 3000. They're small and, being Bose, there's no question on the quality of sound or construction of the speakers. They run about $100 and you can get them on Amazon.
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Cal Spreitzer

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I'm running JBL Control 2P Monitor Speakers here.  they sound great!  I used to run the Bose Companion but think the JBL's sound better. 

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Jim Miller

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Like the old saying goes  You get what you pay for!
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Mike - VE3CKO, Elmer

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I too have used the Bose Companion and they do sound good but for me just not enough power output. My shack is 24 x 12 with vaulted ceiling so had my Bose 301 going through an amp but then ended up with the JBL Control 2P 35w powered speakers, they sound great and have a little headroom which is always nice to have.
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Ryan - NC4RA

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I also have the JBL Control 2P speakers with wall mount kit and love them!
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Ernest - W4EG

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It all depends on your hearing range...
You can buy the best speaker system available but if the speakers is not in the range of your ears; what is it worth?
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I've been interested in this speaker, but need to know if there are any CW audio frequency resonances, that most speakers exhibit.
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Clay N9IO

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I love my Bose Companion 2 Series 3 speakers so much that I added a second pair configured below.
I have the Flex configured Aural.
I have a little hearing issue and find this easy on the ears and avoid headphones unless absolutely needed to copy that weak one.  Happy camper here.

I connected the Flex 6300 line out to a STERIO 1/8" "Y" connector, each sterio output is connected to the 1st Line In of each speaker pair.

The 2nd input to the left bank of speakers is connected to the Flex computer's line out.
The 2nd input of the right bank is connected to the line out of another computer (music/ball games, etc).  Oddly, I am not experiencing any RF ingress issues here.
Let me mention though that I added ferrite to each audio input and output, I subscribe to the book of Jim Brown K9YC, ferrite is your friend my friend.

Clay N9IO