Best Speakers for Ham Radio

It never fails to astound me how much money hams spend on "matching" speakers for a piece of equipment. It amazes me even more when the money spent produces such crappy results!

Of all the "matching" speakers I have played with, I have only found two that actually worked right.

Hammarlund has two good ones, the 200 and the slightly smaller 100. Both work very well on CW, SSB and AM. The response is tapered so that excessive boomy bass is rolled off gradually and the highs are not too shrieky. This produces clear copy with lightning static and some heterodynes reduced in level without damaging intelligibility in speech. You can use a hi fi speaker for the class E rigs on AM under good conditions. But you cannot beat these for general use performance. The Hammarlund accessory speakers are also very sensitive and produce a lot of output from even the wimpy output stages of modern solid state receivers.

The Heathkit SB-102 and SB-104 speakers are also winners for similar reasons to the Hammarlund models.

You can get a nice speaker for speech and CW from your thrift store that works better than the over priced crap. I include a photo of a pair that I bought for $10. The power level specified is low. That means they gotta do loud with a wimpy amplifier for a cheap stereo. It also probably means they do not have the boomy ultra lows. And there is probably not any excruciating highs to enhance the heterodynes and static crashes.

When you get old and your ears start to crap out, you need a good set of speakers for good copy off the radio.


Museum of many brands of ham radio speakers:
Nice pic of Hammarlund S100 speaker with inside view:

But like the song (sort of) says:

"Why waste your money on a new pair of sneakers,
You get more mileage from a cheap set of speakers.
Matched phase, half wave, tubes blaze, anyway
It's still radio to me...."

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