Radio Reviews -
Ranger SRA-166C External Speaker Review
External speakers aren't something I usually review and the primary reason is that I have one or two that I've owned for years and it just isn't one of those things I buy new too often.
We did our recent review of the Ranger PPR-TLM1 radio and we were told we missed testing a major part of the radio - the dual speaker jacks on the back for stereo output. I was told that especially when using the MP3 player that it would be worth it to try using two speakers and I would be impressed by the audio levels produced by the radio.
So here we are a short time later and I now have two of the new SRA-166C external speakers on my desk and I've hooked them up to the PPR-TLM1 radio and I give them a try playing MP3's through the radio.
Yes, in my original testing I thought the internal speaker did a good job for sound, but I now admit I did not give the MP3 player on this radio the full review. Not until trying it with these two external speakers did I realize how much audio the PPR-TLM1 could push out through these speakers and when set up in stereo positioning it's hard to believe it's coming out of a CB radio.
So I'll say this - if you are interested in buying a PPR-TLM1 and are excited about the MP3 function you most definitely will want to hook up the dual external speakers for the full effect.
Now - lets talk about these new external speakers which beside being really shiny (they also are available in Black SRA-166B) and offering strong audio, incorporate something I've never seen on a CB external speaker before - LED's.
When I first picked up these things out of the box I thought I was lifting weights - I'd estimate they weigh about 1.5lbs each which means they've got solid construction and a good size magnet inside (a plus when we're talking about speaker performance). You'll notice that these are the chrome version and are very shiny and they definitely will match up nicely if you have a similarly styled radio.
The big thing you'll notice about these speakers is the oblong oval piece of plastic mounted to the front of the speaker. This piece actually holds the LED's and these LED's will light up with the amount of audio applied by your radio. There are 5 LED’s in three different colors to indicate audio levels; orange LED indicates low range, red LED for mid range and green LED for high. The LED’s are directly driven by the audio signal.
As the volume gets louder the more LED's light up so beyond just looking cool this could actually be a nice feature when driving at night. I found that it acts like a LED S meter on the speaker getting brighter as a stations signal hits you harder.
I tested these speakers on multiple radios and they were much louder than the stock speakers and provided excellent response. While they don't get rid of any hiss or fuzz like more expensive ($150-300) DSP or noise canceling speakers they definitely allow you to hear transmissions better and more easily than you would with the stock speaker giving a loud full sound inside the vehicle.
They come with an adjustable mount so you can direct the speakers where you'd like the desired sound.
While I don't have a whole lot of external speakers on hand to compare against these I found that they met all of my expectations for an external speaker (clear audio, easily audible audio, exceeded the performance of the stock speaker in the radio).
When shopping for an external speaker it's very easy to end up buying a $20 speaker from a lesser known company but I can tell you from owning a couple of the cheap ones that you get what you pay for. Cheap speakers rattle, have small magnets and cheap components that don't reproduce sound well at all.
If you are going to buy an external speaker it's well worth it to spend the extra $20-30 and buy a quality speaker that will offer you the kind of frequency response and performance you're looking for. The Ranger SRA-166 is a very solid external speaker with a cool and unique LED feature.
MODEL NO : SRA-166
1 NOMINAL SIZE 78 MM. 3 INCH.
2 VOICE COIL IMP 4 Ù±15% AT 1000 HZ. 1 V.
3 RESONANT 90 HZ. ± 18 HZ.
4 S.P.L. 96 DB/W ± 3 DB 1 W 50CM
5 RESPONSE FOHZ~10KHZ 20DBMAX 500,600,800,1000 HZ
6 INPUT NOMINAL POWER 12 W
MAXIMUM POWER 15 W
7 GAP FLUX DENSITY GAUSS
8 MAGNET SIZE 60*32*10 MM
9 TOTAL WEIGHT GRAM.
10 OPERATION MUST BE NORMAL PROGRAM SOURCE 12 W.
11 BUZZES RATTLES ETC. MUST BE NORMAL AT SINE WAVE 6.9V.
12 DISTORTION 5% MAX