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Reviews Categories | Speakers for communications use | MFJ ClearTone 281 Speaker Help

Reviews Summary for MFJ ClearTone 281 Speaker
MFJ ClearTone 281 Speaker Reviews: 63 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $12.95
Description: Communication Speaker
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the MFJ ClearTone 281 Speaker.

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KK4PSG Rating: 4/5 Mar 11, 2014 17:29 Send this review to a friend
Cheap and easy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I needed an external speaker for the car, because I found my self turning the radio up higher than I wanted to for sustained periods of time. I simply wanted more volume, without overdriving the internal speaker on my 2900r. For $12 at HRO, it is louder than the internal speaker, even when placed on the floorboard. I wish it was a bit louder but I'm sure if it was mounted higher closer to ear level it would seem louder. My complaint however is that I cannot turn the volume knob on the yaesu more than 5/8ths up before i get distortion. The yaesu only puts out 3 watts and this speaker is rated for more, although I suppose it could be from the radio.

Again, for $12 why not? It will be louder than the internal speaker. Would probably give it a 3 but price kicks it up to 4.
KB9NGX Rating: 1/5 Feb 21, 2014 10:48 Send this review to a friend
Annoying.  Time owned: more than 12 months
The speaker is constricted / brassy sounding; with various Receivers. Some have told me, "it's better in a vehicle." (Which is like telling me that my vehicle can turn spoiled food into fresh.)

N8KZH Rating: 5/5 Jul 18, 2013 11:01 Send this review to a friend
FB CW Speaker  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm a CW only OP , and this little speaker is really excellent on CW. It peaks CW tones very nicely on all my rigs. Much better than the built in speakers in the radios. It also sounds just fine to me on SSB. I'm sure there are better speakers out there for SSB , but for the money it can't be beat. Ron/N8KZH
GW6ITJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 5, 2013 01:50 Send this review to a friend
Great communications speaker  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I usually use headphones but I wanted a small speaker for the shack and didn't want to spend the ridiculous prices asked for the Icom/Yaesu matched speaker.
The MFJ-281 fitted my price bracket and looked much better quality than equivalent priced units on e-bay and Amazon.
On receipt it was smaller than expected but very solidly built, I won't do a drop test but I think it would easily survive several!
First job was to take it apart and look inside, we have the generic mylar type speaker glued in and also 'clamped' in place with a substantial extrusion from the rear plastic housing.
Listening to SSB and CW with the case off and on gave best results with the case on (as designed!). There are some vents on the bottom of the rear case to provide a little airflow, the airflow is there but quite restricted but I really like the result.
The speaker is significantly better than the internal IC 718 speaker (much less high frequency noise) and better for comm's than a HiFi loudspeaker. Both SSB and CW are clear and lifted above the background radio noise makes for easy listening.
Due to the limited frequency response this is not designed for music listening but I gave it a go and it is as expected - pretty flat.
Pros: It looks good, is very solid, small, sounds great for CW and SSB, low cost
Cons: Non as long as you know it's not a HiFi speaker

KD2DIV Rating: 5/5 Jun 18, 2013 20:11 Send this review to a friend
can't beat it for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
ok not hifi quality but for the price go for it. I have had several speakers and this is the best under $80 and it is $14 ish! It beats the motorola clearer and smaller. I have ordered 3 of these they are so good I don't mind spending more but I am not sure I can get better sound out of something this small and simple.
WB0FDJ Rating: 5/5 Jun 1, 2013 18:48 Send this review to a friend
Good value for what it is  Time owned: more than 12 months
The two words that come to my mind and I see in other reviews: crisp and clear. Period.

No it's not "Hi-Fi" quality, don't think it was designed with that in mind. If thats what you are looking for, you probably already know this ain't it. I picked this up as kind of experiment. I mounted on the wall behind my operating position. Have used it in all my rigs and have found that it just "works". I run mostly CW and will have the rig on in the backround "reading the mail" (a term from the old days). When I am in my serious operating mode I put on a good set of headphones. With good filtering in the rig it performs well. All in all a decent product.
W7KKK Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2013 10:31 Send this review to a friend
Good Value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought one of these to mount in my Miata roadster that I drive most of the time with the top down. What else are rag tops for??
I could not hear the FT-7900 speaker well above 45 MPH or so with the wind buffeting and such.
I mounted the speaker up high between the seats next to my ear and the difference is unbelievable.
I can be at 70 MPH and hear the transmissions very clearly now without any problems.
Of note I tried it in the house with my FT-950 and the stock speaker in it is superior to the MFJ 281.
But I think for a mobile speaker this is a very good value.
KK4AH Rating: 5/5 May 21, 2012 17:57 Send this review to a friend
Good Value  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
It's cheap but for the money it works very well with my IC-7000! I use it in the mobile and have no problems with this little speaker. The only thing bad I can say about it is the bracket is very weak but once mounted no issue, can you buy better sure but for the money it is a very good sounding speaker.
KB4MTO Rating: 5/5 Sep 8, 2011 18:29 Send this review to a friend
Great communications Speaker  Time owned: more than 12 months
I actually won this speaker as a raffle prize at an ARES meeting. I wasn't expecting much, but I was very surprised when I plugged it into my Yaesu FT-897D. The audio is loud, very crisp, and very clear. For my radio gear, I do not want full range Hi-Fi sound, I want crisp, clear, and loud. This speaker provides that sound from a sturdy, well made speaker. And it really helps me hear weaker HF SSB signals.

In my opinion, the best sounding speakers for VHF/UHF FM have always been Motorola speakers, especially the old Metal ones. I am happy to say that this MFJ 281 sounds as good as the Motorola's.
NC4DK Rating: 5/5 May 29, 2010 20:25 Send this review to a friend
It's a $12.95 Speaker  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have owned the 281 for about four years and have had it mounted for use with a remote head mount in two vehicles. The internal speaker is out of range. I have had zero problems with clarity or volume. People keep trying to compare it with speakers designed for CW, SSB, and more. This is a mobile speaker. Of course there are higher quality speakers on the market. But for what it's designed for, this is the best bang for the buck. I just bought a second 281 for use with an Icom 2720 with dual receive. For the price point, I'll use them every time.
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