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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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KB3MTV Rating: 4/5 Jan 30, 2017 20:41 Send this review to a friend
Better on CW  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Currently I'm using this speaker on a Yaesu FT-990. I found that CW sounds better with this speaker than the internal speaker. But the internal speaker has it beat on sideband, no question.

Overall I was happy enough with it to go buy another, I enjoy CW and sideband equally but I'll take the punchy CW with it as a win in my book. It's not perfect, but for what you get out of a speaker it's size, the price sure is. I just paid 12.95 out the door at HRO for each one. You can't beat that.
KU3X Rating: 5/5 Oct 11, 2016 16:16 Send this review to a friend
Great value for $12.95  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First letís put this in the proper prospective, ďThis is not a $300 Bose speaker. ď This is a small four inch square speaker that sells for $12.95.
I attached it to my TS-590SG and found it to be a much better speaker than the one inside of the radio. So thatís a plus. I turned up the audio level in the radio to a very high level. The speaker did not distort. Yet another plus.
I think the frequency response for the speaker is what is to be expected out of almost any 4 inch speaker, in a small package sold for ham radio.

For what you can expect out of a 4 inch speaker that sells for $12.95, I feel that this speaker is a 5 all the way around and a great value for the price. If needed, Iíd buy another one in a heartbeat !
Barry, KU3X
VE7REN Rating: 5/5 Nov 23, 2015 19:31 Send this review to a friend
i like it ,too  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought 2 of these on a friends request,and I am pleased.. needed something in the mibile to use on my ft8800 mobile.. the 8800 seems to suffer from lack of....loud volume,and little thing did the job.. I mounted it under the radio itself on a homemade bracket,tilted toward me,and voila..... loud audio.. I bought these here at radioworld Calgary alberta.. 24.95 each,not no 15 like the usa,but hey,our money is worth something...hihi.. anyways more than pleased with it so far,the other will go in the shop.
WB5AGF Rating: 0/5 Oct 4, 2015 13:09 Send this review to a friend
Sounds Like A Styrofoam Cup  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased an MFJ Model-281 ('ClearTone') Speaker a few days ago at the local (Dallas area) Ham Radio Outlet store .... and returned it two days later.

Before I actually provide my review I'm going to toss in comments about sound and hearing so if you disagree you can quit reading this review and not waste any more of your time.

I 'discovered' classical music, and John Philip Sousa, at about the same time (roughly when I was 7 years old) and I've been listening to both ever since.

I have two Peltor 'Ultimate-10' (big-blue) headphone-type hearing protectors and I wear one whenever I use my gasoline weedeater and I used to wear one at work for hours-at-a-time so I could think (my last employer stuck me out in a 'cubical farm' right next to a main hallway).

When I was in my late teens (now long ago) I could hear the ultrasonic burglar alarm transmitters on the ceilings of a store in Austin (my mother thought that I was being foolish).

Over the past few years a former boss has found it convenient to sometimes ask me to help him record the Dallas Opera Orchestra (I work cheap - a couple of granola bars during break, plus listening to the music, and I'm a happy camper).

The 'bottom line' is that I'm fairly conscious of sound.

(and now for my 'scathing review')

The MFJ-281 Speaker is horrible .... Maybe it would be useful if you're driving a big diesel truck or a farm tractor .... but in any normal acoustic environment it's just plain ghastly.

When you were a kid did you ever put an ant (not yet 'squished' ..... still animate) on a styrofoam cup and marvel that you could actually hear it crawling around (made me wonder how much acoustic power was involved .... micro-Watts ?) ? If so then you've got a pretty good idea of what the 281 Speaker sounds like.

There are a lot of better speakers out there .... even a middle-of-the-road PC speaker would sound worlds better. (I haven't done so yet but I've been thinking of building a small audio amp to drive an old Radio Shack Minimus 7 Speaker I've got; I figure around 10 Watts RMS should be enough.)

- Paul, WB5AGF

(PS - Ever pull up to a stoplight and the kid, in the pickup next to you (usually with the windows up - thank goodness), has his truck's stereo turned-up so high that you can literally hear fasteners rattling ? Amazing (I presume these guys do not plan on a career in classical music).)
VA3UT Rating: 5/5 Jun 19, 2015 13:13 Send this review to a friend
The Little Speaker That Could  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I got this speaker in a trade and didn't pay any attention to it because of its small size. One day, I needed a speaker quickly on a radio and used this little guy. As soon as I plug it in, I was blown away. I agree that there are many other 'bigger' speakers that sound better, but this little speaker sounds awesome for its size. For the price of it, nothing can beat the value. Why spend >$100 for a speaker when you can get a nice sounding speaker for $15? This little speaker found a permanent spot on my desk and gets used everyday.
W8AAZ Rating: 4/5 Nov 10, 2014 18:08 Send this review to a friend
Shrill but in some cases improvement  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have a mobile 2M set up to take in and out of the car with a homemade cup holder mount. IT is an older Yaesu FT-1500. The built in little speaker is wretched sounding to me. Even bad sounding compared to a large HT. SO I mounted one of these MFJ speakers on top of the rig. Well it is an improvement over the stock speaker but still was very sharp/harsh sounding. I did some sort of mods to tame it. Think maybe a cap to roll off some highs and maybe some sound absorbent padding inside. Still high pitched sounding but better. Mods did not cost anything to do. And smoother sound. Not as good as a big rig external speaker but perhaps it cuts thru road noise better than those would do. Certainly articulate if not totally pleasing. But tastes differ.
W4SEX Rating: 1/5 Nov 10, 2014 11:49 Send this review to a friend
Nasty sounding speaker  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
This is a .25 cent speaker will poor build quality, and even worse sound quality, it's a shame that radio operaters think this is a good sounding speaker. High listener fatigue is what this speaker is all about, but you can't expect much for $13.00
Our club took them out of our "Go-Box" and replaced them with quality drivers that made everyone sorry we had purchased these things.
N4MJG Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2014 20:42 Send this review to a friend
great speaker since 2001  Time owned: more than 12 months
I, had this speaker on differnce radio past years now with new radio (FT 350R in my pick up truck the 218 sounded better then built in and it mounted behind my head i can hear better then one in the rig !

Some of guy don't like mfj everyone is differnce then others !!

AI6JA Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2014 15:08 Send this review to a friend
Great for the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I installed this speaker along with my FT-8800r. The radio is under the seat, so I needed something to mount where I could hear better. I think the speaker sounds great. The volume on my radio is never turned up more than 1/4 of the way because it doesn't need to be - this speaker is plenty loud. I get a lot of road noise in my car, but I can still always hear just fine with this speaker.

Very happy, and $12 well spent.
KJ6VCM Rating: 1/5 Apr 16, 2014 21:56 Send this review to a friend
Not worth what you pay.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought this speaker to have an external speaker for my Yaesu-897, figuring it was a bit larger and would be a bit better sounding. I was way wrong. Very inefficient tinny and poor quality sound. I have to turn up the output nearly all the way just to equal the volume of the internal speaker. Not really happy at all with it, but since it would take more trouble to take it back, I'll just throw it in a box somewhere for some future use if a speaker totally dies in something. Typical MFJ issue cheap stuff I guess. I should have tested it out before buying. I will give it minor positive points for the case and mount being OK. Case is sturdy and mounting bracket is strong enough, but that is about it.
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