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Reviews Categories | Microphones for ham radio | Kenwood SMC-34 Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood SMC-34
Kenwood SMC-34 Reviews: 21 Average rating: 3.3/5 MSRP: $39.95
Description: Speaker/mic with function keys and volume control
Product is in production.
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K6OQK Rating: 5/5 Aug 18, 2019 15:00 Send this review to a friend
SMC-34 Speaker Mic Performance  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was looking for a speaker mic to use with my Baofeng 997S. The fellow at HRO in Burbank suggested the Kenwood SMC-34 speaker mic. Since buying it all the reports I've received about the mic audio have been great. Reports also say that the audio on the speaker mic is a little louder and denser than the radio's normal mic, but not distorted. Looking at it on a service monitor I see that apparently the mic output is a bit higher, but is not over-deviating the radio - it's just a little more oomph out of the mic, and driving the radios limiter a wee bit harder. I've thought about padding down the mic output, but decided not to do that since this has not been a problem, as no one has complained about background noise or wind noise when I am in the car or a windy location.

There have been some comments about drilling out the 8 little holes for the mic. In the case of my microphone I cannot push through the holes, and at first appearance, they seem blocked. This is an incorrect assumption. In my SMC-34 the holes do not go straight through, but are offset from the outside to the inside in order to prevent popping or wind blasting of the mic element. Also, I would not remove the foam covering the mic, as that is also in there to prevent "P" popping the mic and also to prevent wind, such as your breath, from hitting the mic element.

The only real problem I've encountered using the SMC-34 with the Baofeng 997S is that you have to really push the connectors in to be sure they're fully seated. At first my speaker mic did not work. I then discovered that it wasn't pushed in all the way. Once in, it has not come out on its own and I have not had any problems with it.

The speaker audio is fine - what do you expect from a 1" or so speaker, surround sound? It has plenty of volume with no noticeable distortion. One suggestion I will make regarding the speaker - and that is, turn the speaker level control on the mic all the way up and then set the radio's volume to the desired level. Do not turn the radio's control all the way up and then turn down on the speaker mic, as this will cause the radio's amplifier to go into distortion which you cannot undo with the speaker mics volume control.

Would I buy this same mic again? Absolutely.

Burt, K6OQK
LAMBERTINOS Rating: 5/5 Aug 30, 2017 18:09 Send this review to a friend
Excellent sound like a MC-60  Time owned: more than 12 months
Great speaker mic. One of the best! Make sure you buy this if you have a Kenwood TH-F6A. Multiple fonction on it plus volume button make easy to adjust.
WB6TNB Rating: 5/5 Jul 29, 2013 11:24 Send this review to a friend
It kills two birds with one stone  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It works great with my TH-F6A.

Someone told me that it works with some of the Wouxon HTs. I brought my KG-UVD1P (the 2 meter/220 version) to the store so I could try it with both radios. It works equally well with the Wouxon.
AG6IF Rating: 2/5 Jul 18, 2012 20:53 Send this review to a friend
not bad once tweaked a bit  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After my earlier zero-Awful! review on this mic. I went to work on it in an effort to make it better. Another reviewer gave a few hints that were right on.

Disassembled the mic, 3 screws on the back, 2 on the board.. Remove the vol knob from the front, then carefully pulled the board up and out.. I found the little mic holes where the sound should go through are not drilled through at all--interesting (FAIL?)...
Drilled 8 of the little holes out with the smallest bit I I discovered that they packed the front of the mic area with 4 levels of "stuff", 3 layers of fake foam looking crud, and one solid plastic ring. I removed all of that....Now, my voice can go through my drilled holes, straight into the element. WOW..much better, gain is much higher and the quality is actually as good as the radio's mic, which wasn't half bad (typical kenwood good quality sound).
So, I am going to increase my rating to 2, "needs help", but if you are handy with this sort of will really make the mic quite a bit more usable. One last thing, before you reassemble the volume knob, remove the rubber O-ring and the knob will turn much easier.
73 Jim
KB3TUO Rating: 5/5 Apr 21, 2012 18:02 Send this review to a friend
I don't know why everyone hates it!  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Looking at the other reviews, it seems as though people have had bad experiences with this one.

NOT ME! Mine works great! I bought it for my TH-D72.

It is NOT a field grade microphone, but it gets the job done, and very nicely at that.

A few things that people complained about:

"The volume control is awkward"
If you're right handed (like myself and most others) you can control the knob easily with your right thumb.

"The audio is quiet"
The only indication that I have had goes like this: I was using the HT like normal and then I got the speaker microphone. No one noticed a difference between the two on the air.
HOWEVER, I was using a different, mobile, radio and people said my audio was WAY louder then "normal".
This leads me to believe that the HT and speaker mic both have low audio levels...DEAL WITH IT.

"The mic's cover for the headphone connector comes out all the time" If you're worried about this, you need to get a life.

The keys on top of the microphone are GREAT! They are very useful when the radio is clipped to your belt and you want to change bands, frequencies, etc. The clip on the back is nice too, I often put the radio into a backpack pocket and clip the mic to the strap on my shoulder.

All in all, it's a great speaker microphone, that's why it gets a 5/5.
N3NJ Rating: 0/5 Apr 1, 2012 17:21 Send this review to a friend
PURE JUNK  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I purchased this item new for my Kenwood D7 HT. Everbody complained that they could not hear me. Kenwood dropped the ball. I have never had a problem with any Kenwood device until now. I love Kenwood radios but this item is worthless. I checked the reviews and just about everybody else complained too. I will search for an aftermarket speaker mic. My Kenwood speaker mic is in the trash where it belongs. Don't buy one, you've been warned.......
N0YXE Rating: 0/5 Jan 28, 2012 11:49 Send this review to a friend
TOTALLY WORTHLESS  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Put a brand new SMC-34 on a new TH-K20A HT and it did not work, except for a buzzing sound. The sound control did nothing, too. IT WAS TOTALLY WORTHLESS! Sent it back and ordered a new SMC 32, put it on, and it is GREAT. MAYBE THE SMC-32 IS ONE OF THE BEST SPEAKER/MICS I HAVE EVER USED. It is VERY SMALL with really wonderful, large sound. I plan on using it mostly in the car. It should be great. The TH-K20A, a brand new single band Kenwood HT, is just terrific. Small, high quality, easy to push buttons and controls. It has the easiest programming of any HT I have ever used (maybe six or even over the years). I read the manual before I order it and thought that it would be ok. Wow, it is beyond all expectations!
KF7OCD Rating: 5/5 Mar 18, 2011 18:54 Send this review to a friend
Works great and is light weight!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
From reading the reviews about this product people love it or hate it, me I really love it and maybe there was a few bad runs in production but I got a good one =]

The keys at the top are easy to program and the sound is great. I have mine programed as follows:

A- switch between A and B band
B- channel/frequency up
C- channel/frequency down

I use this mic/speaker for my Kenwood HT TH-F6A and I use BOTH as a base radio (I made a kick ass base radio mount and antenna system for my home base station) and on the go.
N8LTD Rating: 1/5 Sep 15, 2007 19:12 Send this review to a friend
Was nice for 3 months.  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
After about 3 months, the audio went way down. It's really not usable the way it is now. It will probably cost more to fix than what it cost to buy. Another example of disposable electronics-not worth fixing, just get a new one. MFJ has the MFJ-286 for Kenwoods for $9 on their site. My 286 is falling apart, but it's 12 years old. I'll probably get another 286.
KI4JUA Rating: 5/5 Jan 20, 2007 13:06 Send this review to a friend
Nice extra!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my SMC-34 speaker/microphone to use with my Kenwood TH-F6. I like the radio, but it's volume control ring is a bit awkward to use quickly when skipping through frequencies. The SMC-34 is perfect as a lapel speaker and makes it much easier to adjust the volume quickly.

Once I figured out how to program it (p 38 in the TH-F6 manual, hold down the button while powering on the radio and making sure the lock is off) I really loved it. I set one to activate scan mode, one to toggle between A and B bands and one to check the battery. It is so easy to reprogram you can do it "on-the-fly" for whatever you are doing at the time. Really handy.

While it takes a bit of time to find the speakers "sweet spot" by adjusting the radio volume and the speaker/mic volume, once I found it, it sounds good for it's size. WFM commercial stations actually sound better through it than through the radio speaker.

In a perfect world I'd like the plastic to be a closer match to the radio, but it is certainly acceptable. Mine was just under $40 through my local Gigaparts store. I could have found it cheaper, but not by a whole lot and I believe it is important to support the local guys when it is possible. While you can get similar speaker/mics from other companies, I like have matched equipment and have never been disappointed with the Kenwood brand. Again, the difference in price was less that $20. And for something I now use every day, I felt it was worth it.

I give the SMC-34 a great rating (5) especially with the tiny TH-F6 rig. It is a really nice extra!
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