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Reviews For: Icom SP-21

Category: Speakers for communications

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Review Summary For : Icom SP-21
Reviews: 31MSRP: 140.00 (street $100.00)
External speaker
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
OE1SOW Rating: 2018-12-04
ok with "mods" Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I own 5 pcs of them (don't ask why, hi...) for 2x IC-7600, IC-R8600 and my IC-910H.
3 of them not only with the "hole-mod", but also changed the speaker to a Visaton FR8.
This will really sound better.
To be honest...most of much cheaper speakers by Yaesu/Ham-Master/RadioShack/NoName,...with not so deep housings (but larger speakers) will sound better, but will not match the optics :-)
73, Othmar, OE1SOW
KB7ZNV Rating: 2018-04-18
Icom SP-21 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I purchased this speaker from Ebay and it showed up looking brand new. Not a scratch on it, and I gotta say that this speakers sound is crystal clear, it sounds great, it looks really nice, and it's just become a permanent part of my Hamshack.
N4DJT Rating: 2018-02-06
Pretty good Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Don't know why all the hate on this speaker.
It sounds perfectly fine to my ears.
I use it with my IC-9100 for VHF/UHF only.
Perhaps its not an HF speaker? haven't tried it there.
All I can say is..sounds good to me.
Despite all the bad reviews, I saw one used for like $75.00 and was pleasantly surprised.

W8KMA Rating: 2017-11-02
Perfect for My Ears Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I guess it's all in the person listening. The first time I heard this speaker I knew I have to have another!! Now,I own three of these beauties hooked up to two IC746 rigs and one IC756. They all sound great!! I've had many Kenwood and Yaesu speakers and to my ears the Icom SP-21 really has a nice solid sound than the others I have tried. Never thought once of the need to modify them at all. ( and I have other brands ) I think it is a very well built speaker that makes the signals sound like they are right in the same room with you. And, all without a bunch of extra noise. Nice job Icom!!! They just sound REAL!!!
G4MJA Rating: 2016-05-12
Good speaker Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I was lucky enough to find an 'as new' SP-21 for sale a couple of weeks ago & bought it despite some of the 'tinny sounding' reviews & folks who have modified the speaker. Now it maybe my ageing ears that prefer more treble than bass these days but I like the audio that the speaker produces & I won't be modifying it. One reviewer said it was poorly made, I disagree, it's a well made speaker in a solid steel cabinet. It certainly performs well with my Icom IC-R8500 receiver. Nuff said!
N3HSH Rating: 2013-12-12
Poorly Made, Works OK Only After Modified Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is one of the most poorly made communications speakers I have ever owned. Within a short time of using it, the connection jack developed an intermittent short making the audio cut out so I resoldered that. A little later on, the connecting wire developed another short and I ended up splicing on another section of wire to fix it.

All you are getting with this speaker is a tiny 3 inch diameter paper speaker within a small plastic cabinet which in turn is housed within the long metal cabinet sized to match Icom's rigs. So all the air volume in the metal cabinet is going to waste which is why the speaker sounds so "tinny".

As several others commented, there is a definite improvement in overall frequency response, especially the bass, when the rock wool dampening material is removed from the small plastic speaker cabinet and five or so half-inch holes are drilled into the plastic cabinet back. I then fastened the dampening material to three sides of the metal cabinet. This greatly enhanced the frequency response and it sounds much less tinny now. Voices on SSB sound fuller and more realistic. I can pick out voices better now in pile-ups.

This is a similar design and follows the same theory as ported speaker cabinets. It increases the speaker efficiency and allows better reproduction of lower frequencies. Given the small size of the speaker, by "lower" frequencies I mean those that matter most to voice reproduction, not low compared to music reproduction.

I'm glad I bought this used as they are way overpriced for what you get. A better alternative is to buy a center channel speaker used for home theater systems. They are shielded and designed to give good response in the vocal range of frequencies.

As a musician, I have a rather critical ear and am pickier than most when it comes to what I'm hearing. As always, your mileage may vary, but these are my honest observations.
W4VR Rating: 2013-06-27
Great with the mods Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Had the speaker in it's original carton stored away for 10 years because it was too high-pitched for my blood. I saw the posts regarding the mods. I drilled five 1/2-inch holes in the plastic speak backing and took out the insulation. What a difference. I wish I would have known about the mod a decade ago.
CR7000 Rating: 2012-06-06
Perfect Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I use my SP-21 with my PRO III and it sounds excellent - Not sure about the hole mod, it sounds nice anyway, so i dont need to improve it
NT9E Rating: 2011-03-04
Do the mod! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have owned the SP-21 since I bought my ProII back in the fall of '02. I tried it out for a few minutes and then packed it away in the box because the sound was less than thrilling. Last year after reading reviews of the SP-21 after the hole mod hole mod I decided to do the same mod to my SP-21. Talk about night and day! Room filling sound and very nice low end response. The speaker now shares a spot next to the PROII.

Earlier 2-star review posted by NT9E on 2004-03-03

I originally purchased the SP-21 with my 756PROII and did not like the audio range but it matched the equipment well. I have since replaced the SP-21 with an RCA 40-5024 4" cube speaker. These were sold at Radio Shack for their RCA Surround Sound systems and I bought 3 when RS closed them out last year.
The enclosures are acousticly sealed. In fact I use 3 of them. (2 for my IC-910H and 1 for my IC-756PROII(look up my call on eham and you can see the speakers in use).
N3US Rating: 2011-03-04
Excellent after the Mod Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Just for grins, I recently purchased a used SP-21 and the audio was tinny and most unpleasant. I then performed the "Hole" mod by drilling 5 pilot holes and then enlarged them to 1 inch using an inexpensive Harbor Freight step bit. I also removed the padding in the back of the plastic speaker enclosure. The results was amazing, especially since the speaker is small. It now produces audio superior to a SP-23 I briefly owned. The lack of passive filters in the SP-21 is not an issue for me. Thanks to all who suggested the "Hole Mod."