Monday, December 28, 2009

A good match

Out of all the discussion about whether the Elecraft K3 receiver is or isn't noisy, one thing that eventually became clear was that a lot depends on the speakers and headphones you are using. I found that my K3 sounded much better when I tried a pair of Sennheiser HD-485 headphones that I'd bought for music listening, which had an impedance of 32 ohms compared with the 8 ohms of the old pair I'd been using. The passive communications speakers I was using sounded shrill and lacking in bass compared to the computer speakers I'd used before. However, my attempts to find powered computer speakers that were RFI proof by trial and error had turned out to be rather costly.

This afternoon I walked down to Aldi with Olga to get some shopping and, after some hesitation, decided to take a chance on a pair of Medion Multimedia PC Speakers that were being sold there for £7.99. Aldi offers a 30-day no-quibble refund if you aren't happy with something, so if the usual rasping noises occurred when I spoke into the mic I could easily take them back.

The Medion speakers sound very good when plugged in to the rear speaker socket of the K3. They have a very effective tone control that completely eliminates any tiring noise or hiss in the fully clockwise position, and they can provide plenty of bass for "armchair listening." What's more, I found them completely free of any RF breakthrough when running 100 watts of SSB to my attic antennas which are directly above the shack - a tougher test than they'll experience in most shacks, I'll bet.

I think the modern styling of these speakers suits the Elecraft K3, and the black and silver finish matches my Heil desk mic and my Bencher straight key very nicely.

Another good point about these speakers is that they run off 14V DC from an external adapter with a standard barrel type plug. This means that you can easily power them from your shack power supply and avoid the need for another power-consuming wall-wart. A 14V 800mA unregulated analogue wall-wart power supply is provided, and could probably find a use in another project - you'd pay £4 or more for that alone at Maplin.

Whether you need some external speakers for your radio or some RFI-proof speakers for your computer (or a neighbour's) these Medion Multimedia PC Speakers look like a good investment.
Post a Comment