Baofeng UV-5RA Radio Speaker/Mic Options – Part #3 (covert acoustic earpiece)

Speaker MIcs for baofeng uv-5rOn January 16th I posted Part #1 of Baofeng UV-5RA radio speaker/mic options. I tested five of the most popular brands of speaker/mics to see which one came out on top for preppers. If you haven’t already ready read Part #1 of this article you might want to now…

< click here to read Part #1 >

I ended Part #1 as I was about to announce the top speaker/mic choice for the Baofeng UV-5RA radio. On January 18th I posted Part #2 BaoFeng anytone QHM22 Platinum Series speaker/micannouncing the top rated speaker/mic. The clear overall winner is the AnyTone…no doubt about it.

Along with announcing the top rated speaker/mic, I provided a lot of good information about each brand and even gave some advice on which to buy. Yeah, it might surprise you just a little bit. Part #2 is worth reading!

< click here to read Part #2 >Covert Acoustic Ear Piece

This article is all about a special little option for the speaker/mic…the acoustic earpiece.

Why the heck would I want to post an article strictly for something like this? Well, since you asked…how about…your life may depend on it!

Yeah, pretty dramatic, right? But, I am serious. Your life could depend on something so small and seemingly insignificant as an radio speaker/mic acoustic earpiece. And, for

 

I tested three brands –

  • Easy Provider IS16 – $3.61
  • Maximal Power RHF 617-1N – $8.95
  • abcGOODefg – $9.99

Don’t get too carried away just yet and guess at which one I am going to recommend. Hear what I have to say about each before you make your judgement on which t buy. And Yes, I am strongly suggesting you buy!

Here’s the mission statement –

“Improve overall radio security and reception clarity in a loud environment while providing a significant ‘user profile’ decrease. “

CovertEarPiece-002That means; don’t let other people hear your radio messages, hear better with lots of noise around you, and make it harder for people to think you are using a radio. Pretty simple, yes? And is the whole dramatic thing settling in on you yet? The reason I ask that question is most people don’t think of losing your life during incidents. And letting the whole world know that you are using a radio is pretty obvious in many ways. We want to reduce that “obvious” down to virtually nothing. I want you “low profile” as much as possible.

Easy Provider IS16 –Covert Ear Piece - EasyProvider

Testing Results…

  • Apparent Quality: Decent/Respectable
  • Speaker/Mic Connection Quality: Solid & secure
  • Pin/Wire Stress/Tension Reliever: Excellent
  • Clarity of Reception: Good
  • Ear Comfort: Very comfortable
  • Length of wire coiled / stretched: 18″ / 40″+

Pros –

  1. The 3.5mm plug has a good stress/tension reliever on it. The plug is also canted slightly which makes it slightly easier to work with.

Cons –

  1. I didn’t like the silver/chrome clip at the wire/tube connection. Just something else to reflect light and draw attention to you.
  2. The connection of the wire and acoustic tube didn’t seat together all the way, left a pretty good gap. I don’t think it will have much affect on the overall operations but it raises the question as to the manufacturing and the quality control.

Buy It !Summary –

My pre-purchase research  indicated some people thought the unit was poor quality and quite working after 10 – 14 days of use in the field. But, twice that many say it holds up just fine. My experience is these are inexpensive and the quality is not going to be at the SEAL operative level. At this price point you can afford to have several.

Covert Ear Piece - Maximal Power RHF 617-1N-001Maximal Power RHF 617-1N –

Testing Results…

  • Apparent Quality: Excellent
  • Speaker/Mic Connection Quality: Excellent, very solid and secure
  • Pin/Wire Stress/Tension Reliever: Excellent
  • Clarity of Reception: Excellent
  • Ear Comfort: Very comfortable
  • Length of wire coiled / stretched: 13″ / 41″+

Pros –

  1. Earbud piece is an excellent shape for my ear; very comfortable, and blocks out most ambient noise.
  2. Clip on the coiled wire that will act as a second point to secure it. That clip will also move along the wire to properly place it.
  3. Both clips are dark color, reduces potential for being seen.
  4. The connection point between the wire and the acoustic tube is excellent, very solid and secure. Not only is the connection itself very tight, but there is also a retaining piece to hold the connection together.
  5. There are two stress/tension point, one at the 3.5mm jack, the other at the wire/tube connection. Both stress/tension relievers are more than adequate, very good quality.

Cons –

  1. Unit didn’t come with a second earpiece if the first one gets damaged.

Summary –

Buy It !I was completely impressed with this unit as soon as I got it out of the package. It has a great feel to it. When I was looking at comments made about the unit I did notice that all the negative remarks are almost a year old. All of the 4 & 5 star ratings were very recent. That tells me there had been a consistent quality issue that has since been resolved. This unit is a great little unit That I think is well worth the money in every respect. This unit is worth the additional money over the Easy Provider unit.

Covert Ear Piece - abcGOODefgabcGOODefg –

Testing Results…

  • Apparent Quality: Very Good
  • Speaker/Mic Connection Quality: Very Good
  • Pin/Wire Stress/Tension Reliever:  Acceptable
  • Clarity of Reception:  Excellent
  • Ear Comfort: Good
  • Length of wire coiled / stretched: 31″ / 31″ (no coil)

Pros –

  1. The clarity of sound was excellent, the best of the units tested. But, that doesn’t mean the other units were “bad”, this unit was just a little better.
  2. The wire is not coiled so there is no “lump” under a shirt or tactical vest.
  3. Both clips are dark color, reduces potential for being seen. They are the same clips that is used on the Maximal unit.

Cons –

  1. There is only 31″ of wire, if you need more you are out of luck.
  2. The stress/tension relievers are barely adequate. I think these will fail before other units would.
  3. These units have not been up for sale for very long.

Summary –

Thumbs Down ReviewIt is obvious that this unit is better quality than the Easy Rider unit. But it is not as good a quality as the Maximal unit. One interesting tidbit I found was the presence of a “brass” nipple on the wire/tube connection piece. That would indicate really good quality to me since both the other units have only plastic. The earbud piece at the end of the acoustic tube (the piece that goes into your ear) is designed to really fill up that ear cavity. However, it is round, and most people’s ear cavity is not round, it is a oval. So for me, the earbud piece didn’t feel near as comfortable as the other two units and not near as comfortable as the Maximal unit. One of the things I do is check the manufactures website and reputation online, here is where it gets a little weird. When I looked up the abcGOODefg website my virus software gave me a big alert that this was a heavy duty malicious malware site. So I didn’t ever get to checkout their website. Looking up other abcGOODefg products on Amazon I saw they only got them mediocre ratings. However, it appears that this company has been making electronic products for a respectable length of time, but they are a China-based operation. It was just a little unsettling to get that virus alert about their website.

Bottom Line…

If I needed a large quantity of covert earpiece and the money was tight I would have no problem buying Easy Provider units. If I had a couple buck more, as in more than double the price, I would buy the Maximal unit. For more critical applications I would only buy the Maximal units. But, I would also have a spare unit on-hand for each one in-service. I would not buy the abcGOODefg unit based on a combination of the problem with the website, it doesn’t look like any better of a product than the Maximal, and the earbud doesn’t fit as well as the Maximal or Easy Rider.

Easy Provider IS16

Easy Provider IS16

Maximal Power RHF 617-1N

Maximal Power RHF 617-1N

 

NOTE –

Covert Ear Piece - pentagon g-typeAs part of the original testing concept I purchased a Pentagon G-Type Earpiece as part of the overall test. It is similar in many respects as the earpiece that comes with the radio originally and is tied into a mic as well. A couple things that disqualified it from being considered –

  1. It isn’t really covert, the big hunk of black plastic is obvious that you have an earpiece on.
  2. I don’t find it comfortable to wear inside my ear or the way it loops over my ear.

 

Related Articles –
Associated Articles –

 

 

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6 thoughts on “Baofeng UV-5RA Radio Speaker/Mic Options – Part #3 (covert acoustic earpiece)

  1. Pingback: Baofeng UV-5RA Radio Speaker/Mic Options – Part #6 | A.H. Trimble - Emergency preparedness information for disasters and grid-down

  2. Pingback: Baofeng UV-5R (A or MHP) Radio Speaker/Mic Options – Part #5 | A.H. Trimble - Emergency preparedness information for disasters and grid-down

  3. Pingback: Baofeng UV-5RA Radio Speaker/Mic Options – Part #4 | A.H. Trimble - Emergency preparedness information for disasters and grid-down

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