Speaker-mic for cellphones

Radio Shack had on clearance sale this intriguing CB-style microphone intended for use with cell phones or laptops.

CB Microphone for Phones

However, it is not worth the $4.90 clearance sale price, and I returned it. It didn’t work on a laptop (with 4-pin jack), tablet, or dumbphone.

The mike is sold with the left side large button that’s normally push-to-talk (PTT) on normal CB or ham-radio microphones is just a mute button. Weird. The top little button is supposed to play/pause (doesn’t work) and answer calls (only worked a little on dumbphone).

Finally, the inline dongle microphone itself wasn’t recognized by my devices.  The sound from the speaker was quite tinny and not very loud, even with the 2 AAA batteries.

I had initially thought this would be a neat device to use with Echolink and just for general radio geekiness, but not when it doesn’t really work at all, and feels of such flimsiness that I wouldn’t want to give it non-functionally to a child to play with as a toy.

So I’m going to try to return it. It’s also sold under the Koolertron brand and other no-name outlets.

Alternatives:

Unfortunately it doesn’t appear anyone makes such a thing, at least through common venues. It seems like a candidate for Kickstarter, marketed to ham radio operators as well as those looking for novelty. It could even do serious work with an appropriate app for team communication. Back in the good old Nextel days we had speaker mics like this.

I’d like to try…

Actually there is a device made for this called Onyx from Orion.   It is a hockey-puck like device where you can connect one-to-one or one-to-many, like a wireless speaker-microphone. Unfortunately at this time I have been unable to evaluate Onyx as they choose to make the Orion app unavailable for tablets (!)  at this time. I would like to be able to try Orion when it is available for tablets.

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