*PRODUCT REVIEW* bhi NES-5 Noise Eliminating Speaker

Pictured right, the NES 5 Noise Eliminating Extension Speaker by bhi Ltd UK is a loudspeaker with built-in DSP filter. 

Having owned a NES 10-2 model for some time, I was interested to see how the less expensive ‘little brother’ would stack up in the noise cancelling stakes when I saw one for sale ‘as new’ at a recent Ham fest in VK2.

As you’re probably aware of by now, I’ve loved everything that has hit my radio shack bench top in the past from noise cancelling specialists bhi Ltd and I was convinced that this would be no different.

In previous product reviews for DA-RC I’ve made reference to the fact that my QTH is within 1000m of gigantic telecommunications towers which stand like a row of giant grey dominoes against the horizon. 

I’ve also complained that these steel monstrosities have been the cause of much hobby angst ever since I moved here from the Western Torres Strait Islands (OC-138) a few years back. 

Nothing’s changed either.

Each day in the first few months, for instance, was spent dreaming of ways to prevail over this great burden on my hobby…with S-7 static ruining any chance of working weak stations on any band.

More often than not, after lengthy periods working DX (or more correctly in today’s conditions ‘chasing dx’) I was pretty wiped out due to the harsh listening conditions I had to endure, particularly if the NES 10-2 switch was in the OFF position. 

Some days, for instance, I walked away from the shack with my ears ringing and a bloody great big headache – all because of the white noise and static crashes emanating from my Kenwood TS-2000’s chassis top speaker.

Just like its big brother the NES 10-2, the moment I’d connected the NES 5 model for work on HF frequencies and others where I spend the majority of my listening time, the clarity and intelligibility of my RX audio was radically enhanced.

The S-6 static, in fact, dropped to an S-4 which is an amazing 33.3% reduction, thus greatly improving the signal to noise ratio. 

Straight away I was able to make more contacts and more contacts were easier on the ears as well.  I challenge anyone to name any other non-bhi product that would achieve that same result!

What I concluded was that these loudspeakers are ideal for HF operations such as those on 26-27-28 MHz frequencies, to lessen static and background clatter caused by plasma televisions, refrigerators, car engines and other electronics devices. 

Did I mention telecommunications towers?  Well them too! 

Unfortunately, it doesn’t reduce background noise created by kids or the YL however I am yet to find one on the market which does.

In contrast to the NES 10-2 version donated by bhi Ltd UK for this year’s Oceania Contest, this model comes with the DSP filter at a fixed level. 

It comes with a two metre audio lead with a 3.5 mm mini plug (mono) and a DC cable too. 

The supplied mounting bracket is helpful for installation in a car or at home and I was fortunate in that the original mounting bracket also came with this second-hand purchase.

In conclusion, the NES 5 Noise Eliminating Extension Speaker is recommended for use in many applications where extreme background noise and interference mean that you cannot clearly hear what is being said. 

It’s just the thing for improving SSB and FM/AM use too!

Though not tested on this occasion, suitable applications where the speakers have proven to be of great benefit to the user include radio amateur base stations, citizens band radio, transport base stations, two-way radios, HF radios, marine communications, scanners, emergency vehicles, telephone extension speakers, taxi base stations and hands-free car kits.

The NES 5 Noise Eliminating Extension Speaker normally retails for around £80.00 or around $150 AUS but unfortunately the bhi Ltd UK website says that they are currently out of stock. 

If you’re still keen to add a noise cancelling product to the shack, however, and can’t get one of these little gems second hand, then I recommend the NES 10-2 DSP Speaker MKII, a pair of noise cancelling headphones or one of the ANEM Noise Cancelling Modules

They will well and truly do the job!

Just check out the bhi website at http://www.bhi-ltd.co.uk/

If you can leave the site without buying something for the shack then you’re a better man than me.

73 de Darren, 43DA001