Review of the AmpliVox Half-Mile Hailer:
"We bought one of these Amplivox units about a year ago for our nonprofit organization to use at public educational demonstrations. As an electrical engineer, I had spent quite a bit of time reviewing specifications and prices, and finally settled on this one. It isn't the cheapest on the market, but you get what you pay for.
The cone speaker is fairly directional, allowing you to control the direction in which it projects sound. In particular, you can stand to one side to avoid feedback. Surprisingly, however, the unit is not prone to feedback even if you are standing in front of the speaker, as long as you are not too close. I found that I can stand 10 meters or so in front of the speaker, with volume at reasonable levels, and still not have a feedback problem. Ideally, you are off to the side, but that's not always feasible in all locations.
Sound quality is in my opinion quite good for a public address system, but you should understand that this is a *public address system* and not a music system. You can certainly play music through the amplifier, but it is optimized for human speech and lacks the frequency response and dynamic range for high-fidelity music reproduction. In engineering design, there are always tradeoffs, and the designers were able to make this device work better for speech by intentionally limiting its response range. I have also been very pleased that the speaker has plenty of headroom, and I have not heard any clipping or overdrive.
One very nice feature of this model is that it has inputs for an extra wireless or wired microphone as well as a line-level input for connection to an external source such as an MP3 player for sound effects or background music. This feature is hard to find on equipment in this price range.
The battery life of the unit is surprisingly good. I was skeptical of the manufacturer's claim of how long it can run on "D" cells, but I have to admit it really does run a long time. We bought the 12 volt adapter (and I recommend this if you're going to run it all day), but for most short presentations (up to 3 or 4 hours) I just use the inboard "D" cells.
The manufacturer calls this a "half mile hailer". I haven't tested it at that range, but I would believe the claim based on what I have observed. With the volume at about 40% to 50%, we are able to give educational presentations in very crowded outdoor venues such as a town festival.
The wireless microphones are of very high quality, with no discernible difference in fidelity between wired and wireless in my tests. They operate on different radio frequencies and have so far been immune to crossover in our usage. These are expensive microphones, but as with the amplifier you get what you pay for. My only caveat is that using the wireless microphones properly does require some training. Anyone can learn it, but audio novices may need some practice to get the mic placement right.
My overall opinion is that this PA system does exactly what its manufacturer claims, and does it very well..."
~Review Courtesy of Amazon
Other Half-Mile Hailer Reviews:
Blog: Bull Stomps on Half-Mile Hailer, Still Works!
Blog: Beach Lifeguard Review of Half-Mile Hailer
Blog: Street Preachers Love the Half-Mile Hailer!
VIDEO: Customer Reviews AmpliVox Half-Mile Hailer
Blog: NCAA Track Starter's Review of the Half-Mile Hailer