Last week I finally bought a couple iPhone 4 replacement speakers off eBay for $2.00 each to experiment with. Today they arrived so I installed one of them, took some pictures and made a comparison video to share along the way.
|Factory Athearn speaker at top, iPhone 4 speaker at bottom.|
|Testing the iPhone speaker out.|
|A perfect fit on top the old speaker location. More weight could be added in the hole left by removing the factory speaker.|
|Just enough room to route the speaker and power truck wires around the speaker enclosure so they don't interfere with the shell.|
Now for the video comparison, but first some disclaimers!
- The only programming these Athearn units had was their address changed to their respective engine number.
- I have not changed any other CV values like EQ settings or volume. I will change the volume level soon because out of the box these engines are way too loud.
- The N&W SD40 1613 has the factory equipped Soundtraxx "Onboard RTR Sound" DCC Decoder and a factory speaker.
- The N&W SD40 1611 has the factory equipped Soundtraxx "Onboard RTR Sound" DCC Decoder and a new iPhone 4 replacement speaker. I soldered all contacts and taped the speaker unit to the metal weight where the old speaker was located.
- This is my first real YouTube video, how embarrassing!
In my opinion the factory speaker sounds really high pitched compared to the fuller more dimensional sound of the iPhone speaker. For only $2.00 the iPhone speaker was a big upgrade that will only get better once I play with the decoder settings. Especially once I lower that volume! Wow Athearn, let's revisit some of those factory settings!
I know some people disagree with using cell phone/sugar cube speakers over traditional cone speakers for sound fidelity reasons, but for tight installs and based on my what's left of my ears, this two dollar speaker wins hands down!
I do have some iPhone 5 speakers on the way to try out also. I've seen some mixed reviews on those in modeling forums, so I'll be sure to report my findings as well.