AIRSPY MINI SDR RADIO REVIEW
AIRSPY MINI SDR RADIO REVIEW
Do not let the size fool you, the AIRSPY Mini SDR radio is a rock solid, feature packed SDR radio receiver. It's likely the most powerful smaller sized SDR receiver on the market. Technically the AIRSPY Mini ($99) is an AIRSPY R2 ($169) with 6MHz of visual bandwidth, instead of the R2's 10MHz of visual bandwidth. That extra 4MHz of extra visual bandwidth on the screen is going to be trivial to most users.
The AIRSPY Mini is the king of adjacent frequency signal rejection. When a station with a strong signal is on a frequency that is close to a station with a weaker signal, you are able to listen to the station with a weaker signal without getting bleed-over from the stronger station. This is extremely useful when listening to applications like shortwave radio, ham radio and CB radio. The AIRSPY Mini's adjacent signal rejection is better than many ham radios and receivers that cost thousands of dollars.
Livecbradio.com used the AIRSPY Mini as the Live CB Radio receiver. It ran 24 hours a day for over a year without issue, with a 2 inch CPU fan to keep it cool. To this day it still operates as it did when it was new.
The AIRSPY Mini only has one downside. It's frequency range is 24 - 1700 MHz. If you want to listen to full HF (1KHz - 30 MHz) , you must purchase an AIRSPY Spyverter Upconverter. ($49) It's a small price to pay, considering that a good HF receiver costs hundreds to thousands of dollars. It's still less expensive than buying an AIRSPY HF Discovery. ($169)
The AIRSPY Mini has a very low noise floor. I witnessed instances where the AM and SSB noise floor was lower than -110dBm and 2dB SNR, with the capability to receive stations at 50+dB SNR. The Signal To Noise ratio of the AIRSPY Mini is nothing less than amazing.
The AIRSPY Mini produces excellent audio fidelity. The audio is crisp, clean and vibrant. It makes narrow communications transmitters sounds better than they actually are. Listening to SSB is often an AM radio like experience.
Using an AIR-SPY mini is like using a highly accurate 'scope'. It's always exactly on frequency, thus revealing any transmitter that is not exactly on frequency. The AIRSPY's visual representation of a transmitter's signal and audio reveals if it is properly or improperly aligned. It's the next best thing to having a proper test bench.
The logical reference point being, when I used the AIRSPY to monitor a several thousand dollar ham radios in AM and SSB modes, AIRSPY calibration was always spot on.
By using AIRSPY's Spectrum Scope program with AIRSPY Mini, one can quickly analyze the entire radio spectrum, revealing what sort of radio signals are present in a specific area. For example, one could use it to sweep the entire radio spectrum to detect 'bugs'. i.e. hidden transmitters / listening devices. It's uses are virtually endless.
The AIRSPY Mini is the perfect tool for those that want to listen to AM/SSB CB radio, AM aircraft radio, VHF/UHF ham radio, satellite IF, radio astronomy etc. It completely blows away the best RTL-SDR SDR receivers. There is no comparison.