Due to the poor audio quality of the RK microphone, it became necessary to find an alternative noise-canceling mic for trucking. Even though the new rigs are quieter, there is still a lot of background noise in these trucks.
Most stock mics don’t have good voice reproductive qualities. While a minority do sound good, they all pick up background noise with little or no reduction in background noise.
This background noise can and does interfere with communications, making it difficult for operators on the other end to decipher what they are hearing.
It’s not a good thing in an emergency situation or Smokey report. There are some RK knock-offs, which now sound better than the current RK production. However, they lack a quality switch, mic plug, and wiring.
We and other shops found the RCI SRA-198 as the closest replacement to the old Telex/Turner RK-56 and the Astatic 636L second to that (also owned by the company that currently owns RK).
Although the 636L sounds good, the cords have changed and don’t retain the curl and stretch out. The new RK is just Turner RK-56. The search started again once the SRA-198 supply started to shrink.
We found a manufacturer that made a good-sounding mic with good noise-canceling quality and had it modified to our specifications. It has a high-quality switch, plug, and reinforced wiring.
While the noise canceling isn’t quite as good as the SRA-198, the audio quality is fuller and closer to the old RK.