Battery Backup Sirens are a basic requirement for any 5 Star rated alarm. Being the part of the alarm that screams for your attention it is arguably the most important part of the alarm. I decided to put the major brands to the test to see how effective they are.
Before looking at the sirens I shall explain the different terms:
Digital Battery Backup Siren: These communicate with the alarm via a data wire so know if the alarm is armed or disarmed. As the siren knows the state of the alarm there is no need for an over-ride key so the siren can be hidden.
If the alarm is disarmed then the vehicle’s battery can be disconnected and the siren will not go off, this means that the Digital Battery backup siren is not only easier to live with but also offers a higher level of protection.
Basic Battery Backup Siren: These sirens trigger when they detect a negative or positive pulse input, They are cheaper to manufacture than Digital Battery Back-up Sirens and have no way of knowing if the alarm is armed or disarmed. Because of this disconnecting the power to them causes the siren to sound even if the alarm is disarmed. To get around this problem they have an over-ride key which will disable the siren. Due to this, the siren needs to be accessible which makes it vulnerable to attack.
The Battery Backup Siren Review…
The Autowatch Siren is of the Digital Variety, hence it has no over-ride key to worry about and can be hidden for that extra level of protection. It has soft arm/disarm chirps or can be programmed to silent arming (actually silent arming isn’t strictly correct as it gives a very discreet blip). The Autowatch comes a very respectable second here. It is not as loud as the excellent Cobra and does not offer arm/disarm volume control.
Obsessive Rating 8/10
Apart from the Cobra the Autowatch puts the others to the sword!
The AVS Siren is a data siren, this means that it cannot be tricked into being silenced by tampering with the wires as it does not rely on a negative or positive trigger wire. So whilst it is better than the Basic battery backup sirens found with Dynatron, Mongoose and Meridian it still has an override key and needs to be accessible. Despite the sales spin from AVS the siren is still easy to defeat and should not be confused with the digital sirens found with the Autowatch and Cobra alarms.
Obsessive Rating 3/10
Let down by over-ride key!
Cobra 4310 Siren
The Cobra 4310 is a true Digital Battery Backup siren. It is extremely solid and better still has a very high pitch sound. It is certainly the loudest and most attention-grabbing of the brands on offer here. The other great thing with the Cobra siren is that the Arm/Disarm chirps can be adjusted in volume to suit the owner.
The Cobra siren is so advanced that it will even give a diagnostic warning if it has been tampered with!
It’s also worth noting that the Cobra siren is waterproof.
Obsessive Rating 10/10
So good that the Obsessive Wagon has 2 of them!
The Dynatron Siren is a basic battery back-up siren with an over-ride key, Dynatron makes a large and a small version but both need to be placed in an accessible location for the over-ride key access.
As with the AVS, Mongoose and Meridian siren, this simply defeats the whole point of the siren being Battery Backup!
Obsessive Rating 2/10
Go for the 4 Star Dynatron -At least the siren can be hidden!
Whilst it is much better than the Meridian alarm that it comes with (probably because it made by someone else) it still isn’t very effective and is best avoided.
Obsessive Rating 2/10
More over-ride keys…..
The Mongoose siren is another basic battery backup system with an override key. It comes with bullet connectors which is a concern as unplugging the trigger wire and grounding will it disabled the siren in seconds! The bullet connections really should be cut off and the wires soldered and taped.
The M60G siren can even be turned off without the key which is a worry!
Obsessive rating: 1/10
Would be 2/10 if not for the poor Bullet connectors!