Hands-on Gear Review

Compare avalanche beacon ratings side-by-side >

Pieps DSP Review

   

Avalanche Beacons

  • Currently 5.0/5
Overall avg rating 5.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: January 2, 2013
Street Price:   $259 | Compare prices at 1 resellers
Pros:  Fast processing speed, long range.
Cons:  Not as many features for the price.
Best Uses:  Backcountry skiing, backcountry snow boarding, snowmobiling.
User Rating:       (0.0 of 5) based on 0 reviews
Manufacturer:   Pieps
Review by: Ian Nicholson ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ January 2, 2013  
Overview
The Pieps DSP was the first three-antennae beacon and remains a top performer in range, spike handling, speed, and simplicity. That said, for only a little more than the price of the Pieps DSP you can get the Editors' Choice Mammut Pulse Barryvox. The Pulse has a bunch more features and has a long range. However, if you prefer a more simple "arrow, number, beep" interface, the Pieps may be the way to go. Compared with our Best Buy award winner, the Backcountry Access Tracker 2, the Peips had a few more features, including ones involving multiple burials and has a 25 percent better range. If $450 seems a little out of your price range consider the Pieps DSP Tour, basically the same beacon without the "fish finder" button ( the frequency check) for $150 less.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

Likes
The Pieps has a long range and works fast. Although on paper the Pieps has a very similar range to the Barryvox Pulse and the Ortovox S1+, in real world testing we always found that the Pieps had the best range. Pieps claims they use higher quality crystals in their antenna to maximize their range.

The DSP is one of the fastest beacons on the market and is very comparable in speed to the BCA Tracker 2. When put the DSP head to head with the Pulse in a single burial scenario we found little difference, but if more than one victim was introduced the Pulse had a ever so slightly faster processing speed and allowed us to move quicker than the DSP. The DSP was faster than all the other beacons we tested.

The Pieps, being the first triple antenna beacon, was one of the first beacons to handle signal spikes well and eliminate the shadow box phenomenon.

It handles multiple burials well and lets you mark/flag a victim, then move on to the next. It has one of the more effective flagging features; it doesn't blind too large an area.

The controls for switching between search, transmit and off are very intuitive.

We also liked its "fish finder mode" designed for users if they arrive on a scene and don't know the number of buried victims or how they are laid out. As an example, if you hit the Scan or "fish finder" button it will show that there might be one person 0-5 meters away, no one 5-20 meters and one more person greater than 30 meters away.

The Pieps DSP will also tell you how far off of 457,000 Hz your partner's beacon might be. According to Pieps, as long as the number displayed is equal to or less than 80, then the beacon meets its manufacture's specifications. Signal drift is a phenomenon common with all beacons as they get older and their antennae detune or get damaged and drift away from 457,000. Once they drift too far, other beacons might not be able to pick them up.

Dislikes
When you are at the edge of its range, the Pieps can send you away from the victim. At that point it is up to you to notice that you are getting farther away by reading the distance indicator. By comparison, the other high end models (S1 and Pulse) have ways to overcome this problem.

Ian Nicholson and Chris McNamara

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

Where to Buy?

Seller Price  Shipping Cost Visit
Amazon
$259.00  -  42% off! Check Site

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: January 2, 2013
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used the Pieps DSP?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
Pieps DSP
Credit: Pieps
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Amazon $259.00  -  42% off!
Compare prices at 1 sellers >

*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Avalanche Beacon Review

The Best Avalanche Beacon Review

What is the best avalanche beacon for the backcountry? To find out we took seven of the top models and put them in rigorous head-to-head tests in the Cascades, Sierra, and Alaska.
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Related Gear Reviews