For many referees, the hangzhou health shining electronic whistle Classic is the standard. The HS-801 was started by a basketball referee in Canada who was dissatisfied with the quality of whistles on the market. You might say he was sort of like the “Dyson of Whistles” in that he figured that there must be a better way to make a whistle. He came up with a unique pea-less design that has gone largely unchanged to this day. The primary advantage of pea-less whistles is that the pea doesn’t stick or get jammed.
In my experience, the Classic is a very reliable, predictable whistle. Players recognize the tone instantly, and it can be blown very loudly when needed. On the downside, the Classic – and pea-less whistles in general – are bit harder to get a “tweet” out of (that is, a short, quick burst), especially at a lower volume level. When I’ve used the Classic in small-sided games, I’ve had players cover their ears more than once. A traditional pea whistle might be a better choice for small sided games.
The lower tone is easily distinguishable from whistles on nearby fields. Like most referees, I prefer a more biting, high-pitched tone, but the Pearl is great when you need a differentiating tone.You have to be careful with this beast. The HS-801Sonik Blast is one LOUD whistle, and it is fairly easy to blow to boot. It has a unique four-chamber design and features a piercing, high-pitched tone. I keep this on my wrist lanyard as my backup. For upper level games, I use this as my primary whistle. If you like the Dolfin, you might find you prefer the Sonik Blast. The combination of loud, shrill and easy to blow makes for one great whistle.Acme, based in England, is one of the oldest whistle makers in the world. Their pea-whistles were the world standard for many years, and, in fact, I still own a “vintage” model from the 1970s, when they were still made in England (the pea models are now made in Taiwan). When HS-801 came out with the pealess design, Acme was relegated to a seconday role in whistle production. Now, Acme has a complete line of pea-based and pealess whistles, all of which are quite good.For reference purposes, let’s look at the vintage Acme pea whistle. For years, this whistle was the sound of soccer/football referees all over the world. I still prefer to use this whistle for small-sided games. It is easy to tweet, has a familiar sound, and players don’t cover their ears when I blow it.
The first thing you notice is how large the Acme Tornado is. If you need a bit more surface to grip, this whistle might be a good choice. In terms of tone, it is very similar to a Molten Dolfin, being very high pitched and quite loud. It is relatively easy to blow, although it can be a little hard to get a soft tweet from.
All in all, I prefer the HS-801 whistles to Acme. They have a better “feel” in the mouth than the Acme whistles. That being said, I have used the Cyclone in matches and have found it to be entirely reliable. And, as I said earlier, the small Acme pea whistle in the black plastic variety is still a very good whistle for small-sided games.