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Broadcast quality headphones

Aug 31st 2014, 19:39


Joined: Dec 17th 2011, 03:41
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Can anyone tell me where I can find broadcast quality headphones? I want to start DXing and I read that the headphones are a tremendous benefit to hearing soft signals.
Thanks very much,
Rick Patterson
Aug 31st 2014, 21:51


Joined: Apr 4th 1998, 00:00
Total Topics: 0
Total Posts: 0
Rick, I agree that headphones are often the best way to listen to ham communications. (And, a side benefit, it can help preserve the peace, domestically.)

When you say "broadcast quality", it seems that you're looking for high fidelity 'phones. They can work, but really most folks are probably better off with "communications quality" -- optimized for speech and CW signals, generally in the 200 - 3000 Hz range. Any super low bass or high frequency is just going to make things harder for you, since it will increase the noise level without adding any intelligibility.

Having said all that, headphones intended for stereo music are a lot easier to find at a reasonable price. I just would not go for "premium" products. There are a bunch of other issues, though:

Impedance: Headphones for stereo (hi fi) use may have low impedance, like 4-8 ohms. That's often too low for best work with communications receivers. Higher impedance is probably better. (Check what your receiver manual says.)

Comfort: This is a big one. You have to be able to tolerate your 'phones for hours at a time. Be sure they are adjustable to fit, etc.

Style: There are types that just fit (loosely) on your ear without much cushioning, and others that have large cushions. This will affect comfort, but another benefit of the ear-surrounding cushions is that it cuts down acoustical noise from your environment. That can be important.

I use Sennheiser headphones with over-ear cushions. They're very nice, and I'd tell you the model number, but they don't seem to have a label!

73 Martin AA6E

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