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Author Topic: Heaadphones  (Read 5835 times)
VK2FAK
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« on: November 03, 2011, 03:23:56 PM »

Hi all...

A question about headphones....its probably been brought up before.   what actually do you look for when buying. The most expensive would be good for HIFI radio and such....but for the more bass required for CW as it's all down around 500hz to about 800hz.....would you look for headphones with larger speakers..

Excluding external noise is another consideration...

John
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K8AXW
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« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2011, 09:29:03 PM »

High frequency response (15KHz or higher) HI-FI headphones serve no purpose, except maybe to make you more aware of the trash around the signal you want to copy.

Since the headphones will no doubt be used for SSB as well, the frequency response need not be higher than 6-8KHz.....

then comes comfort...ability to eliminate outside noise.... even cord flexibility.  And if you run external audio processsing, perhaps stereo headphones are in order.  (this is what I use with left/right audio amplification for my unequally sensitive ears)
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2011, 10:57:26 PM »

Hi all...

A question about headphones....its probably been brought up before.   what actually do you look for when buying. The most expensive would be good for HIFI radio and such....but for the more bass required for CW as it's all down around 500hz to about 800hz.....would you look for headphones with larger speakers..

Excluding external noise is another consideration...

John

500-800 Hz is _not_ "bass".  "Middle C" on the piano is 256 Hz (roughly).  Any headphones have enough response, at any reasonable CW frequency.

I really like the Sennheiser HD280 phones.  They're very comfortable (the earcups press on your head, not on your ears), and they have better-than-average reduction of external noise.  They are weak in the bass (under 100 Hz), but that won't bother you for ham radio use.

Unfortunately, they're not cheap.

I've heard good reports on the Yamaha CM500, from several forums.  About half the price of the Senn HD280.

If you can accept wearing earbuds, the Skullcandy earbuds ("Ink'd", "Smokin Buds", etc) have good seals, and really reduce outside noise.  Plenty of frequency response for what you need to hear.  For earbuds, I think it's important that they have proper rubber seals; open-cell foam destroys bass response, and lets outside noise leak in.

        Charles

Ps -- the choice of headphones is very personal.  What one person likes, another will find either uncomfortable, or un-listenable.
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K0RS
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2011, 11:07:21 PM »

K8AXW is exactly right.  Typical audiophile headphones with frequency response up 20 kHz are a distinct disadvantage for communications purposes.  'Phones with too much high frequency reproduction tend to accentuate white noise and add to listening fatigue.  The best headphone I've ever found for ham use is the Kenwood HS-6.  They have response tailored for communications audio and are extemely comfortable.  They even come with two sets of ear cups of distinctly different style, so you have a choice of the type most comfortable for you.  The disadvantage of these 'phones is they are not stereo, so if you're a DXer and like to listen to audio from a subreceiver in one ear and the main receiver in the other, you're out out of luck.  For a monaural headphone, they can't be beat.

Watch out for overpriced headsets, allegedly tailored for amateur use, that have a brand name that sounds like a salute of the Hilter-Jugend.  They feature unnecessary high fidelity response, fragile cords and thin leatherette covering on the earpads that wears out quickly.  I tried a pair of these for an SSB contest once and within an hour, almost bleeding from the ears, switched back to my HS-6's, despite losing the convenience of an integral boom microphone.
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K3TN
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« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2011, 02:46:54 AM »

First decide whether you prefer in the ear, on the ear or over the ear. I hate in the ear (ear buds) and for years preferred on the ear, so I could hear the noise around me. More recently I've started to prefer over the ear, probably mainly because as I've gotten older my hearing is probably not as good as it was years ago.

Once you've chosen one of those three types, yes - definitely stick to "communications grade" unless you plan on getting on 3885 AM a lot and listening to "Yea-ello" hi-fi 12 khz wide signals! Then decide if you want a mic on the headset or not.

Now you've reached the point where you should go to a hamfest or ham store and try a bunch out, just look in the Heil catalog and choose one, if your wallet is not challenged!

I've been a Heil headset user now for the last 20 years or so and haven't yet tried any others that I like better but I have used a few cheaper headsets that were pretty close.

73, John K3TN
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John K3TN
AA4N
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« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2011, 12:37:15 PM »

I'm a big fan of the Kenwood HS-5.  The communications grade freq response is perfect for ham radio.  Audiophile gear really doesn't do you any favors in the radio shack.

As they come out of the box, they are usually too tight.  But, it's easy to stretch them out a bit to fit your noggin size.

They are wired mono, but I'm told that th cord has the wires for stereo, so you can just solder on a stereo plug if you want to get fancy.

The cord is an old school clothe covered affair that's nice and supple.  It's long enough that I can lean back and assume the armchair copy position without yanking anything off the desk.

Altogether they do exactly what they are supposed to and nothing that they shouldn't.  They look cool too.  

Mike AA4N
« Last Edit: November 12, 2011, 05:43:33 PM by AA4N » Logged
VK2FAK
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« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2011, 02:50:03 PM »

HI all...

Thanks for the replies....

Something I looked at last evening and maybe I am looking at it all wrong,  but I took the audio from the Phones socket and fed it into the computer and monitored it with spectran and the audoi bandwidth coming out is basically from say 200hz to around 3000Hz then drops of by about 30db..
So based on this....would it matter if the headphones had a 20khz high end as this would be reduced.....

Yeah I prefer the phones to ear pieces....and to cover the ear would be better and maybe reduce the external noise good...I find I drift to the external noise to much....this I imagine I will get over as concentration improves..

Opps and yes got the Bass thing wrong...as mentioned earlier...

John
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N4OI
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« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2011, 04:24:36 PM »

Well here you go.... JRC ST-3.  I've had mine for about 20 years -- back from my SWL days.  Perfect = research done!

http://www.eham.net/reviews/detail/404
http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/commrxvr/0682.html

73 de Ken N4OI Grin
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VA7CPC
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« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2011, 05:01:38 PM »


Something I looked at last evening and maybe I am looking at it all wrong,  but I took the audio from the Phones socket and fed it into the computer and monitored it with spectran and the audoi bandwidth coming out is basically from say 200hz to around 3000Hz then drops of by about 30db..
So based on this....would it matter if the headphones had a 20khz high end as this would be reduced.....


There are two approaches:

1.  The headphones should help eliminate unneeded frequencies.   If there's no signal above 3000 Hz, you want the headphone response to drop off above 3000 Hz.  This is the "communications headphones" solution.

2.   The job of the IF filters in the receiver is to eliminate unneeded frequencies.  The job of the headphones is to accurately reproduce the receiver's output.  This is the "hi-fi" solution (Senn HD280, sealed earbuds, etc).

It's a religious argument.  Most people have strong opinions, and nobody changes his mind.

                   Charles

PS -- hi-fi headphones, with a receiver that has a lot of audio noise and IF filter blowby, are not a good choice.

PPS -- it's easy to run headphones and earbuds at levels that will damage your hearing.  Keep the volume down!  That's one reason I like 'phones that eliminate room noise.
   
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AE6ZW
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« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2011, 07:09:17 PM »

I realize most important future of good headphone are ability to shut off exterior noise.  to test this just put head phone on, while no audio or sound is playing from radio, but go to the place where there are a lot of external noise, such as air compressor,  jet engine, etc.
I use KOSS QZ-99 , this head phone is mostly made for scanner people to listen their radio on  Auto Race Track , where it is noisy.
http://www.amazon.com/Koss-QZ-99-Noise-Reduction-Stereophone/dp/B000051SD1/ref=cm_cmu_pg__header
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N5MAV
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« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2011, 10:06:55 PM »

I use my studio isolation cans: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/direct-sound-ex-29-extreme-isolation-headphones

They're over-the-ear and designed to monitor music while standing next to a drum kit.  I have a loud window unit AC in my shack and these cut it completely out.  I'm not sure how they rate against purpose-built ham sets in frequency response, but I've been extremely happy with them except for the fact they make it easy for the xyl to sneak up on me. I normally use them for CW.



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K8AXW
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Posts: 6361




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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2011, 07:45:51 AM »

Quote
except for the fact they make it easy for the xyl to sneak up on me

I eliminated this problem by installing an IR  TX/RX which triggers audio and red light on my panel board.  Takes care of that problem and although it's been there for 8 years, she still doesn't know!  Now if I can just figure out something for church..... whenever someone touches me from behind I jump which startles the person touching me. 
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N5MAV
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2011, 08:13:02 AM »

Now if I can just figure out something for church..... whenever someone touches me from behind I jump which startles the person touching me. 

I worked with a guy who gave a co-worker an elbow strike to the face when he snuck up on him from behind.  He only had to do it once and no one did it any more.  I suppose it would work in church where word tends to travel fast. 
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K0TF
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2011, 11:42:13 PM »

Hi all...

A question about headphones....its probably been brought up before.   what actually do you look for when buying. The most expensive would be good for HIFI radio and such....but for the more bass required for CW as it's all down around 500hz to about 800hz.....would you look for headphones with larger speakers..

Excluding external noise is another consideration...

John

Well, get a lightweight, not overly tight, with a soft vented earpieces, preferably with additional cloth cushings which can be removed and washed once in a while, to absorb any perspiration. As for a frequency response, get commercial (call-centers for example) headsets with bandwidth between 100-150Hz up to 3000-6000 tops kHz. Size of the speakers basically irrelevant since you need certain amount of air pressure per square unit - centimeter or inch, whichever you prefer. Well its about sum it up.
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KH6AQ
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2011, 05:31:33 AM »

I use several headphones including ear buds. The radio already limits the high and low frequencies and the headphone frequency response does not matter. It comes down to physical comfort and whether you want to block ambient sounds.

I use active sound cancelling headphones to attenuate the fan noise from the amp on the desk.
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