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Reviews Categories | Headphones & Boom-mic Headsets | Kenwood HS-5 Communications Headphones Help

Reviews Summary for Kenwood HS-5 Communications Headphones
Kenwood HS-5 Communications Headphones Reviews: 24 Average rating: 4.8/5 MSRP: $79.99
Description: 8 ohm 400-4000 HZ communications headphones
Product is in production.
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KC0W Rating: 5/5 Aug 11, 2013 07:27 Send this review to a friend
Cat's Meow  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This review deals with the brand new pair HS-5's being used for CW only. Not enough SSB listening has been done yet to make an honest opinion regarding their capability on voice.

The first thing I immediately noticed upon plugging these headphones into my rig was how LOUD everything now was. The main radio here is a K3. My primary CW headphones for many years had been Heil BM-10's & Heil Prosets. The volume knob on the K3 was always at the 12 o'clock setting when using the Heil's. As my ears fatigued in the heat of many hours of CW contest battle the volume knob had to be turned up to 2 o'clock or better on the Heil's.

With these new pair of HS-5's the volume knob now stays at the 8 o'clock setting. Upon ear fatigue it goes to 9 o'clock.

As others have done I gently bent the top of the headphones metal strap so they now fit my head better without any inward pressure pushing against my ears.

If it's one thing I can't stand it's when my ears sweat due to prolonged headphone usage. I just gave these 'phones their Maiden voyage regarding. I'm playing right now in the Worked all Europe CW contest & have been operating CW for the past 5 hours now. No "sweat" or uncomfortable feeling with the new 'phones as of yet. I decided not to attach the optional plastic ear covers to the headphones. I really don't need anymore sound isolation & I hate the feeling of plastic against my ears.

The headphones 4K roll off is a real plus versus the BM-10's which don't roll anything off. Why listen to high frequency hiss when you don't have to?

I have not yet performed the stereo mod to the 'phones...........It would be relatively easy to convert these headphones so they could be used for SSB voice transmission as well. I would use the mic element off of a pair of Heil BM-10's & secure everything off the earpiece of the Kenwoods.

Bottom line: I should have purchased these 'phones for CW many years ago.

Tom KC0W

DJ0RD Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2012 09:31 Send this review to a friend
The Best HF Headphones  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Nothing better, I converted mine to Stereo (Instructions in the net, simple mod). It's great to listen to the DX in the right ear and the Pile-Up in the left ear using the FTdx-5000 2nd Receiver. Vy 73
WD9CMD Rating: 5/5 Sep 5, 2012 06:31 Send this review to a friend
EXCELLENT !!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've tried many many different headphones and these are the very best ever. Glad they still make them. If you are using a monitor function on your rig to monitor your transmit audio or are trying to adjust your gain or eq, you need these, as they are 8 ohm impedance and will provide maximum volume and sensitivity. Well worth the money.
N1KSN Rating: 5/5 Apr 19, 2010 06:01 Send this review to a friend
I keep coming back to them  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've tried lots of headphones for CW and SSB, from studio monitor types to el cheapos. Many are fine for CW, but SSB performance is the real test in my opinion.

For SSB I want a good balance between reduction of high frequency hiss and other noise and intelligebility of weaker signals under poor conditions. I've found that I keep coming back to these headphones because they do the best with that balance for me.
N1TCH Rating: 5/5 Apr 18, 2010 11:42 Send this review to a friend
Comfortable and great sound  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought the HS-5 to complete my Kenwood TS-520SE shack. I replaced a pair of cheapo MFJ phones that crushed my ears and gave me a headache. I just tossed them without a thought after putting on the HS-5. The price isn't excessive for the quality that you get.
IW5EIJ Rating: 5/5 Dec 7, 2009 13:09 Send this review to a friend
Great headphones  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Best headphones i had.
After using it at club station i need to buy a pair.
Frequency response "radio only" use gives a comfortably sound. Big earpads are great for night time use with low volume.

I believe it's best you can buy even if they're not so cheap.
PG00023016 Rating: 5/5 Apr 13, 2009 23:12 Send this review to a friend
Great Quality Equipment  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
These headphones are easy to adjust, come with two sets of comfortable earpads, and have excellent communications response. I'm happy with them! WW0JD
N2UGB Rating: 5/5 Mar 11, 2009 09:14 Send this review to a friend
Great CW-0nly headset.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
These are really nice phones. I am a QRP CW only operator and don't need a boom-mic outfit so these are just what the doctor ordered. Use them with my TS-130V which makes for a nice match. Perfect CW response.

My head is large and hard so they are not at all uncomfortable. The alternate pads for use in noisy environments (or weak signal reception) are very handy. Also good for multi-op operations and noisy field days.

The cord is heavy-duty and, happily, for me, not coiled. Always hated those tight, coiled headphones.

So, if you don't need or want heads with mic, thiese are just the ticket.
GI4SJQ Rating: 5/5 May 25, 2008 02:01 Send this review to a friend
Great phones but need adjusted to fit properly  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have had a pair of Kenwood HS-5 for about 10 years now and used them a lot before I got my Heil Proset. I bought the new have both sets of pads. The audio from them is great but by ears hurt a lot after wearing them even for Ĺ an hour so they had not been used in years. They are very well suited to HF communications and I also use the on the PC. They are like a pair of 1020ís S.G. Brown phones I used to have about 25 years ago. They were physically very similar.

I have started to use them again. They are now very comfortable and I can wear them for long periods with out discomfort. My problem was that I did not realise that they needed adjustment. Why I did not think of it before I just donít know.

Firstly the two bands that go over your head can be pulled apart and that spreads the load and helps a lot. Secondly I readjusted the tension on the earpieces against my ears by bending the two bands that go over your head so that I got a very comfortable fit. These are made from what I think is spring metal. They are very easy to adjust and I now use them a lot with all my radios.
KG6TT Rating: 3/5 Mar 21, 2008 17:26 Send this review to a friend
Best for sound, a bit uncomfortable, spare parts?  Time owned: more than 12 months
Nice sound, somewhat uncomfortable for long listening. Many replacement parts, such as the cloth earpads, are now discontinued!

I have had my HS-5 headset for about five years. I bought it used and as so many sold used it came with ONLY the leatherette pads. Mine had been owned by a smoker. That was rough. Took a long time to get that smell out. Anyway, I am kind of a headphone junkie... I own about a dozen pair including four different Heil models, a JRC-ST3, and these Kenwoods. For ultimate comfort I prefer the JRC but they are mono and not easily modified for stereo. My main application is with a Ten-Tec Orion so stereo is really a necessity. The Heil's are stereo but their wide-range audio and low sensitivity are troublesome with the Orion.

Now for overall sound reproduction effectiveness (in a hams's typical HF environment) I give the HS-5's a 5. The reduced audio bandwidth is the best of all of my Headphones, especially with the Orion. The Kenwoods increased sensitivity is also important to me with the Orion.

Why the '3' rating?
First of all the HS-5 headphones are pretty tiring from a physical lac-of-comfort point of view, and with the leatherette earpads they really press your ears into your head even more. Secondly, it seems parts replacement has become an issue and the HS-5s are still selling as new items at ham dealers around the country. I tried to get a set of the cloth earpads only to find out that they are now discontinued with now substitutes offered. A direct call to Kenwood customer support netted me a refer to "their OEM that provides these headphones and the available replacement parts. A call to the OEM (OTTO)got me basically nowhere.

I tried to order the replacement cloth earpads about three years ago. After a long wait of over six months and many phone calls and emails I received a single earpad! I then attempted to reorder and was told they were out-of-stock. Now they are listed as discontinued. These headphones are still selling as new items but owners can't replace commonly worn or misplaced parts. This is a problem... for me.... and possibly for other hams too.
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