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Reviews Categories | Headphones & Boom-microphone Headsets | Heil HS-706 Help

Reviews Summary for Heil HS-706
Heil HS-706 Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.1/5 MSRP: $59.99
Description: Specifically designed for the IC-706, this new Heil headset features a new high gain f.e.t.(field effect transistor) microphone producing extremely articulate audio that will make your IC-706 come alive!
Product is in production.
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AG9M Rating: 3/5 Jul 9, 2004 14:39 Send this review to a friend
So so  Time owned: more than 12 months
OK, it didn't cost that much. When I opened the box the headband came apart in my hands. I glued it together. After about 3 months of mobile use it stopped working. Anyone who knows me can tell you I take care of my stuff. I took it apart and found the mic wire dangling. While I was resoldering it to the pad the pad came off. More glue. The original soldering looked like 1965 Taiwan. I would not buy this product again. I have a headphone/mic from Walmart that looks very much like the HS-706. Cost under $10.00. I intend to make a hands free mobile mic to replace it.
VE7AGW Rating: 5/5 Sep 4, 2003 22:25 Send this review to a friend
Fantastic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've got a pair of David Clark's and I would rather use the Heil 706. It's a lot lighter and more comfortable to wear. The speaker audio is sharp and clear and the mic has given me excellent reports of great tx audio. I've had Heil for a numer of years and I'm still impressed with them. I really like the weight as it make it very comfortable when dxing for long hours or contesting. Purchased mine from a dealer on eBay and got a great deal. They are well worth the money paid.
WO8USA Rating: 5/5 Dec 8, 2002 07:37 Send this review to a friend
Great light headset  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had the HS-706 for a year.

I like it beacuse its light (I do not know I am wearing it), I have one ear open for the rest of the world (XYL,et al) and I have an option as to which ear, and the convenient switch. It works well with the VOX and COM controls on the 706MKIIG

Audio reports/comparisons show its a definite improvement over the stock mike.
However, I use this at home; I would NOT recommend using headsets in a car while driving.

I would definitely buy it again!

Chris WO8USA
G4IJE Rating: 4/5 Aug 7, 2002 04:00 Send this review to a friend
Spoiled by bad connection  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
My HS-706 was OK for a while - and I got very good audio reports - but the bad connection problem showed up when I was on holiday in Ireland recently. I've cut off the offending RJ45 plug and reterminated the cable with small jack plugs. I then built a small "break out box" with jack sockets and a short piece of screened network cable to go to the radio and this works great.
KE4OAR Rating: 4/5 Feb 16, 2002 10:30 Send this review to a friend
Good and sounds like its been improved  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I bought the HS-706 to use with my 706 in the truck.

It works fine but I have found that the connection to the radio is a weak spot, as others have also found. From a previous post, it sounds like Heil may have corrected this problem.

In my application, the headset stays in the truck and gets dragged out when needed. The storage compartment that I store the headset is mostly just for radio stuff, the headset does get shuffled and jostled around a little. I won't say that I have never snagged the plug on something when removing the headset from storage.

Also, the radio location in the truck places some stress on the cable end while in use.

I found with mine, the wires and the plug contacts were making an intermittent connection. If I would push the cable up a bit into the plug, it would maintain contact.

My quick fix was to push the cable into the plug, verifying that contact had been restored and then pack the end of the plug around the cable with silicone to hold the cable in place. So far, it seems to have corrected the problem although time will tell. If it fails again, I'll probably replace the plug and do a better job or re-enforcing it at that time. Silicone is another one of those great "fix-it" items like duct tape and baling wire.

Although this is the first "substandard" item I have encountered with a Heil product (I have 3 other headsets), mine was out of warranty when it failed and it does get rough service.

The customer service I have received with other Heil products has been excellent. They have been very helpful in answering concerning the operation of their products with my radios.
WM5R Rating: 1/5 Jan 21, 2002 17:24 Send this review to a friend
Poor Quality  Time owned: more than 12 months
I received my Heil HS-706 as a promotional give-away
with the purchase of my Icom IC-706MkIIG a little over a
year ago. I hadn't had a reason to use it until this past
weekend, during the ARRL January VHF Sweepstakes, which
I entered as a rover. It'd been sitting in its original box
until then.
The headset worked for the first five or so hours that I
operated the contest - just sitting in the passsenger seat
of the car, doing nothing unusual. Then, the microphone
half of the headset just ceased working. Nothing I did could
make the mic work again. The Icom stock hand mic worked
fine, so I know it was not the rig. I think some connection
inside the headset was poorly made and broke.
This is by far not the first time I've experienced poor
mechanical quality in Heil headsets. It seems like half of
the contesters I know have Heil Prosets that have failed
mechanically at one time or another. I just expected that
my HS-706 would last more than a few hours!
I'm glad I didn't pay real money for this.
W6ABE Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2001 20:32 Send this review to a friend
Super Customer Servive  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I wanted to rate this as a 4.5 but seeing as how that option was not available, I must go up rather than down. It is definitely better than a 4.0. I use my ICOM 706 as a base when I visit my desert cabin. In using it as a base it does not leave very much room to connect the headset plug. After a period of time using while the cord was actually bent it finally loosened up and was not working properly. When I got back from the desert I called HEIL and explained my problem. I was told to send it back and the problem would be solved. I sent it back on Monday and the following Monday I received a brand new and updated headset. The connector has been beefed up to a point that I think should solve the problem.I also received an email From Mr Heil thanking me for my patronage.
So the bottom line here is that, yes there was a problem but the service and the remedy was very satisfactory.
This is not my first Heil product and will not be my last. Thanks to Heil for a good product and exemplary service.
AB2LB Rating: 3/5 Oct 14, 2001 13:37 Send this review to a friend
Needs Refinement  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
HS-706 Headset w/boom mic
October 14, 2001

Reading some of the reviews, Heil Sound web site, and promotional information, one would think the new Heil HS-706 headset is a world-class product. My experiences and opinion are a bit different. First, I must emphasize that the audio quality is NOT the issue here. The transmit and receive audio is excellent. And now, the rest of the story . . .

It was a few weeks before Field Day 2001 and I decided to order a Heil Sound HS-706 headset for use with my Icom 706 MKIIG. I also had some long road trips scheduled and this would be perfect for driving, so I thought. Reviews have been good, including the Short Takes Review in the June 2001 QST. The SSB and FM audio I've heard over the air from the new HS-706 headset was excellent. Heil Sound - nothing but the best!

I opened the plain white box at the field day site; tossed the useless, "Heil-Amateur Radio-Icom", bumper sticker on the table; inspected the single page, off-center, poorly photocopied instruction sheet; and plugged-in the RJ-45 into the jack on the bottom/front of the Icom 706MKIIG. After calling CQ several times, I realized that there was no audio being transmitted. I clearly heard received audio in the earpiece. I checked the RJ-45 plug, re-inserted it into the rear jack, and checked my settings. Still no transmit audio, and no response on the ALC meter. I gently jiggled the very thin cable Heil used for the headset and heard scratching and intermittent audio in the earpiece. Also, there was now some audio being transmitted. The ALC meter jumped to full scale when the cable was moved, indicating noise generation. The audio reports were "intermittent, noisy audio", "scratchy audio with some intermittent hum", "I lost your audio in the middle of your last transmission", and "check your mic - you have a problem". The brand new, virgin HS-706 went back into the box. A well-worn set of Koss headphones and an old Icom SM-5 desk microphone (has an 8 pin connector with a heavy-duty Icom RJ-45 adapter) were connected. Field Day continued sans the HS-706, but with acceptable transmit audio. The first impression of this headset with boom mic, my first Heil Sound product, was poor.

Back at the shack, I carefully inspected the RJ-45 connector and discovered that the engineering and factory assembly job of the RJ-45 plug and the cable were quite poor. Under a magnifying glass the conductors could be seen freely moving around when the cable was moved. The connector did not tightly clamp the very thin cable, and it had quite a bit of play. It could easily slide from side to side in the connector when moved with the tip of a small screwdriver. If it didn't fail out of the box it would probably fail in mobile use in a short period. This is a definite weak link. The telecommunications, radio and computer industries have been using these RJ-45 connectors for many years. They are very reliable, if constructed properly. I have several other mics with RJ-45's that have been tugged severely with no failures. On the HS-706, a few of the fine wires finally broke-off inside the connector after all the jiggling to get it to work.

On the shelf it went until I had some time to send it back. Unfortunately, I needed a headset and boom mic for use as net control on the RACES nets related to the recent World Trade Center attack. I used those Koss head phones and the cheap ICOM microphone that came with the 706 (yes it has frequency up/down buttons!). At least these worked flawlessly.

I did mange to carefully position the cable in the connector so I could use the HS-706 for a few QSO's.
My initial assessment:
-Very comfortable to wear.
-Pressure on the ear is just right for long use.
-Nice audio reports.
- The mic boom was easy to position and stayed in place.
-Can be used on either ear.
-Good earpiece sound.
-The clip on the PPT switch is a very nice feature
-The PTT button has good tactile feedback

-The cable/RJ-45 connection needs to be re-engineered. Possibly a thicker/more substantial cable should be used.
-There are no up and down frequency controls. Absolutely needed for mobile use! How would the frequencies or memory channels be scanned while driving?
-The cable should be a foot or so longer. It is 60" long, with only 24" from the earpiece connection to the PPT switch. My recommendation is that the PPT switch should be at a sufficient length so the hand can be at your side when sitting or standing. (Hint to the Heil Sound Engineering Dept: Ergonomics). Was this product field tested while driving, sitting and standing?
-The PTT button is sized for a tiny hand.

I recently sent the headset back to Heil Sound for repair with some constructive comments. I do not have a crimper for these connectors, and no schematic was included with the product. Besides, it was a factory dud . . . So, I decided not to fix it myself. Another suggestion is that a short length of heat shrink tubing would add some bulk and strength to the cable at the connection point. It will be interesting to see how they fix it. (Hey Bob, I slapped on another RJ-45 and shipped it out . . . Hope that AB2LB character gets a life . . .How many more HS-706's to fix today?).

Has anyone else experienced the RJ-45/cable problem or have similar design complaints? Speak-up! The HS-706 Headset needs significant refinement and better quality assurance. One big positive is that an e-mail to Heil Sound ( resulted in an immediate response directly from Bob Heil. He offered to personally assure that I get proper warranty service. Great customer service! However, this is still a mediocre product!

Give some consideration before purchasing one for mobile use due to the lack of frequency up/down controls and its rather short cable. Look for a future article describing an auxiliary PTT/frequency module to plug into that second RJ-45 jack on the Icom 706. That project is nearly completed, and the prototype works fine. What a great idea - maybe the HS-706 should have that feature standard from the factory! Duhhh!

Perhaps Heil Sound could name a re-designed, evolutionary version of the product the HS-706MKIIG. Hey, sometimes it takes a few tries to get a product right!
73 de AB2LB
K5LDL Rating: 5/5 Aug 25, 2001 01:10 Send this review to a friend
Great addition to my arsenal...  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
Ok, it has now been 9 months since I've bought my HS-706. I am more than rather pleased with my purchase! Upon my use in Oregon during my vacation the connector quit working. I came home to Texas and quickly tried to remedy the situation. I called and wrote Heil Sound only to be contacted in return by Bob Heil himself! I must admit, I was impressed! What really impressed me was the service and attention to detail afforded to me by Mr. Heil and his staff. I sent my malfunctioning HS-706 back to the factory just as Mr. Heil was sending a replacement unit. Not only did I get a replacement headset in return, I also got Mr. Heil's most sincerest apologies for my inconvenience. I have since bought two more Heil products based on my experiences with Mr Heil. Now to the follow up review... The HS-706 has worked wonderfully since being pressed into service. I still want a longer and coiled cord for it and still want those UP and DOWN buttons I wrote about in my last review. As for its sound, nothing seemes to even come close to the audio reports I've gotten on both HF and VHF. This little doozey runs circles around the original Icom hand mike supplied with my radio. I rate the HS-706 a 5. Now about that list of wants... hi hi
WH6LR Rating: 4/5 Aug 11, 2001 22:21 Send this review to a friend
GREAT MIKE BUT!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
The HS 706 is a great headset but it needs a longer mike cord. Other than that it's a great addition to any IC-706 I use it on weak sig SSB on VHF in it has already increase me by two grids that I would not have heard! Great Job Heil! Will be adding a longer cord!

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