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Reviews Categories | Headphones & Boom-microphone Headsets | Direct Sound - Extreme Isolation Headphones Help

Reviews Summary for Direct Sound - Extreme Isolation Headphones
Direct Sound - Extreme Isolation Headphones Reviews: 15 Average rating: 4.6/5 MSRP: $139
Description: Specially designed closed earmuffs that passively attenuate surrounding sound by 29 decibels and a custom fitted, high quality stereo speaker assembly produces a frequency response of 20 - 20,000 Hz.
Product is in production.
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W1EBM Rating: 5/5 Jun 23, 2012 13:37 Send this review to a friend
Great headband replacement  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I've been using the Direct Sound/Extreme Isolation EX29 headset since 2008 (see my review) and recently, the headband broke, when the headphones fell off the desk. I found a dealer who sells a replacement product for the headband, called "IncrediFlex."

I bought 2, so I would have a ready replacement. Total cost for 2 IncrediFlex units was $39.95, from:

John Gresko
Direct Sound Headphones
Saint Louis, MO 63129

It was easy to replace the broken headband with the new IncrediFlex headband, and the new headband is very comfortable, even for many hours of operating.
NI0C Rating: 2/5 Dec 23, 2011 14:45 Send this review to a friend
Mine broke, too!  Time owned: more than 12 months
Several days ago, my headset broke in the identical manner reported by WD4ELG below. I tried to take it back to the local store where I purchased it, and found out the store was no longer in business.
WD4ELG Rating: 4/5 Dec 22, 2011 22:44 Send this review to a friend
Love it, disappointed when it broke  Time owned: more than 12 months
After 13 months of DXing with these things, the connection point between the earmuff holder and the over-the-head band broke. Bummed about that, and it was out of warranty. If not for that issue, 5/5.
KE6YX Rating: 5/5 Oct 4, 2011 18:41 Send this review to a friend
Great audio, and it killed the fan noise from my amp!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
First let me preface this review by saying that I have settled on a Kenwood TS-830S as my main rig. This is a radio that has a very high quality receive audio without the degraded sound that is present in most modern DSP rigs. I also have a Tokyo Hy-Power amp that while it works great, flat requires using headphones due to the excessive noise of the air trying to work its way through the amp.

Over the years, I have tried a number of different headphones, and was not thrilled with any of them. The worst offenders are the active noise canceling headphones. These headphones took the great Kenwood audio that I loved, distorted it, and made it sound like the newer DSP rigs! I tried a bunch of them, and they all had that same crummy sound.

As for passive headphones, I could still hear the excessive fan noise from the amp, and they did not have very good audio quality. I used to fly, and I even tried my David Clark headset prior to selling them.

After reading the reviews on Eham, and other sites on the internet, I went to Leo’s Sound here in Oakland CA, and picked up a pair of the EX-29 Headphones. As soon as I plugged them in to the TS-830S, I was sold! While I can still hear a bear trace of the fan noise from my amp, it is on a frequency that is no longer a disturbance.

I work a casual mix of CW, and SSB, and all I can say is instead of degrading the audio, the EX-29 has improved it. They are also very comfortable to wear, and parts are available on the Direct Sound Web Site.

I am saving the active noise canceling headphones for airplane travel. For Ham Radio I have the EX-29.
NI0C Rating: 5/5 Jul 17, 2011 15:26 Send this review to a friend
Durable quality DX headset  Time owned: more than 12 months
After reading K8MFO's review of this headset, I purchased mine in February 2010 at a music store called "Drum Headquarters" here in St. Louis. I remain pleased with the quality of sound and level of isolation provided by this set, as well as its durability.

I'm a low band DX'er in an urban area, so my needs for sensitivity and signal to noise ratio are demanding. Since I operate CW almost exclusively, frequency response characteristics are not a concern.

My ham shack is located on the first floor of our home near the kitchen. The passive isolation afforded is just right for me-- my amplifier fan noise is gone, but I can still hear the dinner bell!

I've tossed out a number of lesser headsets that just didn't last. The store where I purchased this one said they could provide repair service on the EX-29 if ever needed.

N1EU Rating: 3/5 Dec 14, 2010 12:52 Send this review to a friend
Disappointed in the level of isolation  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was looking for a headphone with a very high degree of isolation and all indications were that these phones would deliver. They didn't. These phones provided the same level of isolation as my Sennheiser HD280 (i.e., decent but not great). The 29dB spec seems vastly overrated. I have a pair of Thunder 29 ear muffs (29dB attenuation) I use for lawn mowing and there's no comparison - there's just silence when I put them on. I'm giving these a 3 because my main interest was in the isolation they promised. The sound quality seems good and the construction quality seems a little cheap, but not too bad.
W9SAS Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2010 22:06 Send this review to a friend
Blanks noises your brain ignores.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Besides radio, I'm involved with studio music production, and I've had the opportunity to try many headphones with radio gear. For radio use, these cans are better than anything I've tried so far, including $500+ boutique headphones.

Although the drivers in these phones are not boutique quality, their sound isolation is really key for radio use. At 29 dB of noise reduction, they're better than most ear protectors used on shooting ranges. When you wear them, the whole "world" disappears! Even if you're in a "quiet" environment, the background sounds your brain has learned to tune out (like the furnace or refrigerator running in your house) all go away too. Your radio signals are now set against inky black silence, so you'll be able to pick out the weak ones like never before. With these cans, I've been able to copy weak stations that I couldn't copy otherwise. Even when I've tried A/B tests with other phones on single weak station contacts. If you're in a noisy environment, like outdoors in windy conditions, the isolation advantage of these cans is even more dramatic.

Despite the fact that these phones seal your ears tightly, they're still comfortable when worn for hours on end.

Highly recommended.
WA3OFR Rating: 5/5 Jan 25, 2009 16:12 Send this review to a friend
Ahhh - great sound and comfort!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I had worn out my old Radio Shack headphones (!) but what really had me looking for new headphones was the fan noise from my new TenTec Centaur. So-o-o, rather than attack the amp to reduce the fan speed/noise, I decided to look for new headphones. I thought that what I wanted was active cancellation, but looking closer at the spec's...most dynamic cancellation is only in the "teens" of dB's. The EX headphones give a spec'd 28dB of pure passive cancellation. The full ear coverage and passive isolation means no reliability issues and they are REALLY comfortable! Not only have they solved the Centaur fan noise (with no need to mod the amp!) but now I have excellent cancellation of furnace and XYL noise too :-) Got these new on eBay for $89 and worth every penny!! (Tried them on my iPod too, and the acoustic quality is wonderful)
FORMER_K0RO_TRAMPLER Rating: 5/5 Nov 7, 2008 13:55 Send this review to a friend
Great sound, excellent value  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Very good sound and very comfortable. My XYL gave me the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC7 active noise cancelling headphones, but (despite reviews on Amazon) did not provide the ambient noise reduction I was hoping to find. I returned them for these, and for the price am very satisfied.

The sound quality is excellent and they are comfortable. This surprised me, as they rely on a tight fit on the head for the sound isolation.

These were a replacement for the QC2s my XYL had previously given me...and which (accidentally) wound up in the TRASH!! The comparison between the two? The QC2s provide better reduction of low-pitched noises, such as fans from computer and amplifier. I preferred them. The EX-29s provide better reduction of higher pitched and sudden sounds, and will be better in a multi-multi contest environment. For an individual shack, I think the QC2s will likely be better if the enemy is fan noise.s

Frankly, I would prefer the QC2 but at this time it was better to spend about 35% of what we would spend on the QC2s for the EX-29. The EX-29 will not provide the noise reduction in a car or jet that the Bose are known for. The EX-29s are built better.
K5ML Rating: 5/5 Aug 9, 2008 16:51 Send this review to a friend
Outstanding  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Based on the reviews below, I ordered a new pair of EX-29's on ebay. The price was $90 postpaid, and they arrived via priority mail within 48 hours.

If you are looking for a quality set of headphones, these will not disappoint you. They have it all: comfort, great isolation and are terrific for both cw and ssb. Within one minute of putting them on and tuning the ham bands, you'll know you made a great purchase.

Mick, K5ML
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