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Reviews For: Japan Radio Company ST-3

Category: Headphones & Boom-microphone Headsets

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Review Summary For : Japan Radio Company ST-3
Reviews: 17MSRP: 77.00 ($69.95 street)
Japan Radio Company ST-3s. Each earpiece, plus the headband, are padded for a luxurious feel. Excellent voice-CW response (20-18000 Hz) for exceptional clarity. Will work nicely with communications receivers. Black. 600 Ohms. With ΒΌ inch mono plug.
Product is in production
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# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KG4YJS Rating: 2020-06-17
Stop Shopping - These are the Best! (update to repair ear pads) Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I wrote the review below almost 18 years ago -- still using the ST-3 today, but all of the foam inside the ear pads really started breaking down.

To fix I simply popped off both headphone covers and scraped off the old foam and glue and then found these on Amazon as sort of a replacement.

These pseudo replacements came with a 3M backing that I simply secured on each headphone and then put the original covers over them. It looks great and more importantly is still sounding great!

Hope this update helps someone else out here.

I too through the years have tried many, many headphones and finally decided to splurge on the JRC ST-3. It is truly the best headphone that is dedicated to communications that I have used ... and yes that includes David Clark and other "high end" brand headphones. Construction is superb. Very comfortable. Blocks out external noise and fits comfortably with a seal around the ears. Frequency response is superb for voice and CW. I can now hear things that before would go unnoticed. Excellent product.
N4OI Rating: 2014-07-03
Still Great Cans After 20+ Years Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased my ST-3 headphones in 1993 as an SWL to go with my Drake R8. In 2002, I got my ham ticket -- and found the ST-3s are even better for pulling weak CW out of the noise. I find them extremely comfortable and have even been known to wear them while leaning back for an afternoon nap, listening to music from the Voice of Greece or BBC Africa Service! Great cans!

N0YXE Rating: 2011-08-07
Toasted Ears... Time Owned: more than 12 months.
They are comfortable and the sound is good. However, my ears are very hot under the phones. They are great for short periods of time if you hates sweaty ears.
KY6R Rating: 2011-04-22
Great, BUT Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I'm giving these a 5 - but with a caveat. On my K3, their output is pretty seriously lower than with 8 ohm headphones - like my Kenwood HS-5's, which really sound great with the K3.

I went to Radio Shack and bought a small audio transformer and built a little box that now matches the 8 ohm impedance to something "close enough" to these 600 ohm headphones. That made a huge improvement.

These headphones are far more comfortable than the HS-5'sn but these don't ound as "hot" as the HS-5's. BUT - the ST-3 also doesn't have nearly as much noise - so my guess is that these might take some time to appreciate.

Maybe "not as hot" and "much less noise" is the trick. I will do a lot of A - B testing of CW and SSB for the next couple of months and report back. Weak signal CW is of most interest to me.
N4UE Rating: 2011-03-11
Fantastic sound Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I finally found a pair of JRC headsets. They are VERY comfortable. Although the set I have appears to be older, they are in perfect condition, due to the excellent construction.
As a previous reviewer mentioned, the cord is large compared to 'modern' headsets, but that is easily fixed.
It appears that the 'new' JRC ST-3s are more like a set of MP3 'phones. Keep this in mind when you look for a set.....
have fun!
W6MK Rating: 2011-02-11
Better alternative to stereo phones Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I had become increasingly aware of the ear-exhausting effects of the noise transmitted to the ears when using high-quality stereo headphones for listening to CW. I have several pairs of such and they are very comfortable and sensitive.

The noises such headphones pass include frequencies above perhaps 5k hz and below about 250 hz. If your hearing is poor in the higher frequencies then this may not matter, but the frequencies below 250 hz are also a tiring distraction.

The net effect of using ST-3s for me is a sense of a much clearer and smoother sound overall and, as I have mentioned, significantly less tiring.

The ST-3s, despite their relatively higher impedance, have plenty of output when plugged directly into either my K2 or R75.
AE9DX Rating: 2011-01-18
Excellent Cans Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have used many headsets over the years and the sound from these is by far the best. These headphones are made for Ham Radio. I bought mine used on e-bay for around $40.00 and have never used anything else since. They are comfortable and can be worn for extended periods with no fatigue or "head pinch." The only minor complaint is that they would benefit from a soft coiled cord rather than the somewhat stiff straight cord supplied. Well worth the investment!
W6UV Rating: 2010-08-09
20 Years and Still Going Strong! Time Owned: more than 12 months.
My ST-3 headphones just passed the 20 year mark and I wouldn't use anything else. I've tried stereo headphones intended for music, but the boomy bass and high frequency hiss quickly gave me headaches.

In addition to sound quality optimized for communications use, the build quality is excellent. From the nearly indestructible ear pads to the solid brass phone plug, these are built like the proverbial brick outhouse.

I'm thinking about buying another set just in case I lose this one.
WDX7DBG Rating: 2008-11-16
Fantastic Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I balked for a while at shelling out for these - $70? When I already had a bunch of cheap headphones laying around that worked...okay? But like the other reviews here say, they really are "the last pair of headphones you'll ever buy".

I'm an SWL, so I spend a lot of time at strange hours trying to dig weak signals out of the noise and static. So headphones are a necessity to keep other members of the house from going insane! I've worn these for hours and hours at a time, and they've always stayed comfortable. Moreover, they perform significantly better than the stock speaker on my receiver, and even a decent external speaker I have hooked up to it.

I've tried to come up with something negative about these and I can't. I'm glad I got 'em.
K4DTC Rating: 2007-08-09
Very nice headphones Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I just ordered these headphones based on reviews here at eham. And the price is right! They are very comfortable, and the sound is great. But don't expect anything fancy. I can't even find the brand name on them anywhere. They adjust to my head very well, and are very well made. In the past, headphones sometimes made the edges on my ears hurt. But these have a very light touch and are well padded. So far, I am very pleased with this prodict.