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Headphones for SWL and Dx

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#21
I actually like the 'open ear' type - I find the fully enclosed variety very tiring due to the thumps and bangs that come from atmospherics and tropical lightning crashes - with big cone movements my poor old eardrums get quite a bashing! I have used an pair of Akai ASE-7 for years and they still work well - the sound just seems to appear out of the air as if you were listening to speakers and you can still hear "'er indoors" yelling to tell you that your dinner is getting cold.......

See my pic on Ridgy's "Pictures of your SWL antenna" post.
I like the escape that the closed design provides. But more important than that, my wife has unusually, and I mean UNUSUALLY sensitive hearing. I put my watch on the nightstand on my side of the bed for the first time the other night. She complained about the ticking being too loud. I didn't even know the damned thing ticked. You can imagine the mayhem I would cause with a set of open headphones projecting the SW whistles and booms and static into the room given her hearing acumen!
 

n0nhp

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#22
Semi open in this case means that the back of the driver is open. The construction of the head set is cloth covered padding and cloth covering the driver and lining the cup. There is a layer of porous insulation behind the driver and ports through the driver mounting plate. Between the absorptive cloth and the fact that outside air can make it to the inside of the cup I have never had the problem of sweat dripping off my ears like I used to experience with my old Acoustic Research studio phones.

Bruce
 
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#23
Semi open in this case means that the back of the driver is open. The construction of the head set is cloth covered padding and cloth covering the driver and lining the cup. There is a layer of porous insulation behind the driver and ports through the driver mounting plate. Between the absorptive cloth and the fact that outside air can make it to the inside of the cup I have never had the problem of sweat dripping off my ears like I used to experience with my old Acoustic Research studio phones.

Bruce
I think the cloth covering is the biggest influence on the comfort. The open aspect probably helps some, too.
 
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#24
There are two aspects for 'grading' a set of head-phones, comfort and electrical ability. If you think you may wear them for very long then comfort is definitely a biggy! I've found that head-phones that rest on my skull, -around- my ears not on them, are more comfortable than the other type (sits on your ears).
The other part, the electrical thingy, involves how well they reproduce sound (fidelity) and impedance matching to the receiver's audio output. For typical voice reproduction a huge frequency range just isn't needed. For music yes, voice no.
So, who uses head-phones for long periods of time and what kind do they use? There are a lot of professions that do that sort of thing, pilots, coaches, almost anyone around noisy equipment, whatever. Those type of 'cans' are more expensive than others, weigh more, but you can wear them longer before ripping the @#$ things off and stomping them, you know?
Best method for finding what's 'right' for you is to try them. That's also going to be the hardest way of doing it. Oh well...
- 'Doc

(Nothing 'new' in this, just a different way of looking at it.)
 
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#25
There are two aspects for 'grading' a set of head-phones, comfort and electrical ability. If you think you may wear them for very long then comfort is definitely a biggy! I've found that head-phones that rest on my skull, -around- my ears not on them, are more comfortable than the other type (sits on your ears).
The other part, the electrical thingy, involves how well they reproduce sound (fidelity) and impedance matching to the receiver's audio output. For typical voice reproduction a huge frequency range just isn't needed. For music yes, voice no.
So, who uses head-phones for long periods of time and what kind do they use? There are a lot of professions that do that sort of thing, pilots, coaches, almost anyone around noisy equipment, whatever. Those type of 'cans' are more expensive than others, weigh more, but you can wear them longer before ripping the @#$ things off and stomping them, you know?
Best method for finding what's 'right' for you is to try them. That's also going to be the hardest way of doing it. Oh well...
- 'Doc
Good approach.

Here is another list...

Open back/closed back: Open=cooler to wear? Better frequency response? (debatable?) Closed=better acoustic isolation both inside and outside the headphones. (fact)

On the ear/over the ear/ear buds: On the ear=lighter, but less comfort; Over the ear=Bit heavier but better acoustic isolation, generally more comfortable; Ear buds=not discussed so far; wide range of prices and performance. How suitable for SWL?

Single cord/two cords (one for each "can"/channel): single cord=more convenient. Single cord allows quicker ID of left/right (if that matters with SWL)

Cord length and thickness and coiled or straight: Thick cord more durable; thinner cord less cumbersome; Shorter cord less cumbersome; longer cord if you do more extended listening leaning back away from the radio. Coiled/straight: ???

Cord detachable (plugs into headset): Detachable=easy to replace defective cord or to install a longer/shorter/different type cord.

Wired/wireless: Wired=less likely to interfere or conflict with SWL; wireless often shas ome audio artifacts, some worse than others; some barely perceptible.

Type of material touching head - vinyl, pleather, leather, cloth: from least to most comfortable.

Now someone can give us an "electrical/internal component" evaluation: a list of diaphragm and driver technology and material options, pros and cons.

Going into this, I didn't realize there were so many variables. If I were getting a set ONLY for SWL, I wouldn't spend more than $30 because the frequency response doesn't need to be extended - but many may want to spend more for more comfort and better durability. If the headphones are for combination use, including music, I feel I need to spend over $50-$100 to get a decent set.
 
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w2xq

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#26
Wirelessly posted (Moto Droid Bionic: Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.1.2; en-us; DROID BIONIC Build/9.8.2O-72_VZW-22) AppleWebKit/534.30 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/534.30)

FWIW, I really like my Bose QC-15 headphones. Probably too much money, but everyone has toys. The clarity and comfort far surpass anything I have previously used. I understand the argument that communications headphones are "better" for listening to SW/ARS signals but the clarity of the QC-15 for me is preferable.
 
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#27
Resurrecting this thread....I have some decent headphones but wondering if there are any recommended earbuds from the folks on this forum. I would use both, with earbuds for late night in case I fall asleep. I'd have to assume good noise - isolation and fit would be the best attributes, and decent sound coming from most of those on the market (not the crummy iphone type).

Thanks
 
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#30
All of my audio from 4 receivers goes through a mixer with tone controls. Two variable outputs, one for the amp and two speakers, the other for headphones. If I'm working around the house, I re-transmit the audio through a FM transmitter to a pocket receiver and earbuds - works a treat.
 
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#31
Very nice Martin! But back to the original question about earbuds, anyone have any recommendations? I have used a few from Sony which worked pretty well.
 
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#32
I can't wear them for too long, they start to itch or something and I have to take them off for a few minutes - they are actually more comfortable without the foam. I've never actually bought any earbuds, they come with all sorts of devices from freebee radios to mobile phones. They are alright when plugged into the FM receiver but if I use them with my little Yaesu VR2 whenever the squelch lifts there must be a DC level shift at the output that really thumps and it becomes intolerable after a while - it's not noticeable on the speaker. Sorry, I can't really answer your question - I have no recommendation for a particular manufacturer - I can't tell the difference between any of them - even the ones that came with my iPod sound the same as all the others.
 

TailGator911

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#33
You know you are terminally bored when you reply to a post from 2013. But, I will resurrect the thread once again and put in my 2-cents. Just last Christmas I rec'd a pair of Bose QC25 headphones and I am using them for everything in the shack - computer Mp3s, scanners & shortwaves, television, and I use them when I practice bass guitar thru my Peavey Max 126 (running input from comp MP3s to play along). My wife works a weird shift and is in bed on weeknights by 7:30pm so I don't want to disturb her (yes, the gift was from her) and these work perfectly. They are active/amplified, but I hardly use that option, as with the new Bose you can listen and bypass battery operation and rely on your device's EQ and volume for your desired listening level. Say what you want about Beats and Candy Skulls and all of those that try to diss the Bose, but these are some absolutely awesome headphones.

For SWL they are superb! When I hear a distant signal I tweak it with the radio and my Grove TUN-4 tuner/amplifier, then for real clarification and distinction I flick the switch on the right headphone to activate and amplify the Bose and I can hear that distant signal much better and a bit clearer. Also, there is an inline volume slide switch to balance the sound to my preferred listening level. Yes, they are pricey at $300.00 a pair, but they are my everything 'phones and I am quite satisfied with them. You can debate about frequency response and rf noise and voice frequencies and db levels and sweaty leather cushions, but I'd still safely say the Bose QC25 headphones were practically made for shortwave radio listening.

Just curious as to what headphones the OP ended up purchasing? I am hoping Zaratsu was not technically overwhelmed by the great replies.

73s
JD
kf4anc
 
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