[AMRadio] Headphones

Rob Atkinson ranchorobbo at gmail.com
Mon Aug 25 20:57:19 EDT 2014

The cans seem to be kind of like mics in that they were high Z years
ago and now they're low Z.

By "years ago" I mean the days of ship to shore radiotelegraphy with
commercial ops operating CW and wearing the headsets with crystal
elements or some other type of transducer that was a few thousand
ohms.   they were worn in front of the ears; not over them.

The modern headphones that cover the ear and are primarily made for
high fidelity stereo are all made to match the modern audio gear so
they are low Z, certainly under a few hundred ohms.

More interesting but one of those no-fact/all opinion type issues is
how, when, and why to use them.  I have gotten to where I dislike
wearing them, mostly because I have learned how to setup and use
speakers for phone operating and in my opinion, once you have
experienced a good sounding station on a great speaker driven by a
receiver with a great audio section you'll never want to go back to
headphones.  But most hams these days who chase DX, operate contests,
and SSB wouldn't think of not using them.   I think the reason partly
has to do with them not knowing what speaker works best for ham radio.
I made the mistake of doing what any modern day audio guy would
probably do--I picked up a pair of like new, large JBL three way
speakers at a garage sale and used them.  For a stereo they were
probably great but for short wave AM radio they were not good.  It
turned out that for short wave radio with a vintage receiver, nothing
beat a good old 8 ohm full range 12 inch speaker in a large wood bass
reflex cabinet.

Only time I use headphones now is when I want to carefully listen to
my own transmit audio, and when I have to copy a weak signal, usually
on 160 m. or when I operate CW.



On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 4:45 PM, Jim Wilhite <w5jo at brightok.net> wrote:
> I haven't dinked with headphones since about 1958 until today.  If you have the volume up too high when you plug them in, you can injure your hearing.  And a set of cans will, over time, do the same.  A good friend and fellow ham passed away and I am trying to help his widow sell what he had.  I bet there were 10 sets of headphones and this afternoon I tried to pair them with any equipment so as to enhance the sale a bit.
> It was when I picked up a set made by (for) Telex that a label caught my eye.  They had 8 ohms on the label so I looked at another pair made by another company and it said 16.  What is the deal, are all manufacturers making headphones for audio and the audio builders making outputs the same as speakers?  What ever happened to high impedance phones?
> Is this common?  He had a Heil headset with mic so that makes me wonder the impedance of them.
> Can anyone explain.

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