great for DX
By Guy Atkins
April 21, 2000, hcdx list
I've used a lot of headphones for DXing (like many of us), and
my current favorite is the Sennheiser HD-525. It's been recently
discontinued, and they show up as factory refurbished models on
eBay occasionally. New, they had a list price of around $125,
but good deals can be had on them for $50-60.
The HD-525 is an over-the-ear (enclosed) model, but it
has an "open" back for a more spacious sound. It's the most comfortable
headphones I've used in the last 20 years. The earpads are extremely
The #1 reason I like Sennheisers is their clear, detailed sound.
Not only is that desireable from a hi-fi perspective, but for
DXing as well. I find I am able to hear nuances of speech a tad
bit better than other quality headphones. I prefer the HD-525
over JRC's communications headphones by a large margin.
At a Graylands DXpedition last summer, those who compared
the Sennheiser against the Heil model thought that the Sennheiser
came out on top for DX intelligibility. The margin was slim, but
Full frequency range, low distortion headphones like the Sennheisers
work best, IMHO, with receivers having very good audio (such as
your R8). If you can couple such a receiver & headphone combination
with a DSP-based audio filter like the Timewave or JPS units,
so much the better. Then you'll have a precise way to vary the
freq response for those times when static or QRM is annoying.
Other times, enjoy the clarity of the hi-fi type headphones alone,
for speech or music.
It's my opinion that limited, voice-frequency range *communications*
headphones are better suited to radios known for tiring audio
(ICOM R70/71a, NRD-515/525, etc.) when it comes to digging out
those elusive IDs.