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Sennheiser headphones 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 comfortable.
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 noticeable.
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.

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