Your focus on the noise reduction is a good one, but your other observation
strikes a more familiar chord with me:
"How anyone could be so serious about microphone audio and not give a darn
about headphone audio and electronics
is beyond me... "
I use Kenwood HS-5 headphones for CW operating instead of my Heil. Why?
Because it has limited frequency response and reduces the amount of garbage
that my ears have to sift through to hear the signals. I asked Heil about
that at a Lone Star DX Assn meeting a few years ago, and he was equally
The problem as I see (hear) it is that the speakers he uses in the headsets
are too good for HF communication use. They're excellent for listening to
music, which tells me that my ears are hearing too much high and low
frequency stuff through them when the cans should be tailored for 300Hz to
I once used N2EA's Icom HP-1's at N2RM's several years ago and found that
their limited frequency response (by design) was very advantageous and
sounded great. Unfortunately, Icom didn't make them any longer even back
then, but the Kenwood's are pretty close and are also designed to have a
limited frequency response. I think the Icom's were the best I have ever
used for CW.
If Heil would do that, he'd really have me locked in and buying his latest