[CQ-Contest] Headsets for contesting

Gary K9GS garyk9gs at wi.rr.com
Sat Apr 2 09:20:11 PDT 2011

Starting a new thread for those interested in headsets without microphones.

I have two favorites for CW use.

The Koss Porta-Pro .  They're a little weird looking but VERY 
comfortable.  They do not surround the ear so are only suitable for a 
quiet environment.  The other think I like about Koss products is that 
they are manufactured in Milwaukee, near where I live.  Koss will 
repair/replace any parts that break at no cost.  This does not cover 
wear items like pads.  I've taken advantage of this several times over 
the years and they'll usually do it while you wait.  The foam pads are 
available quite inexpensively at their factory outlet store.  This may 
not be a big advantage if you have to ship them.  Here's a link:


My other favorite is the Shure SLC-2 in monitor earphones.  They are no 
longer made but I recently picked up a pair at a hamfest, brand new, for 
$20.00.  I think the guy behind the table might have been a Shure 
employee.  Shure used to sell these for ~$200.00.  All I had to buy was 
the foam ear-tips.  These are NOT your typical I-Pod ear-buds, they fit 
INSIDE the ear canal.  When you use them, you compress the foam ear-tips 
and insert them in your ear.  The foam ear-tips expand to fit very 
comfortably inside the ear canal, blocking out any outside noises.  
What's really cool about these is that when listening, the sound seems 
to come from the middle of your skull.  Kind of hard to explain but copy 
and intelligibility is amazing.  Shure does make newer models of these.  

My favorite aftermarket ear-tips are made by Comply:


Yes, these are audiophile products with a wide frequency response.  I 
use an Elecraft K3 and you do have to play around with the receive EQ to 
get them to play well for communications purposes.

I don't operate much SSB but what I've been doing is using the Shure 
earphones and then placing a Heil headset over them to use the boom 
mike.  Not exactly the best solution but I don't operate much SSB anyway.

See the Wiki article by K3NA at:  

In particular, the section on ambient room noise.



Gary K9GS

Check out K9NS on the web:  http://www.k9ns.com
Greater Milwaukee DX Association: http://www.gmdxa.org
Society of Midwest Contesters: http://www.w9smc.com


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