Yesterday, after many years of service, the connecting band of my headphones snapped in such a way as to not be repairable without an ugly application of “redneck’s chrome” (duct tape). In looking for recommendations for a new pair I can’t help but think that many hams are overbuying.
Sennheiser and Bose are often recommended/discussed on the Elecraft list and elsewhere. Amazon is full of glowing reviews for these and similar makes, though not often by hams. Do I need a $150 pair of headphones to listen to weak CW signals?
Of course not.
I believe wholeheartedly that it’s cheaper in the long run to buy a quality product rather than less expensive alternatives and I apply this belief (most of the time) to ham radio, photography and life in general.
But I also think it’s foolish to buy expensive products whose expense is geared toward applications I’ll never use. I think doing so must satisfy the same psychological urge that makes some people tell themselves that a freshly-cleaned car runs better.
They like to believe it; therefore they do.
Here’s what I want from a set of headphones: comfort, external sound isolation and the ability to reproduce the 440 Hz note that my sidetone/offset is tuned to. No need for “timbre”, depth and “full bass” in ‘phones used for CW.