earbuds/headphones/earphones for hf cw portable use

What does the group recommend for cw hf portable radio use?

Tnx es 73/72 to all who reply.

Brad N1VWD

I have a lot of outside noises to contend with so I only use

Noise Cancelling headphones.
Like this:


They make ‘ear bud’ and ‘over the ear’ styles.


I use ear buds in the winter time so I can get my ski hat over them.
The newer ear bud style has a volume control up front which is really needed if your radio is on your back.

Paul w0rw

Use inexpensive in-ear type earphones. If your radio has relatively low audio output (like the MTR for example), try the Koss Plug earphones which are supremely efficient. Otherwise, any in-ear phone should be fine.

Barry N1EU

My vote (although this is for really weak SSB signals not CW) is for over the ear headphones with noise cancelling built in. SONY make some and from time to time Aldi sell some very similar ones (BAUHN) at $40-$50.

IMHO over the ear (fully enclosing - not just sitting on the ear) are more comfortable especially if you are activating for a long time.

73 Ed.


I also recommend the Koss ones; they are excellent. The key innovation is that the soft part is made from a foam similar to Oropax earplugs. Squeeze it before putting them on, and they will keep noise out very well, while being superlight and lasting. Plus, they sit firmly in your ear.
73 de Martin, DK3IT

I use the Apple earbuds (wired). They work well with both my KX2 and my MTR3B and are comfortable for me.

Dave, AE9Q

I use over-ear headphones on my 817 and 703. For the MTR3B I have a set of earbuds that have a volume control in their lead. This is pretty helpful as the MTR3b has no audio level control.

One of my headphone sets is integrated into a woollen beanie. I call it my headphone beanie. I suppose the market for those is usually dudes monitoring music while strolling the streets in cool climates.

Fully closed headphones are a problem unless your ssb radio has a monitor function to provide foldback or sidetone. Your voice sounds the way it does because you unconsciously adapt your voice tones according to how you think it sounds. So when using totally closed headphones you may emphasis vowel sounds and you might sound quite different to others, whether nearby at your operating position or via the radio.
Andrew VK1DA/VK2UH

The ones from Koss I was referring to are called ‚The Plug‘ and abt 15 USD:


I dont like inears… i prefer a walkman headphone… retro style


I use Sennheiser CX 300-II.Lightweight, comfortable and good attenuation of ambient noise.

1 Like

My preference is a pair of Sony MDR-V150 headphones. Inexpensive so when they get trodden on it isn’t too serious an issue. Having said that, I am only on my second set in 12 years of SOTA. I did repair the first set several times! Personally I can’t stand earbuds… give me a good old Scottish midge in the ear any day - far less annoying. :wink:

" Koss The Plug The Plug In-Ear Headphones"

I took this recommendation a few years back and really like these ones…
Richard // N2GBR

I admit to using the crummy earbuds provided by Delta Airlines to use with the inflight entertainment system. Depending on which class you are seated in, they cost either $2.00 USD (an astonishing ripoff given the low fidelity of these earbuds) or free. They provide ample volume when used with my KX1, they sufficiently exclude environmental noise, the fidelity is just fine for CW, and I won’t cry if they are accidentally trod upon by a hiking boot. I carry an extra pair just in case of failure.