Products & Product Reviews

Ham Radio Holiday Gift Guide (Part 4): Give the Gift of Better Station Audio This Year

Headsets, Headset/Footswitch Packages, Headphones, Microphones, Speakers, and Audio Enhancement Devices

Nothing beats the dulcet sounds of the gift-giving season, whether it’s the tinkle of jingle bells, a chorus of piccolos during a holiday parade, perfectly harmonized carols, or crisp and clear audio arising from a newly purchased DSP noise-canceling speaker.

While the last example may not make everyone’s list of favorite seasonal sounds, it certainly is music to the ears of amateur operators who know the benefits of equipping their stations with quality audio gear. If I may loosely quote from my favorite movie, “Every time you hear a 5-9 report, an angel gets his wings,” or something to that effect.

If you’d like to hear another joyous holiday sound—whoops of “huzzah!” from the ham radio enthusiasts in your life—we highly recommend these gift ideas available at from leading audio manufacturers.


Heil Sound offers a range of headsets perfect for hours of comfortable, fatigue-free operating. Models include:

  • PRO 7 Headsets (below) have passive noise-canceling ability that blocks out background noise, audio balance control, a phase reversal switch for digging out weak signals, and adjustable mic boom.
  • Pro Set Elite Headsets deliver bright, articulate audio with acoustically-tuned chambers that facilitate a high rejection of outside noise.
  • Lightweight and comfortable Pro Set 6 Headsets use Heil’s HC 6 wide-response mic element so you can take advantage of the microphone EQ of your modern transceiver.
  • Heil’s lightweight BM-17 Emergency Communication Headsets (below) come with a swivel-mounted boom that makes easy work of moving the microphone to the desired position. They feature extremely sensitive speakers that don’t require much AF drive from the transceiver, a frequency response of 200 Hz-5 kHz, and low distortion.

You’ll also find all the Heil headset and microphone adapter cables you need at 

Weighing only 13 ounces, the W1 Headset (below) from INRAD features cupped, over-the-ear earpieces that won’t hurt after hours of use, large diaphragm high-response speakers for clear articulation of receive audio, and 600-ohm dynamic mic element on adjustable boom with exceptional transmit audio.

DX Engineering Footswitch/Heil Headset Packages

Choose from six headset and footswitch packages. Combos come with DX Engineering’s budget-friendly plastic footswitch (DXE-FS-001) or iron model (DXE-FS-002). The footswitches are paired with Heil Pro Set Elite Headsets or PRO 7 Headsets. Please see individual packages for adapter cable requirements.


You’ll find a nice selection of high-performance Heil microphones and accessories at, including:

Gold Elite Microphone: The Gold Elite model is specifically designed for amateur radio. It contains two distinctly different high-performance dynamic elements that are available at the flip of a switch to meet different types of communication needs.

Heil iCM high-performance microphones are specially designed for owners of older Icom transceivers that exhibit low gain in the microphone amplifier stage. They utilize a high-quality dynamic element with a broad frequency response of 35 Hz to 12 kHz, and their high output is crafted for compatibility with the older Icom rigs that were made without microphone equalization settings.

The HLS-ICM mic is housed in a platinum-finish enclosure, making it ideal for handheld use or for mounting on a boom or desk stand. The ICM-BG model (below) comes with a black body and gold screen.

Visit for many other fine Heil microphone models, mic booms, boom mount hardware, adapter cables, mic mounts, base stands, and mobile-style hand mics. You’ll also find quality Icom microphones, Kenwood microphones, and Yaesu microphones. Read more in this OnAllBands microphone buyer’s guide.

INRAD Desk Microphone Systems

INRAD takes the guesswork out of upgrading your transmission capabilities with its Desk Microphone Systems. Made for popular Elecraft, Icom, Kenwood, TenTec, and Yaesu transceivers, these packages come with everything you need: your choice of INRAD’s best dynamic microphones (M628M629M650M665, or M686); heavy-duty DMS-1 PTT desk stand; and a transceiver adapter cable with coiled cord that connects from the back of the base to your transceiver mic jack.

Read more about INRAD’s line of M-Series dynamic microphones here. Each model features its own unique style and special dynamic element suited for full range studio sound, DXing and contesting punch, or both.


  • HP-1 Wired Stereo Headphones from bhi are made for rag-chewing, contesting, or just listening to your favorite tunes. These lightweight, closed-back foldable dynamic headphones feature leatherette padded earcups that eliminate pressure and let you operate or listen longer with less fatigue.
  • Also from bhi, the NCH Active Noise Canceling Headphone reduces ambient background noise and provides stellar passive audio isolation so you can enjoy a more blissful listening experience, whether in an aircraft cabin or at home trying to block out the noise of a fan.

Speakers and Audio-Enhancement Equipment

A good place to start your audio gift-giving search is with the affordable, highly effective, and multipurpose DX Engineering DXE-281 Communications Speaker. Ideal for mobile or desktop use, the 4.250″ W x 3.750″ H x 2″ D speaker features eight watts of maximum power, permanently attached six-foot cable, and a uniquely designed three-inch speaker cone and rear-ported cabinet that helps tailor audio response to optimum communication frequencies for clear, crisp sound.

What do hams say about the DXE-281?

Five Stars: “I was surprised just how good this speaker sounded. I needed something to use when it was too warm to wear my headset, and this filled that need. You can’t beat the price and the sound. I use this on my FT991A & FT89…I recommend!”

Bhi’s DSP Noise Canceling Speakers deliver dramatically improved voice quality for amateur radio operators and shortwave listeners. Popular models include:

  • NES10-2MK4 5W DSP Noise Canceling Speaker: Measuring 4.33″ W x 2.56″ H x 2.17″ D, the NES10-2MK4 can be used in a base station environment or mobile in a vehicle. The speaker has a quality 5W audio amplifier with DSP noise canceling from 8 to 40 dB over 8 user-selectable levels, plus tone reduction up to 65 dB.
  • Bhi Desktop-MKII DSP Noise Canceling Speaker: Featuring both line level and speaker level inputs, this speaker (6.3″ W x 2.87″ H x 5.90″ D) removes unwanted background noise and interference from noisy voice and radio communication channels to leave clear, intelligible speech and CW signals.

So Much More!

Today’s post just scratches the surface of the audio equipment available at, where you’ll find:

Visit for the full lineup of audio equipment.

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