I Used To Wear Headphones


Before I went into TV I was on the radio–a disk jockey. I moved a lot in those eleven years. I used to tell people I had a U-Haul Gold Card.

As a disk jockey you owned your own headphones. I was very happy not to share contact with my ears, thanks.

I started with Clevite Brush Headphones.

OK, this is too weird. A Google image search for Clevite Brush Headphones brings up a photo of me wearing a pair. I forgot this picture existed!

I loved these headphones, but they were murder. I had long hair which got caught all the time. Clumps!

They were heavy and the molded piece that rested against your ear was hard. Not comfortable.

As memory serves they produced zero bass. These were confidence monitors. You listened to make sure the mix was right and you were on-the-air. Fidelity was secondary.

kossPro4aa.pgLater I changed to an even heavier, but more comfortable set of headphones, Koss Pro 4AAs. I loved those headphones. They were full fidelity.

I started using the Koss headphones around 40 years ago. They’re still available on Amazon. They’re still made!

The ear pieces had a liquid filled bladder that rested on your cheek. The cord was ten feet long and terminated in a large 1/4″ phono plug. There was a fitting in case you wanted to add a microphone, primarily used by pilots.

sony mdr-zx100 headphonesToday I wear a pedestrian pair of Sony MDR-ZX100s. They’re light and a little flimsy looking, but they’ve been packed and taken on many trips without damage. High fidelity isn’t as much of a problem since they’re mainly used for less than pristine streaming music.

They’re light enough to wear while playing poker, disconnected! I do that to lower the background noise. It works.

These Sony headphones were under $20. The Koss retails around $100. I seems unlike me to have bought so expensive (in 1977 dollars) a pair.

Those headphones were always turned up loud. It’s probably because of wearing headphones my hearing sucks nowadays. Even if that isn’t the reason it should be.

5 thoughts on “I Used To Wear Headphones”

  1. I use a pair of Sol Republic headphones I got for free. That was with points redeemed from the world’s largest soda company and their rewards program. The fidelity is no better than the Sony headset I keep as a spare. It has one of those flexible headbands which are nearly indestructible. The one problem is some little volume switch/button thing on the cord. I have tape wrapped around it to keep the button pressed down permanently. Otherwise, I would only get mostly the background on most stereo programs or music.

  2. When I first started flying twin engine turbo props, I used to wear David Clark’s. They’re the gold standard in aviation for airplanes of that type, that produce a lot of noise. Today, I wear just a custom molded silicone ear piece that fits comfortably for hours without ear fatigue. It’s mated to a Plantronics boom mic and works beautifully. Gone are the days, for me at least, of anything “clamped” around my head.

  3. I use a Koss UR-30 headphone when listening to the audio on the camcorder. They’re nice beacuse i can fold them into a small bundle and stow them in the camera bag. I also have a senihiezer headset that has great audio. But, doesn’t fold up so it gets left home and in the vedio editing suite. Yeah, suite is my attic room full of memories and junk. One day i’ll clean it…but, not today.

  4. I worked in college radio in the 70s and wish we had our own headphones! I’m guessing there were more than a few hairdos that didn’t get washed as often as they should. There were smokers and lord knows what else in that control room. But, boy was it fun!

  5. Geoff memory is correct about the Clevite Brush headphones having zero bass. With lots of DJs on a college radio station, The earpiece connections came apart very easily. BTW – we had a good chief engineer when I was a freshman. 🙂

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