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How Do I Choose the Best Radio Headset?

By Alex Newth
Updated May 16, 2024
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A radio headset can be used by many different types of people, as part of a radio communication setup or simply to listen to a radio. When choosing a radio headset, you'll want to decide if you need one that allows two-way communication or only picks up AM/FM frequencies. Since these headsets are often larger than other models, comfort can be an issue, so lightweight and easy-to-wear headsets will be better for most users. Sound quality will determine if the audio is coming in clean without static and if other people can clearly hear you speak. Due to way most radio headsets are designed, many are also noise cancelling, which may or may not be a problem.

There are two basic types of radio headset units: two-way and AM/FM. A two-way headset is used for hands-free radio communication, where the user talks into a speaker on the headset, and hears other people through the earmuffs. The AM/FM version tunes into radio channels, so the user can listen to music. While they are similar in construction and appearance, each type serves a very different purpose.

Radio headset units are typically much larger than other headsets, meaning they are generally heavier and bulkier. Due to this, it is easy for these headsets to be uncomfortable. Look for a headset that is comfortable, lightweight, and that fits over your ears without irritating them or the side of your face. This will be important if you must wear the headset for hours, especially for communication purposes.

As with all audio devices, sound quality on the radio headset is a major factor in your choice. If you're only interested in picking up AM/FM frequencies, you'll only be concerned with the incoming sound quality. For these headsets, the sound should be clear, with minimal static interfering with the audio. For two-way headsets, you'll want to consider both the incoming and outgoing audio. The sound must be clear when you talk into the speaker, and clear from the earmuffs so that you can accurately hear other people.

Most radio headset units are noise cancelling, due to the large earmuff size. This can be a good thing, as it keeps outside noise from interfering with the headset. If you work in an environment where there is potential danger, such as a construction site, noise cancelling devices can be dangerous, however. Which style of headset you choose largely will depend on the environment in which you plan to use it.

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