Radiosport product a great addition to the flex line up

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  • Updated 2 years ago
I got my RadioSport headset today, and I am sad it did not arrive friday before the contest.  After having the "VICE" that is called the Heil Pro-7 that I will here on call a torture device on my head for 2 days, putting this fine Radiosport headset is like getting a massage.  Its ligher, vastly more comfortable and clearly better designed.

Well chosen piece of equipment to include as part of the flex lineup  You do indeed get what you pay for.  Good equipment sells itself, this one should be a top seller.

Chris
N6WM
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Posted 2 years ago

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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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You now finally understand why we threw out (6@ NX6T and 3@KY6LA) sets of Heil's and replaced them all with Radiosports at NX6T and KY6LA a few years ago...


Quality pays for itself.

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Jim Jerzycke

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Wonderful headsets.

I've had mine a couple of years now, and I'll never get rid of it!

73, Jim
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Very much a quality product - "Life Tool" is the category I would put these headsets/boomsets into.

Just purchased their model tailored for vintage radios, which is a neat juxposition of the newest best (boomset) and the vintage best (Collins KWM-2A). 

Also worth noting the Radiosport headsets are the best for a large person.  I have aftermarket longer hoop pieces on my David-Clarks, my Peltor headset just makes it when fully extended, The Heils are not so nice on a big skull (think pincers - ouch), and the various Telrex/Plantor/Others also fail to fit.

For receive only there are a couple Sennheiser studio monitor line headsets that work, but they still are not as comfortable as the Radiosport.

73

Steve K9ZW

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Norm - W7CK

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I sure wish they would release a wireless headset.  I like my Jabra directly connected to my 6700, but stereo would be much better.  I can't stand wires across my operating position.....
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Bluetooth is great for casual wire free operation.  Having a BT one would be nice, I unfortunately would not be able to take advantage of it as latency is a bit of a challenge with BT audio, and at the rate I crank out QSO's when operating it would be difficult to use.  None the less Dave and Arlan have created what I feel is the best headset you can get, its pricey and you get what you pay for, in this case a darn good pro-sumer quality set of ears
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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What is the fidelity of the headphones for receive? Are they studio monitor quality, full range, or "communications quality" with a limited range? I enjoy the response on my Sony studio headset, but after a long contest it is like a vice on my temples.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Hi Ken I am not listening to HiFid music,  They seem to be full range and support diversity and binaural/stereo receive.  let me work with them in contest conditions for a while and I will give you more information.  My initial observation is they are optimized for operation of Modern HF radio.. e.g. binaural, stereo and diversity. 
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Thanks Chris,  I look forward to your additional observations.

What I am getting at is that in addition to contesting, I also like to do full-fidelity rag chewing, and even a little ESSB, and want my headset to reproduce exactly what the other station is sending, including nice clear bass, just like my studio speakers do when I am not using headphones.

When I need a tighter response, I can easily turn on my RX EQ and adjust the response to whatever I need.  I don't really want my headphones to do that work for me.  I would prefer that they are more transparent.  I DO like that they have the binaural, etc. switching.

I have the same expectation for my microphone -- I want a good, clear, articulate, balanced response (perhaps with a little rise in the highs) that I can taylor with the EQ, filters, and Processor according to my needs.  

This is why I have about 7 or 8 different profiles for my PR22 mike.  Each one for a different purpose - Rag chew, Casual DX, contesting/weak signal, AM, ESSB, FM, and Digital voice.  Then I have additional profiles for other mikes in my shack...

I am beginning to be a lot more intrigued with the Radiosport sets.... But with my limited "radio budget" I must be a very careful buyer these days.  I HAD my splurge with the 6500 and tower. Now I need to carefully evaluate my other purchases to get the best bang for the buck - both short term and long term - because I may not get another swing at this pinata.

Ken - NM9P
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Norm - W7CK

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The Jabra set I have isn't Bluetooth.  I don't like Bluetooth because of its latency and its reliance on a computer to operate.  The Jabra is RF and is good for about 100 meters (330 ft).  It communicates back to a RF DECT (1.9 Ghz I think?)
transceiver that can be directly attached to the Flex or my Icom.  While I love the freedom it gives me and the fact that I don't have any wires across my desk, the Jabra headset I have is monaural (not stereo).   Some of the Jabra monaural headsets also add USB connection along with the direct connect.  That way you can use the same set to communicate via the computer as well as directly connected to a radio.  No latency at all when directly connected to the radio.

I'm waiting for either Radiosport or Heil to come out with a wireless RF version of their headset in stereo.  There is no reason they can't do this.  It needs to communicate with an independent xcvr that sits in the shack and has cables that go directly into the mic/spkr ports on the rigs.  DECT would be nice because it incorporates 64 bit encryption between the headset and xcvr.

Like I mentioned above, I can't stand cables running across my desk.  I love being able to get up and move around.  I can get up go into the kitchen, den, backyard or out to the mailbox and still hear everything.  I can lean back in my easy chair without having to drag a blooming cable across my work space.  Nothing ever gets tangled or caught on anything on my desk.

I don't think it is too much to ask that they build a high quality RF / DECT based wireless stereo headset that doesn't rely on a computer.  Adding USB to the base unit would be a plus as long as it provides direct connect as well.

MAYBE FLEX CAN BE THE FIRST TO HAVE RADIOSPORT DESIGN AND BUILD IT FOR US!!!
(Edited)
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Paul Bradbeer

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Chris (and others),

I'm curious as to what is so much better in comparison to the Heil Pro7.  To me the design looks near identical.  What is the weight of the RS60CF? 

I have a Heil Pro7 and I'm pretty happy with it...of course you can adjust the length of the steel headband and even bend the material to create more or less pressure on the ears.  So what is the difference?


Regards


Paul M0CVX

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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Hi Paul, I own both, see my response below in the thread.  

Cheers
Chris N6WM
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Hi Paul M0CVX

The Pro7 is an excellent set and arguably the strongest competitor to the Radiosport.  I have the RC60CF and just took delivery of an RS22CR which is the classic radio version.

I'll put the RS60CF on the postal scale to check it's weight.  Interestingly "in the hand" it feels a bit massive, but when worn it the experience is a noteworthy lack of awareness of the headset.  I've worn the RS60CF four hours continuous only to be yanked when I got up to move having forgotten I had the headset on. 

The build quality and attention to details - small but important things like gold plating contacts, having a synthetic fiber insert in the cables, the quality of the gel cushions with their covers - all things that come together well on the RS60CF.

You do have the very best that Heil offers and it should be a great headset.  Whether the incremental differences to an RS60CF would be worth considering any potential change is a lot different than if you were running a standard level Heil. 

Could well be into the area of personal preference being as important as any specification differences. 

Back  with a weight when I bring the headset in to weigh, unless someone else has the weight at hand?

73

Steve K9ZW

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Paul Bradbeer

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Thanks Steve.  Yep, I've had a few Heil headsets in the past, some have been pretty good (original ProSet), and some awful (ProSet Elite if I remember correctly).  I quite like the Pro 7, and you've hit the nail on the head about me wondering whether the incremental differences between the RS60CF and Pro7 are worth the $$$ it would take for me to change...at the moment, I'm thinking not. 

It would surely be interesting to know if the two headsets shared a common factory for their basic components...


Regards


Paul M0CVX (and ex-AC5NO in San Antonio..)

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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Very much doubt Paul that the headsets share much if anything.  

Interestingly some of the Arlan Communications specified/designed subcomponents like their custom wire have been adopted for other uses.

I've struggled for years to describe a tangible but unidentifiable aspect of products, where roughly similar product offerings create at least one standout above a similar crowd.  I've called it "product balance" in past writings.  

Example I shoot Sporting Clays just as well with either the Remington 1187 Sporting Clays or the Benelli Montefeltro - never more than a bird or two difference per round.

Both are great sporting clays guns, and original price points were roughly similar.  I won the Remington so it should have some favoritism coming its way as I'm just not that good usually to win anything.

But the Remington is just another one in the safe, where it is "my Montefeltro."  

The Radiosport RS60CF has that same sort of "my headset" feel to it.  I figure it will last longer than me, and like a good "life tool" be a welcomed pass along to some future ham.

What is neat we are discussing the finer points of great products - I so feel for the ham who is struggling to complete QSOs because they have substandard performance from gear.  (Be clear that some expensive gear doesn't perform and some value priced gear really does!).

73

Steve
K9ZW
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Gene - K3GC

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My RS60 weighs in at 19.2 oz.  the specs on the Heil claim 17 oz.
I have had mine for about 4 years now and I wouldn't trade them for anything - they are quite simply the very best.
I would, however like to see a shoot out between the two.  There have been lots of poor reviews of the Pro 7 on Eham deservedly or not.
73,
Gene k3GC
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Paul Bradbeer

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Hello Gene, 

From memory, some of the bad reviews concentrated on the stiffish cable (i.e. it is reinforced like the Radiosport one) and the placement of the mini-XLR socket (again, very similar to RS).  Don't get me wrong, I'm not a Heil fanboy, just trying to get an objective understanding of the differences between the two models...


Paul

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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Hi all.  I have both headsets.  I wore the Pro-7 all weekend long during CQWPX making 1300 QSO's as the 40m band captain at NR6O@N6RO.  After this much operating the shortcomings of this otherwise fairly well built headset came through.  Its fit is not as nice, it has a cheaper "feel" (not sure how to quantify that but others are saying the same).  The radiosport seems to have a more comfortable feel giving the perception of a lighter headset.  there are a number of smaller quality points I give the RS as well..  FWIW i feel the same way as a long time heil users, old proset was tops, even newer ones seemed cheaper and the toggle switch easily broken.  Proset elite was horrible and not ergonomic.  Pro7 is OK for short term use but not contest or dxpedition friendly.   I am sold on the comfort and robustness of the RS.  It IS a step above the Pro-7 
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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It is my perception that in the last 10 years Heil switched to a cheaper or outsourced manufacturing source to improve margin and it affected their quality.  The Mic elements seem to hold up but suffer from cold solder joints, broken toggle switches and in the case of elite broken plastic joints.  I have 2 prosets (Proset4 and proset 6) that will have to go back to heil for repair.  in fact I have not had a heil set that has NOT needed to go to heil hospital for fixing.  Thats not good.
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Paul Bradbeer

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Thanks for the comparison, Chris. Paul M0CVX
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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I agree with Chris...

I have used both but really prefer the RadioSport over the Heil

My issue with Heil is that their quality had really diminished over the years.  So much so that our Heil's never survived the abuse of the contest season at the contest station without needing repairs.  We bought one RadioSport several years ago...it survived all the abuse.. so we dumped all the Heil's and replaced them with RadioSport's.  Interestingly once a visiting ham uses the contest station  RadioSports for one contest, they seem to immediately buy one for themselves.

Last year at Visalia I had the opportunity to take apart both a RadioSport and a Pro7 side by side.. the differences in quality of construction and components were visible with the RadioSport looking to be much higher quality.. I should have taken pictures.. maybe this year at Visalia..


I still have a couple of Heil Prosets in my junk box collection at home that I give to visitors to use but everyone always wants to use the RadioSport...

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Paul Bradbeer

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Howard,
Curiosity got the better of me and I ordered an RS60CF; my comparison is on a post a bit further down. You're right...the Radiosport is just better quality. To a casual observer they are near identical, but a close inspection shows the differences.... 73 Paul M0CVX
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Jim Jerzycke

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I, too, agree with Chris.

The build quality of the RS headsets is very high, while the Heil stuff has gotten noticeably cheaper (some would say "junkier", if that's a word) over the years.

I talked to the guy from Arlan last year at the ARRL South Western Division HAMCON in Torrance, and he told me their gear is their own design, and shares nothing with anybody else. I mention this because I told him they *looked* like they were based on the David Clark headsets, which are extremely high quality, and were my GOTO headsets before I bought the RS headset.

I have nothing against Heil, other than I think most of his product line is grossly overpriced for what you get.

73, Jim
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Mark Griffin

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I own the Pro-7. At first I had problems with it hurting my left ear. But after making some adjustments I have no comfort issues at all. I have worn it for contests and no issues with the length of time I have them on.

I own a Kenwood TS-990S and was looking at the Radiosport Headset. The reason I decided against it was that there were too many extra costs to connect the Radiosport to the 990S versus one cable for the Pro-7. And to be honest I am not sorry with my decision.

Perhaps what one looks for in a headset is just the same as what one is looking for in a transceiver. I guess to summarize my comment would be this. If one likes the Radiosport great. If one likes the Pro-7 great. To each his own!
Mark Griffin, KB3Z
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Paul Bradbeer

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Well, I've got to say that I was sceptical about how much difference there was between the Heil Pro7 and the RS60CF.  So in a fit of impulsiveness I bought an RS60CF...and I'm so glad I did! 

Despite the very similar external appearance there are so many subtle differences in design and build: headband 'pillow' is a softer better quality vinyl, steel headband is better finished and less agricultural, headband tightening screws are completely different, earshells are slightly shallower as well as potentially different material, mic boom and mic are completely different, headset lead is thicker but marginally more pliable, ear cover gel seems softer.  All in all, despite the casual visual similarity, the RS60CF is, in my opinion, a higher quality product albeit slightly heavier (523 grams for headset no leads, as opposed to 495 grams for the Heil).

Given that there is virtually no price difference here in the UK, for any European Hams considering one of the two - my recommendation would be to go for the Radiosport headset.  I'll keep my Heil on my second radio for the time being, but the RS60CF is staying plugged in to the 6500  :-)

Hope this helps those that either can't do a physical comparison before buying, or like me were sceptical of the differences...

Paul M0CVX

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km9r.mike

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Chris you have ssb sprint on Sat to give your new toy a test drive.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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aaahhh my 6700 was in the hospital in Austin for surgery :-(.  It will be back tomorrow.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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but I sure hope some Flexers?  is there a better name?  anyway I hope some got on and tried flex in SSB sprint!
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km9r.mike

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I did. My ocf and 100w is not the most competitive though. I was able to get approx. 30% more q's than last year. I missed a lot of jump balls though.  This was my second ssb sprint. Two positives : the rules are almost second nature now and I found more idle time than last year. I just need to capitalize on the idle time more.

I also attempted to use a voice keyer for the first time ever but with such a short contest it was not really needed. It would have been great to use to incorporate w/ so2r, but location prevents that.
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Chris Tate - N6WM, Elmer

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Well congratulations on both operating Sprint, and doing it with Flex.  You are part of a quickly growing group of contest operators who are benefiting from flex technology in competition.  I hope you win a cool SSB Sprint T-shirt in the drawing.. or one of the awesome participation prizes...
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km9r.mike

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I might win the t-shirt this year by default. I do not think there were many NV stations participating.