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Sidetone: Mic audio in headphones

Discussion in 'General Technical Questions and Answers' started by AC2AZ, Aug 5, 2009.

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  1. AC2AZ

    AC2AZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm looking for opinions; I'm new at this, so I've only owned one radio. I was somewhat surprised when using the headphones that there was no sidetone in phone mode. I used to fly many years ago and all aircraft had sidetone in the audio system so the user could hear himself when speaking and using headphones. In a loud and noisy environment, it's amazing how difficult it can be to speak when you can't hear any of your own words. That's why deaf people have speech issues.

    Question: How many of you out there have sidetone built into your radios? Is this something in newer radios, or is this not available at all?

  2. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    On phone it's not called "sidetone," it's called a "monitor," and all higher end rigs have this feature. Most of the smaller, cheaper and mobile rigs do not.

    Look for it on the "features" list. Either the rig has a modulation monitor, or it doesn't. Virtually every "home station" (larger) transceiver on the market today does.

  3. KC8VWM

    KC8VWM Subscriber QRZ Page

    It's available on many rigs.

    I use a good quality set of headphones. Shown are Sony MDR-V150 headphones which are commonly used in the broadcast industry.


    On this rig you would depress the MONI button feature or as Steve correctly indicated the "monitor" function. The MONI volume control to the right of the orange MONI button is used to adjust the volume of the monitored audio to a comfortable listening level.


    Hope that helps.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  4. K6ABZ

    K6ABZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    My FT-897 does NOT have a transmit monitor function (and I'm pretty disappointed by that fact.)

    Interestingly enough, the FT-450 (a less expensive HF-only rig) does offer a monitor function.

    If you don't mind a little cable hacking (and picking up an inexpensive audio mixer), you can hack that in by running your mic and radio through the mixer and then running the mixer's main output to your headphones and the Monitor/Aux1 output to the radio's mic jack.

    You can also look at the Connection Kit, which is essentially a keying circuit and mixer. It's primarily designed to be used with another project (called an ID-O-Matic) as a repeater controller, but you could also use it as a sidetone/monitor circuit. It's available at
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2009
  5. KM3F

    KM3F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Kenwood TS480 has the function off the contol head.
  6. K8JD

    K8JD Ham Member QRZ Page

    when I transmit I hear the SIDETONE signal thru either speaker or phones. I also can turn on or off the SIDETONE on my keyers.
    Very helpful features.
  7. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    ::That would let you know how the mike itself sounds, but won't tell you anything about how your transmitter sounds. A real "monitor" function in a transceiver does a lot more that tap the mike stage and send it to the headphones. It actually uses the receiver section to demodulate the transmitted signal, allowing the operator to hear the overall effect of not only microphone adjustments but also transmitter adjustments (filtering and bandwidth / power level / VOX settings, etc). There can be quite a difference.

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