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- By: David Bernzweig

Thoughts on headphones from a national expert!

It is a fact that all land based metal detectors produce an audio signal when they pass over metal targets. It is also true that when you first hear these signals, they seem to be shockingly loud. So, it would naturally seem to follow that a metal detector's external speaker should be totally sufficient. Why then do experienced detectorists always use a set of very good headphones? Furthermore, what makes a headphone "very good" in combination with a metal detector? Let's explore some of the reasoning involved in headphone usage.

Imagine yourself lying back on a lounge, soaking up the sun in a local park, or at the water's edge. Some one comes along, plunks themselves down five feet away, and blasts a boom box at you during the time that you had set aside to unwind. That would be downright rude. All sports and hobbies have an etiquette as well as a code of ethics and sense of fair play. Metal detecting is no different, and it is highly discourteous and quite offensive to hover around some one while your detector beeps away. Do this long enough and you could provoke someone into summoning a person with the authority to exclude you, your detector and other detectorists from the area.

On the other hand, let's assume that you are not an especially socially conscientious person. Well, okay... what you really care about is finding a lot of STUFF! So, now we come to one of the greatest reasons to use a headphone. You will be able to better hear those faint, deep signals, and more easily discern smaller items which might be lying on edge. This will allow you to find more items. Additionally, many distracting exterior sounds such as wind, waves and wolves will be muted. Okay, If you insist upon hearing the wolves, leave one earcup askew!

If you are fiscally oriented in the same direction as many detectorists, then you have an economical streak in you and undoubtedly enjoy getting something for nothing. Well, the use of a headphone will save you money by allowing the batteries in your detector to last longer. This is because the speaker in the detector is turned off when the headphone is plugged in to it and so, no energy is required to drive the detector's external speaker.

"But," you say "I already have a great set of headphones for my stereo or multi-media system. Can I use them?" The answer is "Maybe." If you can answer all of the following questions with a yes, then you probably can. 

Does your headphone have a volume control on each ear? 
(Most detectors donít have a volume control, and you don't want your ears blasted.) 

Does your headphone have moisture resistant mylar speakers? 
(Paper cone speakers deteriorate from moisture and eventually mute soft signals.) 

Do you know if your detector has a stereo jack? 
(If stereo headphones are used with a detector that has a mono jack you will get sound in only one ear.) (Of course, you might want to listen for wolves with the silent ear.)

The components, frequencies, and Ohms in metal detecting headphones are specially selected to allow you to hear the best with most metal detectors. Most headphones have a selector switch or adapter so that you can use them with all of the detectors that you own. Some specialty headphones can process the audio of metal detectors for maximum depth as well as safeguard your hearing against overly loud signals. These will automatically match your detector's preferential Ohms. Look for them under the DEPTHMASTER brand name.