Vintage Headphones for sale

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Several new pairs just listed on these pages.

      Throw away that little crystal earplug and try a pair of real vintage headphones and you will be amazed at the quality of sound a simple crystal set can produce. (I have recently appreciated the sensitivity of a good crystal earplug, but the sound is poor in quality. Mouser has the best.)
    I collect headphones and occasionally have to buy a box of several headphones to get one or two for my collection. The rest are then tested and repaired if necessary. The housings are cleaned and polished lightly if needed. Any cord repairs are neatly bound with matching color thread, but I try to keep the original cord if it is electrically intact. Remember these headphones are up to 100 years old, may have minor cosmetic imperfections unless noted. Will give detailed description or digital photo on request. I try them on a crystal radio which is a good test of their sensitivity. Battery sets have a stronger output and don't need quite as much sensitivity from the headphones.
    I have tested and have tried to rate each pair of phones for their sensitivity and suitability to use on crystal radio or battery sets. Most date back to the 1920's or 1930's. Some are pricey but  consider that a pair of good headphones cost 2 or 3 day's wages back in the early 1920's, (a week's wages in the case of Baldwins or Western Electrics) they are relatively inexpensive now.
New Postal Rates keep going up all the time.
For US Postal Service Priority Mail shipping within US figure 2 pounds weight for 1 headset using the link below to the postal service, or email me for the actual cost of postage for larger shipments (within US). Click USPS icon below for US Postal rates from my zipcode 23320.
NOTE: Insurance is highly recommended as I cannot reimburse for loss or damage in the mail unless the postal insurance pays for it. Insurance is not available to some overseas locations, so shipping would be at your own risk. If it is available I will offer rates with and without insurance. If no insurance is chosen, and the package is lost, I will send you a photo of the postal receipt for proof of mailing but can NOT offer reimbursement if you do not elect to get the insurance coverage. There is a standard $50 insurance now automatically included on USPS Priority Air Mail packages.
I recommend you add insurance for amount of purchase, if more than the $50 coverage that comes with Priority Mail, not responsible for damage or disappearance in mail, so insurance is recommended.
Email to  E-mail me here to order.
Sorry, no repair service available.

  NOTE:  Sorry, no longer accepting Paypal. Can take a check or MO by mail.
My state, Virginia, and now the federal government, have decided to require reporting of Paypal receipts to the IRS as self employment income, resulting in the receipts being subject to federal and state tax. There used to be a $20,000  allowance to allow for hobby sellers to operate without taxing up to that amount. Now all Paypal receipts are taxed as self employment income so I lose about 45% to taxes and can't afford that. I don't operate this site to make money, and most of what I sell is about a break even for what I have invested, but can't afford to lose money on it. Sorry for the inconvenience, but we have our greedy government legislature to thank.

 Cords: A note about cords: The old cloth cords on these headphones are up to 85 years old and some are a bit fragile or stiff. I test them all for electrical continuity before sending them and make any necessary electrical repairs so they will arrive to you  in working condition, but I can't really guarantee how long they will last since some may be on their last strand of conductor wire inside, so I have to offer no warranty on the cords either for longevity or appearance other than to say they are tested and working when I send them. Unfortunately, I do not know of a good source for cloth covered cords. Phoneco does stock them but charges about $40 for each one, but you can check with them if you like.

HOLDS: Items may be held for up to 2 weeks, will then be released for sale.

Featured Headphones: These are special pairs that I will put at the top of the page here that are either in exceptional condition, or a rare or unusual pair.    

Federal 52-W Headphones

There are a lot of Federal type 53-W headphones around but very few of these Type 52-W, this being the only one I have owned or seen. They are in very nice cosmetic condition. One of the four coils was burned out and bypassed so they are in working condition but one side is louder than the other side. A collectible set to go along with early Federal radio products. $59 

Murdock Model 56 Headphones 2000 Ohms circa 1921

Exceptionally fine pair of Murdock No. 56 headphones in the 2000 ohm DC resistance.These are in very nice shape for 103 years old and work well with very good sensitivity even for crystal radio signals. $47SOLD EB 

Roller Smith Universal 2000 Ohm Headphones

Uncommon pair of Roller Smith Universal 2000 Ohm headphones in very good working and cosmetic condition. This is an early set circa 1920-1920 and have very good sensitivity for crystal radio reception plus collectible value due to their rarity. $54

  Trimm Dependable 2000 Ohm Headphones

Near mint pair of Trimm Dependable 2000 Ohm headphones look like they have hardly been used if at all. Very good sensitivity for crystal radio use. $36

Frost Fones 161 Headphones 2000 Ohms circa 1922

Nice looking and good working pair of early 1920's Frost Fones with good sensitivity for crystal radio or one tube radio. Cloth parts all intact. $27SOLD SP

Military HS-16A Medium Impedance Headphones

These HS-16A headphones are 1960's vintage and are new old stock in the original boxes with nice cloth cord and headbands. They are 600 ohms AC impedance, about 100 ohms DC resistance and a good impedance match for tube powered radios with headphone output such as Zenith Transoceanic radios. The cord has the 2 pin tip terminals, and I have a limited number of phone plug adapters available. Price $26 SOLD OUT

Trimm Type W low impedance headphones

Working pair of Trimm Type W low impedance headphones measuring about 150 ohms DC resistance, so probably nominally 600 ohms AC impedance. They work well and would be suitable for use in the headphone output of a tube powered radio such as the early Zenith Trans Oceanic type radios. $24

Trimm Commercial low Z headphones #1

These Trimm Commercial headphones are the medium to low impedance model and measure about 120 ohms DC resistance. They are in good cosmetic and working condition. Suitable for tube powered radios such as the early Zenith Trans-Oceanic radios that had the 2 pin tip receptacles for the headphones. $21

Trimm Commercial low Z headphones #2

These Trimm Commercial headphones are the medium to low impedance model and measure about 120 ohms DC resistance. They are in good cosmetic and working condition. Suitable for tube powered radios such as the early Zenith Trans-Oceanic radios that had the 2 pin tip receptacles for the headphones. $21 

Air Champ 500 ohm single earphone unit

Working single earphone unit with 500 ohm DC resistance. $2

Automatic Electric 2000 Ohm Headphones

Good working pair of Automatic Electric 2000 ohm headphones of mid 1920's vintage. They are in good cosmetic condition save for a crack in one of the housings you can see on the left side in the photo. They function well with good sensitivity for crystal radio or one tube radio reception. $34 

EMP Electrical Manufacturing Products 2000 Ohm Headphones

Very uncommon pair of EMP 2000 ohm headphones in good working condition. I have only ever seen a couple pairs of these so must be quite uncommon. They do work and are suitable for small signals from crystal radio. They date to about 1921-1922. $32SOLD MT 

Automatic Electric Headphones with original box

Working pair of Automatic Electric headphones with the original box. Headphones are working but only fair to good condition with a taped up spot on the cord. $45

The ACME headphones with original box

Good working pair of The ACME headphones with the original box, by Acme specialty company. $29    

Ambassador 2000 Ohm Headphones

Working pair of 2000 Ohm Ambassador headphones circa 1921. Cord has a fair amount of fray, but the rest is in good condition and still working. $22

Baldwin headphones were the first to use the balanced armature type of sound reproducer similar to that used in the later navy soundpowered headphones, making their sensitivity excellent. The armature was coupled to a transparent mica diaphragm and encircled by a large permanent magnet. They were among the best, and most expensive headphones available in the early 1920's, and the average worker would have to pay 1-2 weeks wages to buy a pair.  

A note about Baldwin Headphones
    Headphones by Nathaniel Baldwin were touted as being superior to other headphones of the 1920's due to their pivoting armature driving a pin attached to a mica diaphragm. After testing dozens of pairs of these headphones, I conclude that the main difference is increased sensitivity to very weak signals, and the volume on stronger signals is about the same as a good pair of Western Electric 509-Ws or Brandes headphones. They were designed for radiotelegraphy CW signals, so sound a little treble strong compared to magnetic diaphragm headphones designed for voice audio signals. They have an excursion limiting pin to stabilize the position of the armature in the magnet gap that limits the excursion of the armature and thereby limiting the volume at higher levels. So, don't buy a pair of Baldwins expecting them to be louder than a good pair of magnetic diaphragm type of headphones for general listening, but you should find that they pick up the very weak stations better than others. Also, since there are moving parts involved, there is sometimes some variability in volume and one side may be marginally louder than the other side. Will note if this is so.

Baldwin #4

Ugly but working pair of Baldwin headphones with replacement cord and slightly frayed headband, and some tape residue on one of the housings. But they do work and should pick up stations on crystal radio. These are the model with the brown phenolic diaphragms and are not quite as sensitive as the mica ones but still work quite well and priced low
to make up for the cosmetic condition. $24

Brandes Headphones
    Headphones by C. Brandes Inc. were very good quality and middle of the road for price back in the early 1920's and were probably the best selling headphones of the time. They were included in bundled radio sales for models such as the Radiola III, Aeriola, and some other crystal and one tube radios. With such a big market share there are quite a few survivors, some of which are in quite good condition, and many still functioning as they did 100 years ago. The cloth parts fared the worst over time so the headbands and cords are frequently in bad shape, and that is why I have had to replace some of the cords with more modern wire. They work very well for crystal radio or one tube radio listening.

Brandes Superior Matched Tone 2000 Ohm Headphones #1

Excellent pair of Brandes headphones circa 1921  with very good sensitivity for crystal radio use. $49SOLD 

Brandes Superior Matched Tone 2000 Ohm Headphones #3

Nice working pair of Brandes 2000 ohm headphones in very nice and working condition with all original parts, circa 1921. $45SOLD DJ

Kay Headphones 2000 ohm

Kay headphones are quite uncommon, and this pair does work but the sound is pretty weak, so sold as a collectible and not for general usage. $25

R&Z 2000 ohm Headphones

A very uncommon pair of R&Z 2000 ohm headphones in good working condition, replacement vintage cloth cord. $32HOLD for repairs    

No name 2000 ohm headphones

Working pair of 1920's headphones sensitivity adequate for crystal radio reception. The cloth is split on one of the canvas headband covers. $19

Western Electric Style military HUBMIL TS-5

This is a nice military single 1000 ohm headphone in good working condition. Suitable for use with crystal radio and the unit looks like a Western Electric type element. $23HOLD for repairs

Coherer Products 1000 ohm single earphone

Rare Coherer Products 1000 ohm single earphone in working condition. This is the only Coherer headphone I have ever seen so must be pretty uncommon. $29   

Western Electric 509-W and similar model headphones were among the highest quality headphones and the first choice for professional radiomen back in the 1920's. They were based on the same design made by Western Electric for use in WW-I which include the model P-II used with the Signal Corps DeForest BC-14A crystal radio, and the model 194-W used in the WW-I leather pilot flying helmets. They were quite expensive and costed about a week's wages for the average worker at the time. The model 509-W were built to the same military specifications as those models. The ones available below have been cleaned up and are in good working condition with excellent sensitivity for using with crystal radios. Some of the cords have had to be replaced. Even though these headphones are about 100 years old they are working great and should give many more years of service.

Western Electric 509-W 2200 Ohm Headphones #1

Excellent pair of Western Electric 509-W headphones in great cosmetic and working condition, with excellent sensitivity for crystal radio reception. $56

Keystone 2200 Ohm Headphones #2

This is a fairly rare pair of Keystone headphones by American Electric Company in good working condition. The cord is a bit short and repaired at the end, but they work great and would work well for crystal radio use. $45.

Crown Mechanics 2000 Ohm Headphones

This is a very uncommon pair of Crown Mechanics 2000 ohm headphones from Rochester that are in good working condition. $29

Blue Streak 2000 Ohm Headphones

This is one of a very few pairs of Blue Streak headphones that I have ever seen, so they must be pretty uncommon. These are in very good cosmetic and working condition. $34        

Will be listing many more headphones over the next few weeks, inquire is there is something specific you are looking for.      

Trimm Dependable 2000 Ohm Headphones

Good working 2000 ohm Trimm Dependable headphones with some fray of the outer cover of the cord at the Y connection but otherwise good working condition and suitable for crystal radio reception. $28HOLD  for JD

Trimm 500 Ohm Headphones

Uncommon 500 ohm pair of Trimm Headphones in working condition, replacement headband, and a bound up spot on the cord. $19 

Low Impedance Cheapie Headphones

Working pair of fairly modern low impedance headphones, tinned ends on the wire. $11HOLD repairs

RMCA 2000 ohm headphones

Rather beat up but functional pair of RMCA (Radio Marine Corporation of America) headphones, probably same as Trimm Featherweight. Will work for crystal radio. $21

Holleyfone 1000 Ohm Headphones

Working pair of 1000 ohm Holleyfone headphones. An interesting and fairly uncommon pair with a unique headband. They do work, though not the best sound quality, but sensitive enough to head some local stations on a crystal radio. $24

PAL 500 Ohm Headphones

Working pair of PAL 500 ohm headphones in quite nice cosmetic condition. Sound quality is fair at best, but you should be able to hear some local stations on a crystal radio, but sold more as a nice display pair. $20

New Section Display or Mod Headphones
Nonworking Headphones for Display, Stage Props, or for rebuilding or Steampunk Mods Nothing over $20 sorting through some next few days. 

Ambassador Headphones

Pair of nonworking Ambassador headphones circa 1922.  Headband is in nice condition. $9  

Everett E-2 Headphones

Nice looking pair of Everett E-2 headphones not working but look good. $11

Delta Gold Stripe Headphones

Nice looking pair of Delta Gold Stripe headphones, not working but look nice. $12

Tru-Tone Headphones

Tru-Tone headphones very nice looking but not working. $13

Victor Telephone Works 2000 Ohm Headphones

Complete pair of 2000 Ohm Victor headphones, both the earphone units do work, but the cord needs repair, so placed here in the display section. $14

SACO Headphones

A pretty uncommon brand of headphones, SACO Sage Allen & Company, not working but display nicely. $11

NERCO Headphones

Interesting pair of NERCO headphones, non working, though the coils do test good for continuity. Circa 1924  $11

Kellog 82-A Headphones

Nonworking pair of Kellogg 82-A headphones with military style headband similar to Western Electric types. $16  

Package of 12 Diodes

A dozen new old stock military germanium point contact detector diodes, (sorry the photo only shows 10 but offer is for 12, behave like 1N34A but they are unmarked so I don't know the exact specs, but tested and work equivalent to any 1N34A diode I have. $4.50
Bulk purchase option buy 100 diodes for $15.
HOLDS: If you want a pair of headphones or other item but need some time before purchasing, I will place the item on HOLD for a period of up to 2 weeks. After that the hold will be released and item sold to any buyer who wants it. Sorry I can't place items on hold longer. NO exceptions to this rule.  Items that say hold after the price are on hold.

Other Stuff

See 1920's Battery set parts page for vintage radio parts occasionally list Transformers, tubes, and test equipment.
Click here to see the Headphone Museum Gallery

NO REPLACEMENT DOUBLE CORDS AVAILABLE They have these at Phoneco, email to

NO REPLACEMENT CORDS or Diaphragms AVAILABLE Sorry, they are no longer available. Phoneco has just got them in stock, newly made nice cloth covered cords, email to and ask about the headphone cords. They are charging about $39 each which is more than most headphones are worth.


These are not original W.E. parts but will fit W.E. 509W and similar headphones with the same size threads. $1 for a pair

Earpiece units:
1 pair Murdock 55, 1000 ohm  earpiece with good coils, no cap or diaphragm $13 ball and socket type circa 1915
 Sorry, no Baldwin parts. Have some Brandes units earpieces available with good coils without the diaphragms or earcaps,  no headbands or cords $5.

Sorry, no repair service available, plenty of advice given free though. Many other parts available, inquire.

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E-mail me here to order.

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