retro headphones


The Airmate SR-700 AM/FM Radio 3 in 1 Headphones.

Time to add some documentation to the internet! I purchased this from a goodwill near my house. They are radio headphones from the early 1980’s. Googling the company name yeilds just the fact that it was a registered company in Los Angeles, and that they are now defunct. The company seems to have actually been registered as AirMate, rather than Western Sales. The model number yeilds absolutly nothing relevant that I could find. Luckily, the previous owner was meticulious, and kept everything in the box! even the bubble wrap. The reciepts show that it was paid for via a credit card (the information, while expired, also had the original owners name on it, so i have covered it up.) This dates the purchase to June 15th, 1982. Purchased for a sum of $34.84, (roughly $87.57 in 2017 bucks) it was aquired at a now also defunct department store, Zayre’s.

Probably most interesting to a modern consumer, is the presence of a circuit diagram in the instruction manual. This would have been helpful for repairing the unit, rather than replacing it, as was more of the culture at the time.

The unit itself has boxy ear muffs that rest ontop of the ear, not over it like the size would suggest. The ears have seperate volumes, interestingly. Upon putting on the headphones you will immedeatly notice that the world around you sounds totally weird. These headphones do absolutly little to block out external noise, and even distort it with the hollow cavities. (think putting seashells over your ears.) The quality however is fairly comparable to modern decent headphones, nothing to amazing, but definitely good enough to casually listen to music on. Interestingly, the 3.5mm jacks are individual, one for each ear. This means that the unit ships with a large format jack (useful for connecting to hi-fi systems) and then splits the stereo signal into 2 mono smaller jacks. An interesting cord!

Unfortunatly, while i can test my unit by plugging in the cord, the radio part was not cooperating. I doubt that it is broken, as the unit is in great condition still, however when i put batteries in it, it did not turn on. Maybe i will spend more time fiddling with it to get it to play again another time.

Its not much to go on, but an interesting pair of headphones deserves to not be lost to time. Message me if you need more detail. The pictures kind of compressed. I can’t scan them in just yet.