REVIEW: K-Tek KSH1 Stingray Audio SunHat

I wanted to do a quick shout-out to another fine piece of manufacturing from those lovely people over at K-Tek. How do I know that its from K-Tek? Why, because of this!


Yes yes, the beloved stingray brand which has brought us such magical wonders as the audio bags, the harness, and the flashlight souvenirs from trade shows. I’m not going to have a whole lot to say about this one, which is in no way a bad thing. Much of the excellence of what K-Tek produces is about the simple, yet effective (and often neglected) approaches to a lot of the basic problems that we sound mixers face in our work life.

Take the sun. Its hot and bright and really gets in the way of our streamlined process. Now now, don’t you worry. Plenty of people have pointed out to me that it also provides us with warmth from the freezing vacuum of space, and it also provides us with light so that we can see! That’s all true. But the pesky thing also sometimes gives us too much heat and too much light so that we are sweating ourselves dry and squinting our eyes shut. Can I get an “Amen” from our people working out in the desert?!

Well boys and girls, it looks like K-Tek has got you covered.

Up until now, there haven’t a whole lot of good options for sun hats which would allow us to keep our headphones on. Particularly our large monitoring cans. I’ve seen several other mixers cut holes in their sun hats, or to try and create some sort of franken-version to make due. But its a whole lot nicer to have something that created specifically for us, with our unique needs in mind.

As you can see, the KSH1 has a nice sturdy, but not too sturdy vizor in the front, and a drop cloth in the back to cover your neck. Very handy to fight against that sun that we were talking about.

And lest you think that wearing a hat in the hot sun will trap in your heat, you can see here how there are mesh vents on the side! Pretty cool, right?

There’s also a cinch in the back to fit it to your head since the top of the hat itself isn’t stiff at all. Its actually a very thin material. Only thick enough to properly shield from the bearing down sun.


The area where the headphone speakers fit through is great too. It fastens with a gentle snap, that is also magnetic. This makes it easy to get off when you want to, but not so easy to knock off by mistake.

The only criticism I have of it is that it is not offered in other colors. I suppose the beige is for heat reasons (white would get so dirty, so quickly). But it would be fun to get a black and orange version, which is the color of the Stingray brand. Its nice and synergetic, plus with all that orange on, you would be safe from hunters if you were working in the woods! (Unless, of course, if it was with Dick Cheney).

I can confirm that it is indeed comfortable, and very breathable. And its not just for when you’re on the job! You can even take it out on the town.



Jared Elkin is a professional sound mixer located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


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