Jalto27R From United States of America, joined May 2004, 857 posts, RR: 11 Posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2866 times:
Hey guys. I'm currently working on my PPL, and today my instructor advised me to go ahead and buy a pair of headsets. There are some insanely high-priced one's out there, and some dang cheap ones too. With all the pilots on here, what pair of headsets would you advice of me? My instructor mentioned a pair that runs for about $150 that comes with a lifetime warranty. I would prefer not spending every dime I ever earned for one. Thank you.
FutureUALpilot From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2641 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2858 times:
I would advise on a good pair of David Clarks. The type is up to you and your budget, but as far as I know, DC is well worth any money you spend. I have had mine for around 5 years and they have worked wonderfully the whole time, are comfortable and IIRC David Clark has a lifetime warranty on their headsets.
Usnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 51
Reply 2, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2858 times:
Quoting Jalto27R (Thread starter): My instructor mentioned a pair that runs for about $150 that comes with a lifetime warranty.
That'll be your best bet.
Some people will try to talk you into the $1000 ones that actively reduce everything in the world. Don't buy into it unless you really need it. They are nice, but they aren't worth the price...especially when you're just getting your PPL. Go for something cheap and dependable.
My headset was $50 and has lasted nearly 10 years. You don't need to fork over a fortune for a good headset.
Ralgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2850 times:
First, consider how much your hearing is worth to you. Then, consider how much your comfort is worth to you. Then consider that the effect on your head of David Clarks after 4 hours is similar to that of having someone hit you upside the head with a boat paddle, full swing.
Try on a bunch of different kinds and see what you like best, but don't skimp. You can't regain your hearing. I would try Flightcom, Telex, Lightspeed, Bose.
2H4 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 8957 posts, RR: 56
Reply 4, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 2841 times:
I've been very impressed with my Peltors. After using several different David Clarks, I find the Peltors to have three distinct advantages:
1 - The Peltors feel lighter
2 - For me, the Peltors distribute the pressure around the ears more softly and spread it out over a larger area
3 - My favorite advantage....the Peltor microphone seems to pick up on your first spoken syllable very well. In other words, the mic seems much more sensitive, but doesn't activate unless you speak. The David Clarks I used always seemed to cut off the very first part of my transmissions.
- They're relatively affordable
- The band that wraps around the top of your head is wider and (to me) more comfortable than David Clarks
- Although they don't have a lifetime warranty, Peltor is very liberal and accomodating when it comes to warranty claims
- If you hold an earbud headphone speaker right up to the boom microphone, you can broadcast Snoop Dogg over your favorite air-to-air frequency to your friends. This is impossible with David Clarks. Not that I've done it personally, of course.
KELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6833 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2825 times:
That is about the cheapest you are going to get into 24 dB passive noise reduction, a gel-padded headband and gel ear seals, and an electret microphone with windscreen. It's a very comfy headset, and the gel ear seals go around my glasses (and even Foggles over the glasses!) and still seal out the noise.
For slightly more, you can get the S-50 with, IIRC, a flexible boom microphone.
I've gotta say, I can't tell the difference between David Clarks and Sigtronics. My blue dome headsets have all served me quite well I've owned them for about eight years now, and never had a problem with them. I own an S-45, S-40, S-20, and the Sigtronics portable 4-place intercom. Sigtronics is significantly less expensive than David Clark...although they don't make a lightweight model, like the David Clark H10-13.4.
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
N231YE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2784 times:
Quoting KELPkid (Reply 5): I've gotta say, I can't tell the difference between David Clarks and Sigtronics. My blue dome headsets have all served me quite well I've owned them for about eight years now, and never had a problem with them. I own an S-45, S-40, S-20, and the Sigtronics portable 4-place intercom. Sigtronics is significantly less expensive than David Clark...although they don't make a lightweight model, like the David Clark H10-13.4.
I have the Sigtronics S-58S, and love it. It has stereo capabilities so that when I'm not actually flying (where most aircraft radios are monaural), I can plug them into my computer (which is stereo) and have a more realistic FS experience.
MD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14968 posts, RR: 61
Reply 8, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2782 times:
I have used both Peltor and David Clark headsets for pushbacks, engine runs etc., and often used them (not plugged in) as noise protectors when working on the ramp.
IMO the Peltor headsets issued by my ex-boss were flimsy and tended to break (especially around the hinges, which connect the headband to the ear muffs, but also the wiring was IMO substandard). Now my ex boss was rather thrifty and probably bought the cheapest headsets he could get.
I later bought a David Clark headset second hand from eBay for $60 plus shipping, which I'm still using. Concerning workmanship and noise cancellation (it is NOT an active noise cancelling headset, but just relies on the damping material) it is much better than the Peltor. It is also better adjustable (I'm often wearing it for hours), and in winter it will keep your ears warm.
You can also get lots of spare parts, like ear shells, gel filled seals etc..
My first pair of headsets when I was doing PPL training was Flightcom. These don't have noise cancelling or anything (so you can hear all the wierd sounds your engine makes when it's not working right) and I found after around an hour they start to get really unconfortable and I had to move them around my head alot to find a more comfortable position.
Now, on the good side I think I paid around $100 for them new in the box and during PPL training you do alot of 1.0, 1.2, 1.5, ect hour flights to the local practice areas so by the time you are heading back they are getting uncomfortable.
Today, since I do alot of longer flying the David Clark is awesome IMO. Can't even feel them on my head.
If I was looking for a headset and had alot of money to spend, David Clark and Bose is what I would look at.
Ralgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2767 times:
You can do a 12 month interest free payment plan with Bose, making it quite affordable for most.
David Clarks are durable, that's about all they have going for them. Their ANR circuitry is less advanced than Lightspeed and Bose, and their passive attenuation is average. Don't even get me started about their "comfort". Many people don't even realize it until they try a different brand that actually is comfortable.
Joness0154 From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 667 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 2717 times:
Quoting Ralgha (Reply 11): David Clarks are durable, that's about all they have going for them. Their ANR circuitry is less advanced than Lightspeed and Bose, and their passive attenuation is average. Don't even get me started about their "comfort". Many people don't even realize it until they try a different brand that actually is comfortable.
Well considering the Bose headsets have essentially 0 passive attenuation, I would call that a joke. They are the biggest waste of money on the market right now. My buddy owns Etymotic Research, and he laughs everytime I mention the Bose name.....
The DC's can be made very comfortable and improve their attenuation with a few Oregon Aero mods, which are cheap and still put them in a good price range.
-or- if you're set on Bose, you can use their QuietComfort headset (same ANC circuitry thats in the X) and add the UFlyMike for half the cost of an X.
[Edited 2006-09-16 03:42:55]
I don't have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem
CptSpeaking From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 639 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2699 times:
For my private through commercial, I've used a pair of DC 10-13.4s. They have worked great and the only complaint I've had is after wearing sunglasses on a long flight, they seem to press the glasses into my head. You can find a used pair on eBay for ~$175 that will work great for a long time.
That said, I recently purchased a Clarity Aloft headset and have NOTHING BUT PRAISE for not only their product but their customer service as well. The system weighs about 1oz. and has more noise reduction than the Bose X for 1/2 the price (fall special was $475). It is all passive, no active, so there are no batteries to worry about. As for sound quality, I have heard radio transmissions faintly but clearly that others in the cockpit haven't even heard at all, yet can still pick out important cockpit ses with no problem. It fits around the back of your head, so there is no headset hair or banging the band on the top of the airplane. Definitely worth checking out if you are going to be spending a lot of time in the airplane. (maybe not for you at the moment Jalto, but others may be interested...)
As for their customer service, I called them a day after getting them to request a set of their slim tips to replace the standard ones, and they told me to just keep the standard ones too in case a friend uses the set sometime. Also, a friend that has had his for a month left them on his bed two nights ago and his dog literally ate the headset. It chewed the microphone off and ripped the cords out of the band. He called them the next day and they are sending him a brand new headset FREE OF CHARGE. He just has to send the parts of the old one back!
A friend who flies for ExpressJet uses these and loves them, 3 other instructor friends have them and love them, and I personally will never use anything else unless there is no other option! One friend used to use the Bose X, and now keeps it as a spare for passengers. Again, this may not be the best option for your first pair, but worth a look in the future!
Or spend the $475 and get a better product that is more comfortable, sounds better and doesn't drink batteries! I would regret getting the Xs (that I have tried) if I had gotten them before the Claritys.
Yeah, I've tried them a few times. Been to their booth at Oshkosh a few years in a row, and tried them out flying my buddies 185 off of a lake up in Minnesota
Quoting Ralgha (Reply 15): Really? Why's that? Etymotic Research makes in ear earphones, completely different animal. I personally hate having things in my ear, so I would never consider their product.
Well considering Etymotic deals with all things dealing with the ear, and Mead has a Ph.D. I trust what he says. Bose is definitely an inferior product coming from an audiophile point of view, and their products are way overpriced. They tried to tell Mead and I at Oshkosh that passive attenuation isn't needed at all
Quoting Ralgha (Reply 15): Yes, with worse performance than the X, and when the batteries die, they don't work. At all.
It has the same performance as the X. They have they same circuitry. For half the price. When the X battery fails it reverts to its 'passive' attenuation, which is essentially nil. Hell, with the money you save, you could throw a new battery in there everytime you fly and still have money left over
I'm just saying there are tons more options than the Bose to make a good headset for less than half the price.
Quoting CptSpeaking (Reply 14): For my private through commercial, I've used a pair of DC 10-13.4s. They have worked great and the only complaint I've had is after wearing sunglasses on a long flight, they seem to press the glasses into my head. You can find a used pair on eBay for ~$175 that will work great for a long time.
Get the Oregon Aero SoftSeals, you'll never have that problem again! They're like putting pillows around your ears.
I don't have an attitude problem. You have a perception problem
As someone with some hours in loud general aviation (open cockpit, helo's, lots of cub)
Nothing beats my old set of H10-30's from David Clark. Theyre coming up on 15 years old and Im about to send em back to the factory because the wiring is starting to wear out. You can get a decent pair on ebay anywhere from $100-200 and as with all DC's, they have life time warrantys.
Jalto27R From United States of America, joined May 2004, 857 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2654 times:
Thanks for all the responses. I can see everyone has their own opinion, but the overall response I have seen is overwhemingly for David Clark. With all the positive feedback on that, and the fact that my instructor also recommended it, I think I will start looking for a pair on Ebay from a well-respected buyer. Thank you again for all your help.
YWG From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 1148 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2619 times:
I've got the David Clarkes with Electronic Noise Cancelling(ENC) and I've got zero complaints to tell you about. To me, it's basically the differnece between second guessing what ATC just said instead of confidently reading back instructions. They cost me about $700 CAN, but worth every dollar I spent.
Bravo45 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2165 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2587 times:
Quoting Jalto27R (Reply 18): I have seen is overwhemingly for David Clark.
And don't be surprised, they are good. But there are a lot of different types, the top notch ENC ones do not qualify as affordable, but I have never heard any complaint about them, it comes down to your plans for the future. I bought the ones you referred to with the lifetime warranty, the ASA one, I got it for a hundred bucks, they are great, no problems at all until recently when I started flying the long cross country flight 250NM or more out and back (CPL stuff, I never noticed anything during PPL and IR). They are not comfortable for long flights, so I too am looking to get a David Clark. About getting them from ebay (I was looking myself), beware that some sellers may not make it clear if the headset is for fixed-wing a/c or a helicopter. David Clark products are a huge maze, I myself am not sure what to get. But if you can afford the ENC ones, there are not many types and I would say go for it.
P.S If buying from ebay, it may also help if you go to your FBO etc to actually see and try wearing the ones you decide to buy before you place a bid. Just to avoid any surprises. Also look for the kind of headband that comes with the one you look for, David Clark has one or two cushion headbands that work on most of their headsets, also there are more than one type of ear-gels.
These are the things I am trying to decide for myself, if I am missing something or overdoing on something, I would appreciate any correction.
HighFlyer9790 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (9 years 7 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 2549 times:
Well, i think, counter what many people may say, you get what you pay for. If your going for you PPL and you are sticking with it, you'll want a headset that is light & comfortable while reducing noise and static.
Obviously, the $1000 Bose Aviation Headset X is the best out there, period. Ive tried the X and it is amazing. worth every dime. On the other hand, i have a pair of what i think is the headset for the best all around value: the David Clark H10-13.4. its a great, durable headset and you cant go wrong with. cost: $300. lifetime warranty.
I am not trying to say go expensive, but $150 for a headset may be good for a few years, but ive seen some of them and they aren't that great and they aren't too sturdy. the decision is up to you.
Also keep in mind: Consider you headset an investment.