Guest

Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jun 30, 2003 10:34 am

Hey all,

You may remember a thread started last year by myself, asking what type of ANR (or ENC) headset I should purchase. I'm finally in a position to pick one up, and I've narrowed it down to two; the Dave Clark H10-20X ENC, and the LightSPEED 20XL-2.

One one hand, the LightSPEED price is about 200 clams easier than the Dave Clark, and I've heard really good things about it. On the other hand it's Dave Clark we are talking about here, and they are regarded as the best. Plus, I've actually tried the Dave Clark out, and I really liked it.

The point of this thread? I just want some input.

Thanks in advance,

-Normal
 
fspilot747
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jun 30, 2003 11:21 am

I own an expensive pair of 10-13XL's (ENC) headsets..by David Clark.

They are very rugged and all, but I swear I don't know if I could wear them for more than a couple hours straight. They aren't very comfortable, but then again its all about what you're looking for. David Clark has a great quality policy. I don't know much about Lightspeeds except that they are comfortable. If I could do it all over again I think I'd save the money and get the LS's.

Good luck,
FSP
 
SSTjumbo
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jun 30, 2003 11:27 am

Well, Lightspeed has a new model based on Peltor headsets somewhat under the name QFR XC2. If they're anything like the Solo's I own, I'd sure love to have them if I had that many pennies. The ANR isn't quite what it is on some other models, but it would probably be ideal in single engine pistons where there is more wind noise than prop roar. The Solo's are very comfortable, and the new seals they have almost barely touch your head they feel like, yet they still block out 26 dB passively, and the new headband add-on feels like a cloud sitting on your head. However, in regards to the price tag, you better be ready to shell out approximately two-hundred ninety dollars  Laugh out loud. Yes, they're quite cheap. One question though, why did they have to GLUE the earmuffs to the sets?

Cheers
-Mike
I don't know, so this is my signature.
 
flyf15
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jun 30, 2003 12:23 pm

I have a David Clark 10-13.4....I like it fine, good quality, but even though its supposed to be light and comfortable, it still feels heavy to me, squeezes my head in strange ways too. Been thinking about selling it and buying some type of ANR headset.
 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jun 30, 2003 12:42 pm

I wouldn't ever buy a David Clark. I think they're over rated and over priced. Get the Lightspeed. I have a 25XL and I love them.

 Big thumbs up
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wilcharl
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jun 30, 2003 1:14 pm

Get a sigtronics ANR.. not the biggest name in headsets but huge in intercoms and really well built...
 
fspilot747
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jun 30, 2003 3:46 pm

I don't think I could sell mine. I mean they are in amazing condition, but I paid nearly 700 for them, and i dont know how much I could get back if I sold em.

Plan to keep em for a looooooong time =)

FSP
 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jun 30, 2003 5:21 pm

Exactly why I say they're over priced.  Big thumbs up
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flightsimfreak
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jun 30, 2003 6:13 pm

David Clark is great with maintenance and repairs. My boss had about 10 headsets that had broken over time (heavy use and he waits till he has a bunch to send them off.) He sends them a note saying that if they need parts, make one of the headsets a sacrifice and use it's parts on the others. Most of the breakages were in the headbands, and these headsets were way out of warranty. DC replaces all the broken parts, puts new, redesigned headbands on all off the headsets, replaces the earcups on a lot of them, does a lot of repairs on non-broken things like mics that still worked, plugs that were still good. They put all new gel earseals on the earcups, and sent us a few extra headbands for if any of our other headsets had a problem. To top it off, they didn't charge us at all, not even for shipping, and they didn't use any of our headsets as a sacrifice. That's a testament to how much they love their customers.
 
J32driver
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 12:41 am

Dave Clark has awesome customer service.

I owned one of the first verisons of the Lightspeeds. I've borrowed a freinds DC noise cancelling just to compare. I thought the Lightspeeds were quieter and more comfortable than the DC.

Batteries are the other consideration. Lightspeeds use 2 AA and last for something like 30 hours of flight time. The DC used 8 or 10 AA and didn't seem to last as long. Don't know if this is still true, but it was a couple of years ago.

Probably going to enjoy the headsets no matter which you go with.
 
avioniker
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 1:15 am

I've had my DC's for 29 years and when the foam finally crumbled I sent them in for a "tune-up". The DC people replaced the foam in the cups and on the headband, replaced the volume pot and threw in a set of fabric covers that make them really comfortable and don't alter the noise supressing characteristics that I can notice. The total charge was $18.50 for shipping. They didn't bill me for anything else.
I don't think the metal headband is in any danger of breaking anytime soon so I'd go with DC's again if I ever had to.
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 1:36 am

My 25XL 2AA batteries last upwards of 50 hours. No joke. I've also had excellent customer service from them when my headset needed fixing, the equivalent of anyone's DC story here. So, DCs are still over priced.  Big thumbs up
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avioniker
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 2:06 am

Batteries? You need batteries?  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
I forgot to mention, My DC's were a gift when I got one of my tickets, I forgot which...
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 2:56 am

I wouldn't need batteries if you bought me an airplane!  Big thumbs up
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avioniker
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:28 am

CHS class of 68 lived on Adair
(I know who stole the steam whistle...)
One may educate the ignorance from the unknowing but stupid is forever. Boswell; ca: 1533
 
Guest

RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 5:08 am

Hmmm...

Not exactly the responses I expected. But this is good. Let's keep it going.

-Normal
 
flightsimfreak
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 6:11 am

The new DC ENC headsets use 9 volt batteries, they claim that they last longer. I think that it only uses one.

 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 9:26 am

One of my students has a DC with a 9 volt. I don't know the exact model, but it doesn't appear to last more than 20 hours. Seems less to me, but I'm allowing for time that he uses it without me with him.

Part of the reason seems to be that the headset is extremly voltage sensitive. Last time it died, the battery he took out of it still powered other electronic devices just fine. As opposed to the last pair of AAs I took out of my set, they had zero juice left according to the tester. So, I think Lightspeed has the better circuit design.  Big thumbs up
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schooner
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:20 am

I have got the DC 13.10Xs, they cut out background drone really well, are comfortable and I would not got back to passive headsets after using ANRs but........... you are correct about the batteries, about 25-30 hours from one 9v battery.
Cheers

PS, the only other gripe I have is that they come with approx 2 metres of cord which is a bit of a pain to arrange in the cockpit.
Untouched and Alive
 
AmeriCam
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 01, 2003 11:43 am

I swear by my LightSPEED 15XL. Flew a lot previously with passive DC 10-20... DC customer service was good. Swiched to LS, and havent looked back. For the money the LS is the way to go.

Cameron
"If you're going to crash, make it a fiery one."
 
geotrash
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Sun Jul 06, 2003 8:32 am

I own an airplane with 3 other folks. All of them have something other than David Clark, except me. I have the 10-20s and like them. Lightspeed and Avcomm are the other brands represented, and the others have had to send theirs out to have broken or snapped parts fixed at some point, and one lost his mic in the pattern. The Lightspeeds are quite delicate compared to David Clarks.

David Clarks are built like tanks, designed to work no matter what, which is the most important 'feature' to me, especially when flying alone. I have never suffered a broken part or failure of any kind, nor has anyone else I know who owns DCs. There's something to be said for rugged reliability. It makes for one less thing to go wrong.

Dave
 
Guest

RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:28 am

This past week I had the opportunity to use a pair of Lightspeed headsets. They seemed to be nice units. That being said, I am still a big fan of David Clarks. There was a saying that no one ever got in trouble for recommending IBM. I think the same thing goes for David Clark. Are the other brands just as good? Who knows? I would guess that they probably are, but never the less, I've got a set of David Clark DCNC headsets that are 12 years old and they still look and work like new. I've got another set of David Clark headsets that I've had for nearly 20 years and they're like new also. As far as I'm concerned, their only shortcomings can be easily and inexpensively corrected with a set of Oregon Aero ear pads and a sheepskin top pad. The others may be OK and you may get a lot of service out of them. I would guess that if you're only going to be using them for recreational or non-professional use any of them would be just fine. When it comes to a pilot's professional equipment, that's another thing. It doesn't really make a lot of sense to me to skimp on something as basic as a headset. No one ever regretted buying a David Clark - it's the excepted standard. I don't think that I've ever heard anyone ever compare a David Clark to any other brand of headset, but you're always hearing the other brands saying that they are as good as DC's. Get the DCs, you can't go wrong. Besides, getting another brand would be like riding a Yamaha to the Harley convention in Sturgis.  Big thumbs up

(Geeze, I'm sounding like a DC salesman.)

Jetguy

 
ALSF 2
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:58 am

I have a pair of the Lightspeed 25XL's.... LOVE THEM! The batteries last about 50 hrs for my 121 schedule, and I love the auto-shutoff feature if you leave them on. About a year and a half ago one of the brackets for the ear cup broke, I just called the cust. service number and sent them away. When they came back FREE OF CHARGE, they not only had the stronger redesigned brackets installed, but they put new padding in and installed the latest version electronics for the ANR!! Awesome!

Cheers!!
 
geotrash
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jul 07, 2003 11:32 am

David Clark was the originator of stellar customer service. They set the bar to the point that all other manufacturers have had to measure up.
 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jul 07, 2003 12:41 pm

Just because someone originates something doesn't mean no one else can do it just as well. The only way Lightspeed could improve their customer service toward me is to come to my house to take care of my needs.

DC is not better or worse. The consumer doesn't give a rip about who was first.
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Guest

RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 08, 2003 5:35 am

Thanks for the input guys.

(Reminds me of that Simpsons episode where Monty Burns sponsors the Church... "We higly value your input...until you sign the deal" (spoken in low, sinister tones))

After considering all the the factors, I think I'm going to go with the Dave Clarks. I mis-spoke on the thread starter--they were actually the DC H10-13X ENCs. Should be picking them up soon.

-Normal
 
cancidas
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Wed Jul 09, 2003 12:25 am

I currently fly with David Clark's H10-13XL. I have had no complaints about the headset. The level of comfort only matters if you will be flying in comfortable A/C. If you yourself are not sitting comfortably you will not notice the sliht discomfort of the DC's. The ENC faeture is especially good in small airplanes where you sit maybe a meter behind the engine. Larger planes (King Air 90) can also be very loud. The DC's make for a very comfortable flight. I don't know how I flew without them before!  Big thumbs up
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Wed Jul 09, 2003 2:39 pm

I know a certain major airline 777 captain that uses the Lightspeed 25XL's and swears by them (he says it REALLY helps him understand the English of some foreign controllers). He had some sort of problem when he had just gotten them and said Lightspeed's customer service was comparable to DC.

This thread convinced me to buy some new 20XL2's (I've had the H10-13.4 for years). If they work out good, one of these days I'll just go ahead and upgrade to the 3G series.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
geotrash
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:07 pm

DC is not better or worse. The consumer doesn't give a rip about who was first.

You missed the point, but I'm too lazy to explain it again.
 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:57 pm

Guess I did miss the point, but I don't see where you ever did explain it in the first place.

Oh, and as far as durability goes, all our club's DC headsets are in pieces. Not to say any other brand would have fared better, but they're not as indestructable as people like to claim.
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geotrash
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Thu Jul 10, 2003 11:57 pm

It's actually pretty simple. I've had a good night's rest so I'll remediate.

They set the bar to the point that all other manufacturers have had to measure up.

There, that ought to do it. The point was that few areas of general aviation enjoy stellar customer service from vendors. Headsets are a rare place where excellent service is customary. I submit that DC is the reason this is so.

all our club's DC headsets are in pieces.

Doubtful, but if you say so.
 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Fri Jul 11, 2003 12:57 am

DOUBTFUL?? YOU are telling ME that I don't know what MY OWN CLUB'S headsets are like? The QFRs disappeared (despicable), and the others (including the DCs) were in pieces, but have since been disposed of. We used to repair our headsets as they broke, but recently we decided to halt the practice. It's not worth our time to have them repaired every time they break, so we no longer have club headsets.

You're probably right about why headset customer service is the way it is, but I still say that the general consumer doesn't care why it is like it is.

[Edited 2003-07-10 18:11:59]
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XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Fri Jul 11, 2003 1:43 am

I've used my David Clark H20-10's for a long time now...and will continue wearing them until there comes the need to wear some little telex's when i fly jets, hehe. I've tried lightspeeds and just dont think they are as comfortable. The ANR is nice, but not that great.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
Guest

RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Fri Jul 11, 2003 2:41 am

"...and the others (including the DCs) were in pieces..."

Guys, guys, all rental/loaner headsets are usually beat to hell. People just don't take as good of care of other peoples' stuff as they do their own. I don't think it's a reflection on the manufacturer of the headset itself.

-Normal
 
geotrash
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Fri Jul 11, 2003 3:15 am

Ralgha,

Just giving you a hard time  Acting devilish

No doubt the DCs are capable of breaking with hard use, but I do believe they are generally sturdier than the others out there and hold up better than most. The ultimate for flight school loaners though might be cheap $99 Pilot brand units. That way the cost of the rental will pay for new units every few months if necessary.
 
NoUFO
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Fri Jul 11, 2003 3:45 am

BTW: Did anyone try the new Bose X or even consider to pay $1900 for this headset? I understand it seems to be brilliant, but 1900 bucks?¿

NoUFO
I support the right to arm bears
 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Fri Jul 11, 2003 4:44 am

Yeah rental headsets are not taken care of, and it's not a reflection on the manufacturer. Just for the record though, not really related, our club is not "rental" in the legal sense. Each member owns the airplanes and pays operational costs, not "rental" fees, though we still refer to it as rental. Their loss that they didn't take care of the headsets, cause they actually owned them.  Big thumbs up
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CanadianPilot
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Fri Jul 11, 2003 1:31 pm

I own a pair of AvComm AC900's ......Much cheaper than DC's, and the customer service has been very good. Unfortunately, I have had to deal with them more often than I would like. Twice my headset has quit in flight. First time they just repaired a broken switch, and after the second failure, they just replaced the headset.
They are a little tight, but for the price, great headset for abinitio training.
I am now in the market for an ANR set.....

DC vs. LS .....hmmmmm...plz keep up the discussion!!  Wink/being sarcastic


-Chris
 
SSTjumbo
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jul 14, 2003 10:55 am

Somewhat off topic, but while we're on the topic of headsets anyone know a cheap way I can rig my aviation headsets into a computer without burining out the mic? If I can scate by without blowing $150 bucks at avshop on something that barely works, I'll take it.

Cheers
-Mike
I don't know, so this is my signature.
 
Ralgha
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Mon Jul 14, 2003 2:21 pm

You can buy adapters for exorbitant amounts of money, don't remember where, search google for something along the lines of "pc aviation headset adapter". They charge far too much though. If you know much about electronics, you can make your own.

I'm assuming you want the mic to work as well, because you can just plug your headphone jack straight into the computer (with the proper plug adapter). The trick with the mic is that it needs to be powered and you have to get the right offset bias voltage on the mic for it to work. I was attempting this for a recording interface to a microcontroller, but I ran out of time and it wasn't working so I went with a cheap computer mic.

Few headset companies make it easy to find the info you need, but Flightcom came through for me. Page 14 of http://www.flightcom.net/pdf/denali_manual.pdf shows the jack diagram, and page 12 shows the bias voltage and supply resistances expected by the mic. It needs 8-16 volts, and 220-2200Ohms of supply resistance. Not being familiar with microphones in general, I believe this power is applied to the middle ring of the jack, label "hot" in the Flightcom diagram. You also capture the signal from the microphone from this ring, and you then need to adjust the DC offset of the signal to a level the computer can read (I don't know what this is, consult your soundcard documentation). Note that the info from Flightcom is the same for all aviation headsets since they all need to plug into the same intercoms.
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dw747400
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RE: Headset Wars: Dave Clark Vs. LightSPEED

Tue Jul 15, 2003 7:22 am

Bought a LS 20 3G and it has been great... far more comfortable than the DCs I have tried (though they were passive DCs... never used DC ANR). The LS are well built, extremely comfortable, and service is outstanding. The reportedly get 50+ hours of ANR on one pair of AA batts, though I have only flown about 30 hours with them so I can't vouch for that.

SSTJumbo-- The LS 3G series comes with an auxiliary input for a portable CD player or Cell phone that can connect to a computer audio jack. Only problem is you need to turn on the ANR to use the set like that. Of course, that only works for the speakers, you can't use the mic.

I'd recommend the LS sets strongly!



[Edited 2003-07-15 00:25:00]
CFI--Certfied Freakin Idiot

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