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AirWillie6475
Topic Author
Posts: 2372
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 1:45 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:19 pm

I was wondering what GA headset I should buy. Does anyone have any suggestions. Are there any headsets out there that have special features?
 
BritPilot777
Posts: 998
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:05 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Feb 10, 2005 8:55 pm

Hi there,

How much are you looking to spend?? I have the David Clark 13X which has ANR (Active Noise Reduction) Really comfy and robust. I bought it here in the UK and was about £500, so around $800.

There are many out there, and as I said, really depends on how much your looking to spend.

http://www.sportys.com have a headset wizard I believe which you can put in what your looking for and it will give you a few results!

Happy Hunting!

Moheet  Smokin cool
 
pilotaydin
Posts: 2100
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:30 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:25 pm

if you live in a hot place, you need to replace ur jel tabs a lot on your DC's lol. Depending on your confort and style, the foam tabs may work out better.


my advice is getting a headset that has a low weight, after flying for long hours, it really has an effect on you.
 
Ralgha
Posts: 1589
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 1999 6:20 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:37 pm

Holy hell don't get a DC. If you want the DC experience, just have someone hit you with a boat paddle upside the head as hard as they can when you come back from a flight. Same feeling, less money.

Shop around and try different sets on if you can. I'm a fan of Lightspeed myself.
 
airplay
Posts: 3369
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:58 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:52 pm

It's hard to beat the ruggedness of DC headsets. I've used/repaired a great deal of headsets and find that "lightweight" often relates to "fragile".

I currently use a DC H10-13.4. Its inexpensive and effective without paying the ANC prices.

Its easy to find replacement parts too.

I've never been all that impressed with Telex headsets or some of the DC rip-offs like the sigtronics line or the knock-offs that Aviall used to sell.
 
5T6
Posts: 264
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 12:20 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:56 pm

...just have someone hit you with a boat paddle upside the head as hard as they can when you come back from a flight. Same feeling, less money

LOL!! Same way I felt when I tried a set of DC's. I have a set of Lightspeed 20XLc. Very comfortable even when on for three hours during the summer.

Ralgha, please accept my welcome to my RU list. As a CFI, you deserve it!  Big thumbs up

I'm (hopefully) about a two weeks away from my PPL Checkride. It's been a long time coming, but I think (and my instructor thinks) I'm ready! Just doing the review of some of the manuevers that I may be a little rusty on, and then it's time to schedule with the DE. Wish me luck!

Best Regards,

Mike

 
User avatar
BALandorLivery
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 7:54 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:28 am

I have a David Clarke H10-60 and its EXCELLENT, but also a bit expensive.

Bose headsets are the best in the business. A controller friend of mine said it was like having the pilot sitting next to him.

All depends what you feel comfortable in and how much you want to spend though.

Regds.
 
avt007
Posts: 1989
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 4:51 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:19 am

I have repaired a gazillion headsets, and DC have the highest quality material and design compared to the rest. Details like real wire in the cords, not that flimsy fabric thread crap with a bit of conductive threads in it. Also the screws are machine screws threading into metal inserts, not self-tapping ones into plastic. I know they can be heavy, and not cheap, but IF you use it a lot, DC is worth looking at. BTW, a bit of advice to all headset users; NEVER, under any circumstances, should you wind the cord around the thing like you are tying up a steer. 90% of those repairs I`ve done are because of that practice, which wil break the cord eventually no matter what make. I just installed DC H10-13HXP (noise cancelling) ones in our Twin Otters and they are pretty nice.
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7184
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:32 am

I am very happy with these:



I have the H10-13 S, which is basically a H10-13.4 that has a switch for selecting mono or stereo sound. I really haven't used that feature yet, it only really works if you're going to hook up a CD-player in your aux-in plug in the plane, or if you buy an adapter, you can plug it in your computer and use it for flightsimming.  Big thumbs up

I am very happy with these and I don't really care about the weight (not that they're too heavy anyways) because they are very comfortable and I love the gel earpads. Despite they don't have ENC, I find them to be very quiet. They are definitely a good buy.

Just my $0.02  Smile
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7184
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:43 am

Hey Avt007, never thought of that. Which do you think is the best way to fold the cords without ruining them?

Thanks!
 
ZBBbird
Posts: 58
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 10:04 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:10 am

I just do a simple over/under coil loosely and about the same size as the headset bag.
 
airplay
Posts: 3369
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:58 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:16 am

I just installed DC H10-13HXP (noise cancelling) ones in our Twin Otters and they are pretty nice.

I have several happy memories of digging DCs out from under the pilot's seats in Twin Otters. The company provided the crew with headsets but many had their own. So what do they do with the ones in the airplane? Stow them under the seat.

We once had a snag that read something like "Seat won't track". The fix was "Removed brand new mangled David Clark headset from seat track mechanism".

 Smile

I have to disagree a bit with the cord advise though Avt007. There's really no other convenient way to stow the cored when you are stuffing the headset into your brainbag. Just be careful when you do it and you'll get the maximum life out of the things. I consider it normal wear and tear. You can't expect the cord to last forever.

Of course you can always make a nice custom velvet lined case with a spot for the cord...but then other pilots will beat you up regularly....

 Smile
 
B747FE
Posts: 217
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:09 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:39 am

Does anyone have experience with Telex?
I'd like to know which one is better, the Airman 750 or the 5X5 Pro III.
Thanks for the feedback.

Regards,
B747FE.
 
KYIPpilot
Posts: 1357
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2003 11:14 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 11:20 am

Go with David Clark. They have the best customer service out there. They really care about their customers, and I've heard will even fix stuff out of warranty for free.

I use the DC H10 13.4. Very comfortable, and it works well.

My instructor has a DC headset that he has owned and used since 1992, and it still works like the day he got it.
 
Ralgha
Posts: 1589
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 1999 6:20 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 12:42 pm

Bose headsets are the best in the business. A controller friend of mine said it was like having the pilot sitting next to him.

Very good yes, best, no. For $1,000 I expect my headset to provide some semblence of noise reduction when the battery dies, yet the Bose somehow AMPLIFIES the noise when the battery dies.

Also, how a voice sounds over the radio is as much a function of the radio itself, wiring, and atmospheric conditions as the headset. Inside the airplane, the quality of voice depends on what kind of headset the other person is using and the impedence that is put on the circuit.

By no means am I saying the Bose isn't good. It's a great headset, very comfortable, sounds great, and has excellent noise reduction (when the battery isn't dead). I just don't think it's $1000 great.

Go with David Clark. They have the best customer service out there. They really care about their customers, and I've heard will even fix stuff out of warranty for free.

Give it up with the tired, outdated, and false argument that DC has the best customer service. Yes, they used to, but these days any decent headset manufacturer provides equal or better levels of service. Lightspeed will fix out of warrenty headsets for free, and replace seals, pads, and booms without asking for it, all for free, and over the weekend.

DC ANR (ENC) sucks compared to the others. Bose and Lightspeed seem to have the top ANR circuits, Lightspeed is likely most intelligent with it's adaptive gain.

Someone asked about Telex, I've heard good things about them too. For God's sake don't go with DC just because everyone thinks they're the best. If you try them and you like them, then go with it, but you can find higher quality for lower price if you look (and you can find a nice boat paddle cheap if you want the DC touch). Durability isn't everything, comfort and noise reduction top durability to some extent in my book, and DC has neither.


Grats on your impending checkride 5T6, good luck!

[Edited 2005-02-11 04:43:05]
 
SSTjumbo
Posts: 2579
Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2001 3:29 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:23 pm

The best bang for the buck as far as passive goes is the basic LightSPEED QFR solo. I've used a pair for a couple of years now and have found them quieter than DC's passive headsets and more comfortable than anything else I've tried.


Also, I've heard rumors about gel seals for the QFR's. Anyone know any more information?
 
cancidas
Posts: 3985
Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:34 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 11, 2005 1:35 pm

i use the H10-13LXs for fixed wing flying and just picked up a pair of H10-56HXLs for helos. really the best headsets i've ever used. when it comes to buying headsets the rule of thumb is to go green. yes, the bose are great as well but in my opinion the DCs are better. we use them for deicing and pushback operations at my airline and they hold up great.
 
airplay
Posts: 3369
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 1:58 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:56 am

Give it up with the tired, outdated, and false argument that DC has the best customer service.

Confusing? Is DC crap or the king?

There are 2 kinds of people when it comes to buying anything. Those who recognize the market leader, and those who hold the market leader in contempt.

There are good arguments for both sides, but I tend to find those who continually bash the market leader(s) like Microsoft, Coke, etc. do so out of spite rather than any tangible reason.

If you don't want yourself tagged as "mainstream" then you will bash DC. If you go by customer satsifaction, there is no shortage of people who are quite satisfied with DC headsets.

The only thing I can add is, don't discount the market leaders out of spite and contempt or jealousy of their success just to find yourself stuck with a fragile hunk of junk that will break the first time you use it.
 
avt007
Posts: 1989
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2000 4:51 am

What Headset Should I Buy?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 4:04 am

As far as the cord is concerned, the problem is bending it at a sharp angle where it leaves the earcup. Don`t pull on it, and don`t force a sharp bend there, and it will last. The cord always breaks right at the strain relief because of the habit of tying the earpieces together with the cord.
 
Ralgha
Posts: 1589
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 1999 6:20 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:36 am


Confusing? Is DC crap or the king?

There are 2 kinds of people when it comes to buying anything. Those who recognize the market leader, and those who hold the market leader in contempt.

There are good arguments for both sides, but I tend to find those who continually bash the market leader(s) like Microsoft, Coke, etc. do so out of spite rather than any tangible reason.

If you don't want yourself tagged as "mainstream" then you will bash DC. If you go by customer satsifaction, there is no shortage of people who are quite satisfied with DC headsets.

The only thing I can add is, don't discount the market leaders out of spite and contempt or jealousy of their success just to find yourself stuck with a fragile hunk of junk that will break the first time you use it.


Jealousy? Ha, I could have bought a DC if I wanted to. They hurt, and they're not the quietest out there. The plain and simple fact is that they no longer have the best customer service. I'm not saying it's bad, but they do not lead anymore. They're tied with about two other companies in that department (Lightspeed and Bose).

I've stated my tangible reasons. Suck it up and deal, DC is not the best, my "fragile hunk of junk" amazingly enough did not break the first time I used it (broke once after about 5 years of abusive handling and was fixed within 3 days including shipping time for free), is far more comfortable than any DC I've used (yes I've used the lauded H10 13.4), and is quieter by a large margin. How does that make it worse than DC again? Now I'm confused.

Ohyeah, the batteries last longer too, but that's not a big deal.
 
Ralgha
Posts: 1589
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 1999 6:20 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 8:37 am

I don't like the taste of Coke (or Pepsi) either, does that mean I'm jealous of Coke too?
 
OE-LDA
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2000 5:29 pm

What Headset Should I Buy?

Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:45 am

I have tried the following: David Clark, Sigtronics, Lightspeed, PilotUSA, Peltor. For me the DC is by far the best. I now own the 10-13.4, and I simply love it.

Regards, OE-LDA
 
lapa_saab340
Posts: 398
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2001 8:42 pm

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:06 am

Hi AirWillie
If you are on a budget you may want to have a look at the Sigtronics line. They make a good product and at affordable prices, so they're a good alternative.

David Clarks are good headsets, but by no means the only good ones in the market. I originally bought two Sigtronics headsets (S-65 & S-58), and later on I was able to get a used David Clark 13.4 from a friend who was 'moving up' to the active noise cancelling headsets. Comparing it to the Sigtronics, I like the "pillow" headband on the David Clark better, other than that there really isn't much of a difference.

Cheers
 
meister808
Posts: 924
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2000 11:45 am

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:46 am

I have been using a Telex Echelon 100 for almost 2 years now. It is well made, inexpensive, and folds up small so that you can put it just about anywhere.

I would recommend it to anyone looking for an inexpensive headset. If you want to spend more, go with the Clarks.

-Meister
 
baw2198
Posts: 587
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2003 11:20 am

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:10 pm

I've been using a Lightspeed 15K ANR for 6 yrs. now. Couple years back, I accidently left the batteries in the box and they leaked, eating the electronics. Sent them overnight to Lightspeed, fixed within a day (actually sent me back a new set I think) and OVERNIGHT shipped back to me at their cost!!! I would never buy a DC. I have tried them, both the regular and their ANR with the car battery box on the cord, they just didn't perform. 6 yrs ago a pair of Lightspeed 15K's ran $300. By far the best bang for the buck is Lightspeed.

BTW models 20K and 25K headsets start adding PTT switches and higher ANR abilities.

Aaron
 
atct
Posts: 2472
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2001 6:42 am

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 12:33 pm

I bought a classic H10-30 on ebay for under a hundred bucks. I then speant $50 on accessories and really buffed the sides. Its now as shiny as ever with the black sheepskin headpad and gel ear seels. I use it daily in a Robinson R44 and she works like a beauty. No need for this ANR crap unless you're open cockpit flying.

-ATCT
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 1:56 pm

After using several David Clarks for years, I switched to Peltor. I found DC's to be heavy, and the mics always seemed to cut off the first part of my transmission...almost as if the squelch was adjusted incorrectly. The Peltors are noticably lighter, their mics are much more sensitive, and they distribute pressure around your ears much more comfortably than DC's. The headaches I always seemed to get with DC's are no longer a factor.

Price-wise, they're about 1/3 less than DC's, and although they don't have a lifetime warranty on paper, the people at Peltor will always go the extra mile to replace parts for a reasonable price or for free.





2H4
 
747NUT
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2004 12:24 am

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 7:42 pm

Has anyone got any feedback or info on the Clarity Aloft headset ?

http://www.clarityaloft.com/index.htm

I was thinking of buying a set but can't seem to find any feedback from anyone except the testimonials from the website, and we all know how accurate they are Wink/being sarcastic
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2844
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Fri Feb 18, 2005 12:59 pm

I use the David Clarks like many others I know. I bought them because of the reputation and in the last 5 years they have yet do dissapoint me. I also have a set of the less expensive Sigronics model. It doesn't have the flexible boom, and didn't come with gel ear seals (I swapped a pair when I purchased new ones for my DCs). I got it because the ones you can borrow at the FBO suck and I didn't want to subject friends and family to that. They're ok in a pinch but I don't know if I could wear them for hours on end.

I worked in a bicycle shop for four years. What does this have to do with headsets? In four years I fit many people for cycling helmets. I've found that heads are just like feet. Everybody is a little different. If you have a pilot shop near you, try some different brands on or borrow some from friends for this reason. I love the way my DCs fit, but others have called them such great names as "head vices". There are a lot of nice brands out there now. This wasn't the case back in the day.
 
ThePinnacleKid
Posts: 542
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:47 am

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Sat Feb 26, 2005 4:53 pm

Wow, lots of DC fans here... I have a pair myself.. but I only give it to a student without a headset, a pax flyin with me, or the one time I was stupid and left my headset on the dash in the hot sun when I ran into the fbo and grabbed lunch for an hour discussing the return flight... BAD mistake... so the DC's came in handy that time...

However, that being said, while DC's are a strong headset, I personally can't stand using them, they work and all, and get the job done, but I find they are just REALLY uncomfortable on my head...

I use TELEX and have for about 4 years now... Absolutely love it 100%. Great noise reduction, very comfortable, never has hurt like the DCs after flying long period... I routinely use my telex on flights from dallas area to phoenix in GA craft with one stop in new mexico for fuel... usually about 7 hours total flying... TELEX has performed great for me and I would def. buy from them again.

Although, this next time around, I want to try Lightspeed out.... lots of other instructors I know and have flown with have them and love them a whole whole lot...

-Chris
 
CFIjames
Posts: 85
Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2004 10:39 am

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Sun Feb 27, 2005 11:38 am

No one has mentioned FlightCom yet. As a very busy flight instructor, a comfortable and quiet headset is very important. I have the Denali ANR. They are very light and the ANR is superb. They are mostly plastic so some may think they are flimsy, but i have to say this is not exactly true. My own experience is very good, although i have to admit that they did break one flight as I went to put them on. I blamed it on the bitter Utah cold and the fact that I stupidly left them in the car overnight. Customer service repaired the breakage and replaced all of the seals and mic muff and everything for no cost. I think a lot of people buy David Clark's for the name, and you pay a lot for the name. Next time you see a movie or TV show with a plane in it, I can almost guarentee that the pilot will be showing the telltall DC green, all that exposure has to be paid for by the consumer.
 
AC_A340
Posts: 2196
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 12:01 pm

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Mar 10, 2005 1:37 pm

I use the FlightCom Denali ANR also. I am a flight instructor, and the passive noise reduction is good, and the active is really good, especially on long cross country flights when you can't get the props perfectly in synch. They are relatively light. One thing I don't like about them though is that they don't seal very tight under my ears, along the jawbone. The comfort otherwise is great, and the yellow color really makes them stand out. They are plastic, but I have never had them break over 3 years and 500 hours of use. I would buy them again.
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Mar 10, 2005 1:51 pm



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 28):
I worked in a bicycle shop for four years. What does this have to do with headsets? In four years I fit many people for cycling helmets. I've found that heads are just like feet. Everybody is a little different. If you have a pilot shop near you, try some different brands on or borrow some from friends for this reason.

Pilotpip makes an excellent point...what's good for one person is horrible for another.


2H4


 
pilotpip
Posts: 2844
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:33 pm

2H4, I forgot that I managed to mention bikes in this one too. I've got it bad. Welcome to my respected list!
 
2H4
Posts: 7960
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: What Headset Should I Buy?

Thu Mar 10, 2005 3:49 pm

Yeah, how come I talk about bikes whenever the topic is airplanes, and airplanes whenever the topic is bikes?

Actually....and this is waaaaaaaay off-topic....it's amazing how many parallels you can draw between the two industries. The aerospace industry spends billions to develop cutting-edge technology, but has to spend a decade or so testing and proving it. While they're doing that, we bike guys whip it into a cycling-related application and get a sneak-preview of how it performs.

Did you know the flight control surfaces of the Raytheon Premier use the same carbon from the same supplier, and the same molds from the same company as Trek OCLV bikes?

You're right...we're hopeless.  biggrin 


2H4


P.S. - Anyone who laughs at the mention of Onza clipless technology certainly deserves a spot on my respected list. Should have added you days ago. Welcome.


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