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zachary165
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Which Headset To Buy?

Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:43 pm

Mods: please move if in wrong forum.

I am going to start working towards my pilot's license in the fall and am in the market for a new headset. The department head of where I am going recommends one with Active Noise reduction so I don't suffer from hearing damage, but I've also heard the the FAA warns against new students using ANR as it may block out critical auditory cues to impending trouble. i.e. hissing air vents or ambient wind noise. So I'm wondering should I go straight up and buy the ANR headset or wait until I am more proficient at flying? Any help is appreciated.
"Keep true to the dreams of thy youth." - Schiller
 
atct
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Wed Apr 20, 2016 7:54 pm

If you're doing it for a living, I'd go with an ANR. Lightspeed, David Clark, and Bose all make great products. If you're doing it part time for fun, I would get a good passive headset (Read: A David Clark). I used an H10-30 all through flight training and 700 hours in cubs and stuff, then used a Bose A20 hard wired in our King Air, and now have my own Bose A20 and DC H10-13 (both ANR). I use the Bose when I fly cabin class / big stuff, and my H10-13's in my helmets for the super cub. I have heard great things about Lightspeed Zulu's and the DC Pro X stuff from my buddies who use them. It's all about how much you want to spend and what your return on investment will be.
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QFA380
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:07 am

I'm a new pilot and after about 15 hours of using the school's headset bought the A20 and love them. The build quality is great, with bluetooth and with the aux port too. Many of my instructors have lightspeeds and seem to like them too.

One of the thing that tipped me over was the trade in programs and resale value.

Protecting your hearing is an investment, you may be unable to hold a medical later in life if it degrades too much. I hated the sensation of getting out of the plane with ringing ears. My A20 cost me 4 hours of dual time, hardly anything in the scheme of things.

I have never heard anyone recommend against ANR for new pilots and have always been able to hear air sounds. The primary thing they do is reduce engine noise, I find it actually helps hear more unusual noises that would otherwise be drowned out by the engine.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:11 am

David Clark seem to be amazingly rugged (plus they look cool). I've know pilots who used DC, Bose and Lightspeed and everyone's been pretty happy..

Personally, I preferred the Clarity Aloft Pro, mostly because I suffer the heat and over the ear had me sweating in that area when flying in Florida. They're super light and very comfortable (as long as you're ok with earbuds). Noise cancellation is provided by the foam earbuds and in on par with "big" headsets that have ANR. The downside is that you they are more delicate than David Clark etc, but as long as you put them in the case when you're not using them they're fine. http://www.clarityaloft.com/pages/aviation-headsets

My first flying school also sold headsets, and they'd let you try out different loaners for the first couple of days or weeks. A good way to figure out what works best for you.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CXfirst
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Thu Apr 21, 2016 3:33 am

I'm very happy with my Lightspeed Zulu 2's. The Zulu PFX would be great as well. On long solo flights flying through the empty space that is WA, Australia, I loved being able to connect my music wirelessly.

But be warned. Don't try ANRs until you are ready to purchase your own, if you try them once, you'll never want to go back!

-CXfirst
 
Calder
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Thu Apr 21, 2016 1:04 pm

lol, what the happened to buying the cheapest headset you can find?

I've still got a Sigtonics S-20 that's like 9+ years old that works fine. It cost the equivalent of ~1hr dual instruction in a rented aircraft.

OP doesn't even have a solo endorsement yet. Don't be that guy who goes out and buys a ~$500+ dollar headset when you haven't even hit double digit hours.

As for hearing protection, my ~$140 S-20 is designed to reduce outside noise by 24dB. No ANR required!
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UltimateDelta
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Thu Apr 21, 2016 6:25 pm

I'll put in a plug for the Sennheiser S1 passive version- my only complaint is that the microphone boom isn't quite long enough and requires some readjusting, but the passive noise cancelling is very good and they're comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
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skyhawkmatthew
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:22 pm

Quoting Calder (Reply 5):
lol, what the happened to buying the cheapest headset you can find?

Because cheap headsets are generally uncomfortable and provide significantly less noise reduction than ANR headsets. The difference is night and day even between a good passive headset (DC H10) and an ANR one (I had a Lightspeed Zulu when I was in GA). The lower noise makes it less fatiguing and easier to concentrate on long flights - and the Bluetooth is a nice added bonus.

The only word of warning I have is: make sure you carry spare batteries! The Lightspeed is TERRIBLE at passive noise reduction; when the batteries die it's hopeless.
Qantas - The Spirit of Australia.
 
L-188
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Fri Apr 22, 2016 6:53 am

I have heard from several pilots who say don't spend the money for ANR headsets if you are flying round motors.

The frequencies radials rumble it are low enough that the software in the ANR has a hard time working to cancel them out.
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DashTrash
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Sun Apr 24, 2016 1:59 pm

If you plan on using your headset at an airline later in life you need something TSO'd. For GA flying it doesn't matter.
 
bond007
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Wed May 04, 2016 2:42 am

I've had a David Clark H20 for almost 25 years, with no issues.

I'm not a lover of ANR, but did try it, and did go back ... 

I've replaced the microphone cover and ear gels a couple of times on my DC, but it's worked flawlessly for many years. I also don't treat it with that much respect, and it's never let me down.

All anecdotal of course, and I'm sure there's better ....but it's all subjective.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
apfpilot
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Wed May 04, 2016 2:06 pm

Depends on what you are flying. I have the Bose A20 but wish I would have gotten the Lighspeed Zulus. If I was flying turbine aircraft more often than I do I would still have the Bose QC3 with the U-Fly Mike attachment. I've used that setup in piston airplanes and it required the usage of ear plugs
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.
 
FlyHossD
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Thu May 05, 2016 4:11 pm

Quoting apfpilot (Reply 11):
If I was flying turbine aircraft more often than I do I would still have the Bose QC3 with the U-Fly Mike attachment.

This was my choice, too. UFlyMike offered both TSO'd and non-TSO'd versions. I'm not sure what they're doing since Bose has moved on to another design.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
futureualpilot
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Fri May 06, 2016 6:33 pm

David Clark makes a tank of a headset. It'll last and they have a lifetime warranty but they're not the most comfortable things to wear for more than a couple hours.

Prior to my current whip, in which I use the company headset, I flew 5,000+ hours under the Bose X and loved it. Quiet, comfortable, their customer service was always top notch and best of all I could wear them all day and not have a headache at the end . I'd highly recommend their product. It's pricey, but worth it.
Life is better when you surf.
 
apfpilot
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RE: Which Headset To Buy?

Fri May 06, 2016 6:53 pm

Quoting futureualpilot (Reply 13):
David Clark makes a tank of a headset. It'll last and they have a lifetime warranty but they're not the most comfortable things to wear for more than a couple hours.

My first headset was a pair of David Clarks H10-30s that had been in a C180 on floats that flipped in salt water. The guy who owned the airplane was my boss and when it was salvaged (no one was hurt) he gave me the headset. Said if you can get them to work you have yourself a headset. I sent them to DC they looked them over checked them out didn't have to repair anything but cleaned them up and they worked like a charm. I still have them somewhere.
Opinions are my own and do not reflect an endorsement or position of my employer.

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