Headset Recommendations?

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Tailspin
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Headset Recommendations?

Postby Tailspin » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:01 am

Wondered if I could get some feedback regarding headset choices.. Thanks!


Mark

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MrMorden
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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby MrMorden » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:26 am

Tailspin wrote:Wondered if I could get some feedback regarding headset choices.. Thanks!


Mark


Hey Mark!

I use Lightspeed Zulu headsets. They are not cheap, but they have excellent ANR and are comfortable to wear for hours at a time. They have bluetooth and audio inputs, and if you plug in an aux audio device (like an MP3 player, smartphone, etc) to play music, the music will silence while receiving radio transmissions to make sure the radio traffic is clearly heard.

Lightspeed's older headset, the Sierra, is also very good. It has almost all the same features, but the ANR is an older generation. It's $250 less ($650 vs. $900).

If you are looking to go much cheaper, I have an MGL Avionics headset that I've been pretty happy with for ~$130:

http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/avpages/mgl880headset.php?clickkey=3905

A lot of people are liking the Clarity Aloft in-ear headsets too.

But I recommend if you fly even a moderate amount that you don't cheap out on a headset. It's a one time purchase, and the more expensive units usually are better in comfort, features, durability, and hearing protection. It's the difference between ending a two hour flight happy and refreshed or miserable with a splitting headache.

"Buy once, cry once" is much better than going through four or five low-quality headsets that just don't cut it.
Last edited by MrMorden on Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby SportPilot » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:31 am

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Last edited by SportPilot on Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby MrMorden » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:34 am

SportPilot wrote:I have a Bose. It's a great headset, but pricey.


Yeah, I think the Bose and the Lightspeeds are the two premier ANR sets. I picked the Lightspeed because it had some additional features like Bluetooth (which I think the latest Bose units now have) and because I don't like the hinge at the top of the Bose. But you can't go wrong with either. Bose might have *slightly* better ANR.
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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby drseti » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:53 am

I recommend that my students not buy a headset until after the first solo. During those first few hours, they're learning to interpret the wind noise and engine noise, so as to gauge airspeed and attitude acoustically whilst still looking outside, so ANR is actually a deficit. I have good acoustical loaner headsets for them to use the first few weeks. After first solo, they can try out various ANR designs and make an informed choice.

Since I fly every day, good noise reduction is important to me. I've been using the Light speed Sierra since they first came out, and am quite satisfied with it. Before that, I used a David Clark. Not bad, but older technology.
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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby 3Dreaming » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:55 am

I would suggest trying to find a place where you can try on the different headsets and find one that feels right for you. While the Lightspeed is a quality headset with good customer support I can't stand to wear one for more than about a hour at a time. When I was looking for a headset I wound up with a David Clark X11. I tried on the LS Zulu's and Bose, but the X11 was more comfortable for me. Others find the Zulu's and Bose to feel fine, and I think their sound and protection is top notch.

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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby drseti » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:57 am

Of course Tom is right. Everybody's head is a different size and shape! Go with what feels right to you. I tried out a former student's Lightspeed before I bought mine.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby dstclair » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:01 am

I'll post a contrarian view and suggest going with an in the ear headset. These are significantly more comfortable and cooler than the passive and ANR headsets I've had over the years. I have the QT Halo from Quiet Technologies which cost around $350. Here is a prior thread on the topic:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3044&p=22004&hilit=headset#p21542
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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby MrMorden » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:12 am

dstclair wrote:I'll post a contrarian view and suggest going with an in the ear headset. These are significantly more comfortable and cooler than the passive and ANR headsets I've had over the years. I have the QT Halo from Quiet Technologies which cost around $350. Here is a prior thread on the topic:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3044&p=22004&hilit=headset#p21542


Just a quick counterpoint: I had a QT Halo and returned it. I liked it, but got a horrible squeal every time I keyed the mike to talk. I called QT and they said that some airplanes, particularly with Garmin radios, have that problem with their headsets, and they have found no way to cure them. They did take the headset back for a full refund with no arguments.

Caveat emptor.
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dstclair
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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby dstclair » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:48 am

Hmm. I have a Garmin radio and have only had squeal with LightSpeed which I eventually sold after two returns to the factor. Good news is both companies are easy to deal with and stand behind their products.
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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby Flocker » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:01 am

+ 1 for the Bose A20. Outstanding noise reduction.

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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby FastEddieB » Thu Sep 17, 2015 11:36 am

I bought some discontinued LightSPEED 15XL's in 2003. Used them for over 10 years in both the Cirrus and the Sky Arrow. Needed minor repairs in that time, handled seamlessly by LightSPEED.

During that time frame I had occasion to use Bose headsets in a couple of Cirrus'. They were nice, but I did not feel they were THAT much nicer.

Anyway, a couple years back I traded in the 15XL's for Sierras and both Karen and I are happy with them. At the time, LightSPEED had a trade in program, which I think gave us $250 off each pair of Sierras, making them much more affordable.

Anyway, good company that earned our repeat business many times over.
Last edited by FastEddieB on Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby Flocker » Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:10 pm

Here's a cheaper way to get a Bose headset.

http://blog.aopa.org/flighttraining/?p=65

I believe Helen posted this a while back and she loves it.

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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby Tailspin » Thu Sep 17, 2015 2:36 pm

Thanks all!

>Flocker: Their all sold out of that adapter..


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Re: Headset Recommendations?

Postby Flocker » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:11 pm

Looks like they have a new one in R & D. Might be worth the wait...


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