Can ANR headsets mask engine trouble?

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fatsportpilot
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Can ANR headsets mask engine trouble?

Postby fatsportpilot » Wed Jun 10, 2020 4:12 pm

Is there any risk of subtle cues for engine problems being hidden by active noise reduction?

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AviatorCrafty
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Re: Can ANR headsets mask engine trouble?

Postby AviatorCrafty » Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:41 pm

Not necessarily, I use the lightspeed Sierra headset and whenever I fly I can hear the engine just fine. It makes it much quieter than without ANR but I still hear it no issues.
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Re: Can ANR headsets mask engine trouble?

Postby drseti » Wed Jun 10, 2020 7:35 pm

I have my students start out with a acoustical headsets, so they can learn normal wind and engine sounds. Some time between first solo and XC, they're ready to graduate to ANR. I personally fly with a Lightspeed Sierra, but I leave it off during startup and runup, so I can listen for anything unusual, no matter how subtle. In flight, I can pick up the usual cues with no problem.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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FastEddieB
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Re: Can ANR headsets mask engine trouble?

Postby FastEddieB » Wed Jun 10, 2020 8:14 pm

I would say that, yes, they could conceivably block out or dampen sounds of a certain frequency that might indicate certain engine problems. A low frequency rumbling that might indicate a problem might be attenuated or masked completely as “noise”.

That said, no way I’m flying without ANR. A compromise might be to get in the habit of turning off the noise canceling for the runup, and perhaps periodically in cruise. But not a habit I’ve formed yet.

And a little off-topic, but I too am a happy LightSpeed Sierra wearer.
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fatsportpilot
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Re: Can ANR headsets mask engine trouble?

Postby fatsportpilot » Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:23 am

Everyone seems to love the Lightspeed Sierra. That is the very headset I was thinking of buying. :)

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FastEddieB
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Re: Can ANR headsets mask engine trouble?

Postby FastEddieB » Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:51 am

fatsportpilot wrote:Everyone seems to love the Lightspeed Sierra. That is the very headset I was thinking of buying. :)


Look for specials.

When I got mine, they were offering $250 off if you traded in any old ANR headset in any condition. I had some really beat up LightSpeed 15XL’s, so used those. That’s enough of a discount that it would be worth finding a beat up set of ANR headsets on eBay and using those. I’ve heard they just crush the headsets they receive anyway, but have not verified that fact.

As an aside, I’ve had exemplary customer service from LightSpeed for a couple decades now.
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ShawnM
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Re: Can ANR headsets mask engine trouble?

Postby ShawnM » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:34 am

I have two pair of the Lightspeed Zulu 3's and they are nothing short of AMAZING. As posted earlier so is their customer service, amazing. I do start my plane without a headset on but once the avionics come on I put on my headset. I hear the engine just fine, if the steady hum of the engine ever changes you could simply lift up an ear cup and listen for issues that way.

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Re: Can ANR headsets mask engine trouble?

Postby drseti » Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:48 am

As an aside, the soft goods of the Lightspeed (ear seals, headband cushion , and mic muff) do need to be replaced every few years (they recommend every 18 months, but I think that's excessive). The refresher kit costs $50. I just ordered one for my 5-year-old Sierra headset, and they included a free 5-year membership in their loyalty program ("Wingman Club"). That gets me 30% off any Lightsoeed accessories for the next 5 years.

Notice: I have no commercial affiliation with Lightspeed. I'm just a satisfied customer. I've also flown with the Bose, and it's a good product too.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US


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