A noob with a headset question.

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by TinmanJones, Oct 20, 2017.

  1. TinmanJones

    TinmanJones Filing Flight Plan

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    Not sure if this qualifies as a "technical post". If it needs to be moved to another section, MODS feel free to do it.

    I'm a "re-start noob" that's doing his homework on headsets. After reading a lot of posts on headsets, it got me wondering.
    I'm flying an older C150. I'm using the CFI's headsets, to try out before I buy. He has several brands, from Lightspeed, DC's, etc.
    My question is, would the quality of the radio have to do with the quality of the sound (voices) I hear? Being an older airplane, I'm 99% sure we're not flying the new west radio.
    Just because I buy a $1000 set of Bose, if the radio in the airplane (plugs, wires, etc) isn't the best available, wouldn't that mean I'm not going to get the $1000 dollar audio?
    I guess I'm asking, just b/c I have the best headset, if the radio isn't "the best" also, I'm not going to get the best sound?

    Again, just doing some homework.
     
  2. John221us

    John221us En-Route

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    Sure, an old radio can add noise and static. It is surprising how much a good ANR headset can fix some of that. I never regretted getting the top of the line Lightspeed (at the time), even though I had an old Cherokee with noisy radios. If you are flying a $5M Jet, you probably don’t need as much of a headset, ironically.
     
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  3. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Buying a thousand dollar headset to use in a twelve thousand dollar airplane just doesn't seem right.
     
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  4. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Flew and instructed for years without a headset. Now that headsets are used a lot more, even for a 12K airplane, for flight instruction I think it enables much better student-instructor communication in the plane while training.
     
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  5. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Pattern Altitude

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    :yeahthat:

    It helps you speak in a normal tone when communicating, too...
     
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  6. John221us

    John221us En-Route

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    This is aviation, which will never make sense financially. I had a $25k plane, but still had to pony up for the $6k wing spar repair. $800 for a headset was far from my biggest expense and it made flying, sometimes 3 to 5 hours in a day, a lot more pleasant. I sold the plane, but I still have the headset, BTW.
     
  7. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some of the old radios have better sound than some of the new stuff. Okay, the good ones prolly aren't going to be in a 150.

    Everyone makes choices for their own reason(s). For an aviation headset I looked at noise reduction, comfort, and sound quality in just about that order. Obviously the sound quality had to be good enough to understand folks but I certainly wasn't looking for an audiophile experience. Comfort came down to clamping, weight, and ear sweat. On the noise reduction side there are the ANRs ($$$) and the decibel rated passives. On the passives look for the profile of the decibel reduction, not just the number.

    I ended up with a $100 ASA headset w/gel earpads that I used during training and now have as a loaner. After I bought a plane I got a set of Lightspeed Zulus. Have never felt the need to upgrade the Zulus just to have the latest and greatest.
     
  8. Mistake Not...

    Mistake Not... Cleared for Takeoff

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    If airplane's were car-quiet, you'd only care about the mic quality (well, mostly). But airplanes are loud, and after a few hours in my plane, my ears were ringing for days with the old headset. I PROTECT my hearing, so I bought the ANR headset that night. :) Cost of the airplane has nothing to do with how noisy it is (to a point).
     
  9. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude

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    From my limited experience, the $100 ASA's are pretty darn good for a cheaper set. So are the KORE brand (both with the gel pads)... but I agree for hearing protection, you'll want a little more in a loud plane.
    My CFI at times has static with his Bose A20's in the old 172 we fly.
    I use Halo's, but it's hard to tell when there's some type of interference, if it's the headset, or the radio, or the cheap azz PTT button on the yoke, or a combination of any of those.

    When it's nice and cool, I'll use the Halos with the KORE set together for super quietness on longer flights. I don't listen to music much, but it does help a little with that too.
    Out of all the headsets I've tried, I feel like the Lightspeed Zulu 2's have the best microphone clarity, and at least equal noise reduction.
     
  10. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    ^^^^ THAT
    For a C150, you don't need to fall for the marketing c*ap hype and shell out several AMUs for an ANR headset. The 150 doesn't make that much noise.
    I agree that the ASA headset is a good quality item and doesn't cost an arm and a leg (you'll need those to manipulate controls!)

    We always laughed hard at the idiots who showed up at a beat up 150 with a $2000 headset, $900 Top Gun jacket, $500 RayBans, $300 aviation loafers, $9000 Breitling watch, $300 flight bag, then proceeded to waste 1/2 hr by setting up 4 $400 GoPros, $800 maxiPad, $700 miniPad, $800 iPhone, $800 Stratus, $500 portable Garmin 196 GPS, $700 portable backup Nav/Com with ILS & GS, $500 PLB with direct GPS coordinate upload to Fecesbook .... and then they went on to do a few touch-n-goes for 1/2 hr. :D
     
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  11. Mistake Not...

    Mistake Not... Cleared for Takeoff

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  12. John221us

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    I am wondering what your point is. Are you trying to say someone flying a 150 shouldn't own decent equipment or possibly can't afford it? Is it possible that they are doing their primary training, looking to purchase a plane and renting in the meantime or possibly even between planes and satisfying the itch? I bought a Cherokee 140 to train in and didn't have any problem affording the accessories I wanted. There were a lot of reasons I didn't/don't own a new Cirrus or Bonanza. There are no reasons I can think of why I shouldn't decide to spend my money on the accessories that I can both afford and make my flying more enjoyable to me.
     
  13. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    I think Lou's point may have been get a starter headset and learn to fly the plane. Then get all that other crap later.
     
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  14. Mistake Not...

    Mistake Not... Cleared for Takeoff

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    I took it more in the sense of a poor student just starting out. Not everyone comes to this hobby later in life, or from Money. When I was learning to fly at 22, I skipped lunch most days so I could fly once every two weeks. I think it's important to tell young people just starting out that flying is not about the accessories. It's mostly (almost entirely?) in your head. Get a headset that's "good enough". Save the fancy stuff for later.
     
  15. Cooter

    Cooter Pattern Altitude

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    The accessories are half the fun! How are people going to know to respect your skills if you don't have a leather jacket and aviator glasses?
     
  16. Mistake Not...

    Mistake Not... Cleared for Takeoff

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    I saved for weeks to get a pair of Serengeti Aviators. Folding, even.
     
  17. TinmanJones

    TinmanJones Filing Flight Plan

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    Good stuff.
     
  18. BigBadLou

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  19. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    He could have gotten his ATP cert for that kinda money. Instead, he wasted it. That's the joke. Nothing more, nothing less.
     
  20. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    A 150 makes plenty of noise. It has low compression ratio engine and finely pitched propeller meaning RPM at cruise is unusually high. It is louder in cruise (but not takeoff and climb) than a 172, or even a 182 provided the pilot knows how to use the propeller control. Factor in the thinner, flimsier doors and interior parts. An ANR headset is worth it, and not even the industry flagship is "several" AMU. It is 1.
     
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  21. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    But the $20,000 engine overhaul makes perfect sense.
     
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  22. Salty

    Salty Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, the $100 asa isn't that horrible, but there are worse things you could waste your money on than a nice headset.

    That said, I can't stand the asa head clamps after about an hour, but I can wear the halos all day and never notice them.
     
  23. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    Surprised the 150 got off the ground with that load. Hell the Breitling alone is almost enough to put it over gross.
     
  24. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    One doesn't need a headset at all. Foam earplugs will protect your hearing reasonably well in most any airplane. Dig out the old mic and crank up that cabin speaker. :D

    I wear hearing protection running my lawnmower and my shop vac, and they are both a hell of a lot quieter than the inside of a drumming Cessna trainer. I would vote that comfort, audio communications quality and hearing loss protection should be the criteria, regardless of how expensive the plane. But I agreee with you that $1000 isn't necessarily required to achieve that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
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  25. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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    Get either the QT Halo or Clarity Aloft. Great noise reduction, no batteries, and nice and light on the head instead of a head-clamp.
     
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