Avonics Headset for the Private Student Pilot

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by TVProducer, Dec 4, 2018 at 4:41 PM.

  1. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Hello All,

    Wondering about people's reccomendation on Aviation headsets. Is it worth spending $$$ for the ANR headset, or will a Passive David Clark do the job? I heard the phrase 'You get what you pay for' really applies here and if I wanted to shell out $850 for a Lightspeed Zulu 3 I want to make sure it is actually worth it or if I should just get the David Clark's for now then upgrade later.

    Thanks All!
     
  2. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Major hot button topic due to there is no direct or proper answer....

    Variables include
    • desired features
    • budget
    • size/shape of your noggin
    • budget
    • Do you want in ear or on ear
    • budget

    There will be lots of arguments income about brands. Sorta like which brand of pick up truck is best. Or Low Wing versus High Wing
    Also expect lots of suggestions for Clarity Aloft and QT Halo.

    Me? I like my Lightspeed PFX. Comfort, Bluetooth, ANR, and LS Customer service are the reasons I like that.

    Others like their Bose

    Others like their D. Clamps


    Again, no straight forward answer.
     
  3. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    I used a dad I’d Clark when starting training, switched to PFX and never turned back, wish I did that on the first day
     
  4. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Before purchase, borrow different models and go fly with them.
     
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  5. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

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  6. N659HB

    N659HB Pattern Altitude

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    Some FBOs also rent headsets, so that might be a place to start comparison. Your instructor may have some that you can try as well. With muffs, you really need a good seal around the ears for max attenuation, whether there's ANR or not. The headband HAS to be comfortable, regardless. Just my $.02...

    I like my Halos. They are passive, but provide good noise attenuation (and I can take my cap on and off easily). I bought them from a PoA listing. @pigpenracing lists some ANR sets here from time to time.
     
  7. texasclouds

    texasclouds Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have been using the schools Faro headsets. They get the job done but the first time you turn on the noise cancelling Bose A20 you will be like, oh I understand now. I plan to get A20 or DC OneX when i finish ppl.
     
  8. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    My FBO lets me rent one pair but they are a POS even my CFI said I should make an investment. He said David Clark 10-13.4 are the best bang for buck in the passive world. If I want to go into the ANR World there is obviously the Bose A20 but thats a SERIOUS investment. There is also the Lightspeed Zulu 3 which is the competitor of A20 for 200-300 less.

    Right now in flight training I cannot imagine using the music feature or bluetooth, but looking down the runway, if you will, I know i would use that feature with Foreflight and for the longer cross country flights. I would throw it on my 12 Month 0 APR Promo Amazon card if I was going to spend the cash but I'm seriously considering Zulu 3 I just don't want to get it if it really is not necessary
     
  9. Adventure Aviator

    Adventure Aviator Filing Flight Plan

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    Bose A20 with bluetooth so foreflight can send you alerts through the headset.. This is the bomb setup !
     
  10. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Go to a major air show,try them all on for comfort,then try to borrow or rent a few different pairs. I use Bose .
     
  11. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't spend more than $250-300 until you know for sure you are going to finish the private training.
     
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  12. Half Fast

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    I was perfectly fine with a $100 ASA headset for a long time. Good attenuation, good sound, lifetime warranty. When I started carrying a passenger I needed another headset, so I bought myself a Gulf Coast Avionics ANR on sale at Sun n Fun for $200. Works great. I relegated the ASA to passenger use.

    Then my wife flew with me. She complained about the ASAs. Tried my GCA set and didn’t like that either. Uncomfortable, gave her a headache,.... So we went shopping. The only thing she found comfortable was the $900 DC-One-X. Grumble grumble.....

    The ASAs are a great buy. My suggestion is to start with them, and later if you want something better keep the ASAs for backup or passenger use.

    Anyway, be sure to get a set of slip-on cloth ear covers. Makes a world of difference for comfort.
     
  13. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing Pattern Altitude

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  14. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My local FBO had the Lightspeeds for sale and let me try that. A friend had the Bose and let me try that. I chose the Bose (hey, that rhymes), but either was a good headset.
    Worse comes to worse, he can sell his gently used ANR headset and recoup a lot of the cost though.
     
  15. hamer

    hamer Pre-Flight

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    I borrowed my CFIs for a little while, then I bought myself a pair of the David Clarks (H10-13.4) to finish up my training. Even after PPL it's all you REALLY need. Once I bought my own airplane I bought a set of Bose since I was going on longer flights and they don't clamp down as hard. Anything over the usual 1-2hr flight you'll be thankful for. I also figured when I carry a passenger they'd enjoy the music.
     
  16. asicer

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    This.

    Once you get your ticket, reward yourself with a fancy headset and save this one for your first passengers.
     
  17. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route

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    If at all possible try before you buy. How headsets fit your head is critical. DC makes a tough headset of high quality and I can’t wear them for more than a 1/2 hour. I’ve got AVCOMMs that I used for private and I bought some older Telex ANR off eBay.
     
  18. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I agree with JSSTEVENS. Everybody's head is different and their preferences are different. Best place to shop is someplace like Oshkosh where you can try a whole bunch to see what you like.

    In this day and age, I'd go with either an ANR or a good "in the ear" type as your preference suits you. While the old passive dave clarks will work, they won't be comfortable in the long run. I'd skip on anything that doesn't give you 20+ db of hearing protection.
     
  19. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    One of the best investments I made very early on was a good headset (I bought the Bose A20). Lightspeed Zulu 3s, Bose A20 are both great choices. I couldn't stand the passive David Clarks.
     
  20. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Line Up and Wait

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    I have ok hearing, (for a 62 y.o.) but also have tinnitus.
    But also, and this probably is the biggie, not used to listening, or deciphering comm calls.

    So my thinking so far is I probably should work on the second point, with the standard DC headphones that our club uses. At least try. I can imagine that better noise cancelling would help a LOT. I don't know what is out there, and from comments here it seems noise cancelling is not a problem for pilots? What about the stall-horn, engine sounds, wind, etc.?

    But I think I better see how far I can get with standard issue, and also until after I get my PPL.
     
  21. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That.

    Got a set of used (but purd near like new) D.C. (as you can see on the left) for less than $100 - they work fine and I am happy to wear them on a 7 hour cross country.
     
  22. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Decided to go with the David Clark's. I liked the idea of having them as my secondary headset once I get my license and then upgrade as a gift for completion!
     
  23. Jim_CAK

    Jim_CAK Pre-takeoff checklist

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    When you get your PPL, treat yourself to a good ANR headset. I used passive headsets for about 18 years and finally got a good ANR headset last year. I wish I would have done that from the beginning.
    I bought the Lightspeed Z3s. Others like Bose. Just try them and see what you like best.
     
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  24. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    @TVProducer you're cracking me up here...you are answering each of your own questions as you are asking them...
    "I know you get what you pay for...will I get what I pay for?"
    "I know everyone is different to solo...will I be the same as everyone (who are all different)?"
    Ha!

    You keep asking these questions when...you should be studying for that PPL! LOL.
     
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  25. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    POA is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to find. Thanks; I never even knew slip-on cloth covers for headsets existed until your post. My ears don't drain, so sweat accumulates and makes it easy to get ear infections. These covers will help minimize accumulation. I found a set on Amazon. I'll see how they work.
     
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  26. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    I started with ratty flight school rentals. Bought a David Clamp H13.4 stereo headset; liked it as long as I wasn’t flying more than about 2 hours a day. Now I own a Bose A20 (came with the plane) and my QT Halos. The Bose is my pax headset; my wife and I use our Halos. Nothing really wrong with the Bose, I just like the lighter weight and ability to wear a hat with a wide brim. Lotsa sunshine under my canopy!

    My co-owner just bought Lightspeed. Guess he’s not in love with the A20 either.
     
  27. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    More like Bertie Bott's Every Flavour Beans from Harry Potter. Once and a while, you get the one tasting like ear wax
     
  28. jaymark6655

    jaymark6655 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I liked the PA-1171T headset, not too expensive ($140), doesn't have any metal hinges held together by screws on the boom (had a DC headset lose the mic while turning base to final), and pretty comfortable with the faux leather pieces. Liked it so much that I bought my wife the exact same on for Christmas and the kids are getting their youth model.
     
  29. Salty

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    I bought a set of quiet technology halo’s as a cheap starter set during training 3 years ago and still use them. They’ve been great for me.
     
  30. Hippike

    Hippike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    <- that! Started training with the school's DC. Gifted myself a Bose for xmas and never going back to passive!
     
  31. deadeye99

    deadeye99 Filing Flight Plan

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    Perfect. Just go fly.
    Also, if you buy a good headset the resale is 80-90%. No downside to speak of. Get the best.


     
  32. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

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    The DC H10-13.4 is tops for passive. A lightspeed Sierra is a decent entry level ANR set. The Zulus are nicer, but of course $$$. How valuable is your hearing?

    I used passive DCs for years, and switched to ANR when the Lightspeed Zulu came out. No way I'd go back to passives now. It's a huge difference. I'm still using my original Zulu. Get ANR if you can afford it.
     
  33. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Can't go wrong with the DC passives. I bought two of them new on eBay for around $200 each. I have ANR's but rarely bother with them as I rent and don't want to mess with batteries.
     
  34. TVProducer

    TVProducer Pre-Flight

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    Good thing that I already have my written endorsement for Ground and plan on taking the written in the next few weeks. As soon as I got my medical in I completed my ground school training as soon as possible then started flying because I had my base education. Now I just need to keep flying and keep learning in cockpit. I know I answer my own questions many times as my full time job is an Engineer and we engineers tend to a bit loose on the hinges when it comes to our thought processes. Regardless - I am glad I am providing you a form on entertainment ;)
     
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  35. asicer

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    Bonus: hopefully the thought of upgrading will motivate you to be diligent about finishing. :)
     
  36. LongRoadBob

    LongRoadBob Line Up and Wait

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    I was still wondering, are noise cancelling headphones allowed ? Folks mention passive phones, so implicit that they are, but that seems odd to me.

    One isn't allowed to drive with noise cancelling, or any, headphones. I'm guessing there is some regulation of stall horn loudness, we get hearing tests for our med cert.

    Also isn't it essential to hear the motor, and other aural information like wind, etc?

    But it isn't a problem with noise cancelling?
     
  37. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    We didn’t use headsets when I started training. Did not use them for years. Finally picked up a nice AvComm $100 headset, still have it. I have a nice Fario ANR headset now. For a student, the cheapest non-ANR is just fine.
     
  38. Pugs

    Pugs Filing Flight Plan

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    Of course they're allowed. Lots of us using them and they're amazing. I forgot to turn on the noise cancelling on my first flight as a student with my Bose A20. Turned it on, thought the engine had quit.;)

    Yes, the stall warning horn is much quieter so you do need to pay attention if you want that to be a cue to a stall. Not being able to hear the engine much does make you scan the engine instruments more. Hearing is precious, once it's gone it does not come back so protect it with whatever you can.

    Buy the best you can. If, for whatever reason, you decide not to continue flying you will be able to sell a Bose/Lightspeed here or on any other aviation site for 85%+ of your investment.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2018 at 4:38 PM
  39. Half Fast

    Half Fast En-Route

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    I can still hear the engine, but greatly reduced, especially lower frequencies. What it does is help me hear radio and intercom much better.

    Borrow one and try it.
     
  40. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Conversely, I had the batteries in the Bose die in the middle of a flight. I thought the engine was about to grenade. ;)
     
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