Best budget headset

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Dra200832, Jan 9, 2019.

  1. Dra200832

    Dra200832 Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm looking at a brand called UFQ Aviation. And the model is the A7, i cant fine a tone of reviews online but the reviews I have found are very positive. Does anyone have any experience with this brand? The A7 cost around $300 and have very similar features to the Bose A20.
     
  2. camorton

    camorton Filing Flight Plan

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    Unfortunately you kinda get what you pay for in this segment. Sorry for the cliche.

    I have 4 ANR headsets in my plane currently - one each from Bose, Lightspeed, David Clark and an el cheap-o model from Gulf Coast Avionics (which I got for < $300 at an airshow). My conclusions:

    Bose: my top choice, much as I hate to admit it. Is it overpriced? Oh yeah. Can you get something else just as good for less? No. :(
    Lightspeed: a close second to Bose. I'd say it's 85% as good for about 85% of the price.
    David Clark: Quiet, comfy, and built better than the rest, but their tech is one step behind.
    Gulf Coast: Not a bad deal if you only have $300 to spend. Buy one and use it while you save up for something better.

    If the Chinese ever saw what Bose was getting for an A20, they would knock them off and be blowing them out for $200 ea. Lucky for Bose, the aviation headset market is too tiny for them to notice.

    C.
     
  3. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Think about how much money you are going to spend on your flying hobby.. and think about the importance of long term dependability, ear health, fatigue, and comfort. Why anyone tries to get cheap or budget headsets is beyond me. Get the A20 or the Lightspeed, you will not be disappointed. It literally will cost you a fraction of what you spend to fly
     
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  4. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The best thing about aviation is that it makes everything else in life seem so much more affordable.
     
  5. Dra200832

    Dra200832 Filing Flight Plan

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    Both very good points !
     
  6. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing Pattern Altitude

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    I sell like new Lightspeed and Bose if you need a good headset. The UFQ is low grade chinese junk, I tested them. They do not post the bad reviews. My cheapest is a like new Lightspeed Sierra at $525. I also have Zulu 3's, Tango's and Bose X's now.
    Have you tried the Zulu 3? It puts the Bose to shame. I have those at $675
     
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  7. kmacht

    kmacht Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Used cheap david clark headset with a headsets inc anr conversion installed. Converted mine while camping at oshkosh one year. Matched the performance of just about all the other anr headsets being sold at the show and was a fraction of their cost.
     
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  8. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    One of the things that is very important also is just overall comfort... you're going to wear those for dozens of hours, if not hundreds.. you don't want to have the top of your head hurt, or your ears getting into discomfort
     
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  9. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Remove all squatchees!! Anyone who manufactures an aviation themed cap with a squatchee is a friggin' idiot.
     
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  10. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    I have a pair of the Gulf Coast Avionics ANR headsets they are like $250 bucks for the basic set. I actually have the ones with bluetooth because they were running a sale through Barnstormers with 30 bucks off the $250 headset and ran out so they kindly sent me the BT with no extra charge. They are fine for the me I have worn them a few hours at a time no problem. They are no Bose but the ANR is OK. I figure if and when I am ready to upgrade I will just keep these as a passenger set. My current passenger set is just an inexpensive passive set.

    https://www.gulfcoastavionics.com/products/3583-gca-anr.aspx
     
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  11. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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  12. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Craigslist bose or lightspeed.

    Basically what pigpen said


     
  13. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    If that ain't a t-shirt already, it needs to be.
     
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  14. Dra200832

    Dra200832 Filing Flight Plan

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    Thank you for all of the great advice!
     
  15. Dra200832

    Dra200832 Filing Flight Plan

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    As much as I would love to get something like that I cant, I am only 5 hours in to my PPL and working on a budget that already restricts my flying. My budget is about mid 200s for a headset for now.
     
  16. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing Pattern Altitude

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    Get a David Clark H10-13.4 non ANR. The $200 ANR’s are horrible. The David Clark’s are bulletproof
     
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  17. LT4247

    LT4247 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    +1 for DC / Headsets, Inc conversion. DC built to last.
     
  18. arkvet

    arkvet Line Up and Wait

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    And the good thing about those bullet proof DC 13.4’s is that they make a solid pax headset for those brief sight seeing flights when you first earn your ppl.

    That being said I’ve completely retired any non ANR headsets from my plane.

    My bag consists of:
    Zulu 2 (primary headset I wear) $400 eBay

    Zulu 2 - pax $400 eBay

    (2) Bose qc15 + uflymike. = ~ $350 each setup. Great for pax!!! Extremely light and comfy. Would not want for primary due to not reverting to passive if battery dies.

    DAvid Clark DC pro X - for the wife that’s extremely sensitive to head clamp. Very comfortable but not as much noise blocking due to on ear rather than over the ear. ~$700 new... but it’s for the wife.

    Then a handful of $100-$200 passive sets that no one wants to wear. I rarely have more than 5 in the plane so it’s usually not an issue.
     
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  19. sonopoa

    sonopoa Pre-Flight

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    Bose a20
     
  20. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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  21. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I almost like my Bose X more than my new Lightspeed Zulu 3. Less clampy.. and I don't have a big head.
     
  22. dreyna14

    dreyna14 Pre-Flight

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    I told myself for a while that I would never fork out that much for an ANR headset. Eff it, I'm good with PNR. Took a ride in a former coworker's RV and tried her Bose. I spent half the time I wasn't on the controls clicking the headset on and off. Managed to find an A20 with helo plug for $500. Bought the adapter, a new set of cushions and mic muff and never looked back. If you keep an eye out for good deals you will eventually find a great one.

    I will probably convert my 20+ year old Avcomm set to ANR for my lovely wife. If I can fit a new mic boom on it, I'll do that, too.
     
  23. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Says the man with DC and Bose Headsets for sale......o_O

    The MGs I posted are still very much in service in my plane and work quite well. In fact, I prefer them over the DCs of which I have three. Just cuz it’s green, doesn’t mean it’s the best.
     
  24. CC268

    CC268 Final Approach

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    Whenever I've brought a passenger up flying, I've always wanted them to enjoy the experience as much as possible, so I've always let them wear my Bose A20s. I just can't stand the clamping force of DC H10s. I suppose they are fine for short flights. I just got my wife some Zulu 3s, so those will be the new passenger headset. ANR makes all the difference IMO. Much more enjoyable experience.
     
  25. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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  26. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    That's cool. I was always dubious of that style but I've been seeing more of them. I often wear sunglasses when flying and this seems like a good way to alleviate that annoying pressure you get from the headphones crushing the glasses into your head and ears
     
  27. pigpenracing

    pigpenracing Pattern Altitude

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    I don’t sell Dc’s :D
    I used to sell a bunch but now mainly Lightspeed. The DC’s have a much better mic than those Pilot USA headsets that Marv puts his name on.
    I’m sure the Marv’s are fine in a quiet Cessna or Cherokee. I test headsets across a huge range of planes from regular stuff, radial engine planes, Loud aerobatic planes, open cockpit etc. I say the DC’s are best for budget headsets because they work in everything. The Lightspeed is by far the best ANR.
     
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  28. bkspero

    bkspero Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just got a QT Halo headset and have some issues with it. I find the mic boom is way too flimsy and it doesn't keep the mic in position near my lips. As I move my head to scan outside, operate the radios, etc., the cord tugs lightly on the headset and shift the mic position.

    The second issue is that the side tone is too quiet. Sidetone is fine with my other headsets (Lightspeeds of different types and vintages, plus an inexpensive ASA classic).

    Finally, putting the foam earplugs into my ears is inconvenient. They go in fine, but way more trouble than positioning earcups.
     
  29. mkosmo

    mkosmo Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    In-ear isn't for everybody. I used to have trouble with the cord moving the headset, but somehow I got used to it (or maybe finally got the band shaped correctly) and it doesn't do it anymore. I don't think there's any difference in sidetone between that and any of my other headsets, either. Sidetone is a function of the audio panel, not the headset.
     
  30. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    My wife complained about the Halos when she got them... OK.....gave her a set of DCs, then a Sierra.... she didn’t like those either and asked for her Halos backs. Sorry... sold them. Bought another set of Halos after a bit and now she doesn’t complain.

    Perspective is key. short hops, head clamps are fine. Any serious long XC and the true comfort of Halos appears.

     
  31. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Halo pros for me:
    Halo's probably offer the best actual hearing protection (provided they are used properly)
    Are most convenient/least bulky to carry around.
    Decently priced, in comparison.
    If you use the cable clip, it helps with keeping them in position quite a bit...as well as bending them inward to have them hug yer noggin better.
    No batteries
    Quiet enough for me
    Comfy for long hauls

    Cons:
    Hardest to put on/position properly
    Mic boom is too short for me
    Don't like to share due to hygiene concerns, but not a deal killer as I don't like to share any headset much.
    No bluetooth without additional equipment.

    With all that said, I did this experiment more than once, without consequence...but the latest one made me wonder.

    I flew from KY8 to KLOU using only Zulu 3's. All was well.
    On the return flight, I put in the Halo's, and the Zulu 3's over the top of them.
    Using the mic from the Zulu's, and the phones from the Halo's.
    Activated ANR on the Zulu's for extra quietness. Very nice.

    However, I had to ask the controller to repeat himself at different times with that setup. Once, I had to ask 4 times.
    It was a different controller, but I'm not sure that was the issue.
    I did also wonder if the ANR was messing with the sound coming from the Halo's, as the little clear tubes were inside the earcups of the Zulu's.
    hmmm..
     
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  32. bkspero

    bkspero Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My Halos didn't come with a cable clip. Should they have (I don't see one on the QT website)? If not, what one are you using?
     
  33. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Mine came with one. I'd email the company to see if they'll send one.
    Makes a big difference

    Or use a clothespin, binder clip, etc.
     
  34. chemgeek

    chemgeek Line Up and Wait

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    It's hard to beat the DC H10-13.4 for an affordable, if passive headset. It will adequately protect your hearing, and will be indestructible. But a quality ANR from Lightspeed or Bose is by far the best, and more comfortable to wear for long trips.

    I've owned the "cheap" models over the years, and they are all gone/broken. I still own the DCs and Lightspeeds, and their customer support is excellent.
     
  35. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    I'd recommend the Softcomm C-90, but I'm beginning to suspect that Softcomm is no longer in business. I have two C-90s. I had to send one back for repairs once, but that was it. I've had the older pair for about 18 years and the "younger" pair for just under 18 years. Nice, comfortable and I paid about $300 each for them (back in 2000 and 2001). If I had to replace them I'm not sure which way I'd go, but ANR is the only way to go.
     
  36. 1SGBrokePilot

    1SGBrokePilot Filing Flight Plan

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    I did all of my PPL training with the ASA HS-1A the are $109 with a lifetime warranty. I bought the cloth covers which help with comfortability during warm weather flying. I think they work just fine.

    After I passed my PPL, the wife and I flew down to Sporty's and picked up a set of LS Zulu3 and a set of LS Sierra. Honestly cant tell a difference between the two. I wouldn't go bad to passive now.

    Save your $$ and put it toward training. Get the fancy stuff later.
     
  37. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    And the green color tells everyone you're a pilot. When was the last time you saw a movie where the pilot was not wearing DC's?
     
  38. AirplanepilotJJ

    AirplanepilotJJ Filing Flight Plan

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    It's best to save up for an A20, rather than buying cheap headsets over and over again.
    I'm fortunate enough that my flight school has a couple A20s to borrow, but it's always best to have your own, well, because of sanitary reasons.
     
  39. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    No argument except for the side tone. I don’t think the headset knows the difference between a side tone and any other signal.
     
  40. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi.
    To some extent the Head Set you need will depend the Make, Model of the acft you will be flying. For some of the 5700 RPM you may want to look at some ANR, the $300.00 will likely work, no direct experience with them. The expensive models will not work much better, and you need to consider initial cost, maintenance, batteries, what is the passive cancellation without batteries... Most of the ANRs are worthless without the active part, and they seem to have a lot shorter life span.
    If you get a set of passive DC that works for you now, and later you can add to them the ANR circuitry, may be the best all around. I have some Peltors and DCs that are over 20 years old and they work great. I fly with some people that have the Bose and others that cost 5 times more, and they seem to have problems ever other year and I end up using my my old sets and they work all the time.