Zulu or Sierra,... what's the difference?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Rob Schaffer, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    What is the difference between the Zulu and Sierra headsets by Lightspeed? Seems like the Sierra would be a very nice first ANR headset with cell phone interface. The Zulu is pretty much the same, maybe a little lighter and has primarily the same features.
     
  2. gprellwitz

    gprellwitz Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In a nutshell:
    Zulu is a magnesium housing, more expensive ($850), better passive noise reduction, lighter (13 oz).
    Sierra is a plastic housing, less expensive ($650), good passive noise reduction, slightly heavier (16 oz).
     
  3. nddons

    nddons Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've been inching toward purchasing a Zulu, having tried them on and compared them to the Bose for the last couple of years at AirVenture.

    The Zulu feels more comfortable to me, and lo and behold, Sporty's most recent catalog shows Bose headsets for $845 - $5 cheaper than the Zulu! Bose must be feeling the economy too I guess, and is now competitive.

    I wonder if Lightspeed will follow suit.
     
  4. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    i really like my zulus
     
  5. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    I think a trip to Lancaster and the pilot shop is in order. you fly I'll tell you how they look and feel on you :D
     
  6. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Lightspeed has been reading my posts here:

    Zulu...worthless for the right seat due to dangling cords.

    Sierra....FINALLY, Lightspeed has the mike switchable from left to right.
     
  7. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have a Zulu and a Bose (I know, I know)

    Zulu is my headset. Executive pax (i.e. Mrs. Flyersfan31) get the Bose. What she doesn't know won't hurt her. :ihih:
     
  8. TangoWhiskey

    TangoWhiskey Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    The Zulu's are really cold, and you can only see the Sierra's if you're not in the mountains, or if the visibility is greater than 3 miles. When they finally come out with the Tango's, they'll come with a velcro chin strap to keep them from rattling off your head.
     
  9. wby0nder

    wby0nder Cleared for Takeoff

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    Is the Sierra supposed to have the same ANR as the Zulu?

    I compared Tonys Zulu with my 30-3G in my airplane and the Zulu was amazing in terms of noise redux
     
  10. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The LS website is silent on that right now. I suspect that the numbers for the Sierra are closer to the Thirty 3G than the Zulu. I was told that the reason they had gone with the left side only mic was to allow an asymmetrical earcup shape which improved the potential noise redux. Chances are the plastic is slightly worse WRT passive redux as well. That said the Sierra is probably still way better than Bose on passive and just as good on active reduction. The only other concessions the Sierra seems to make compared to the Zulu are higher weight and no bluetooth music input. Wired music and BT phone are included.
     
  11. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Anyone from OSH hear anything about them or get to try them? Looks like they might be shipping now, as Sporty's is showing more data on the headset page now than just coming soon/preorder.

    Can't seem to find any reviews posted online yet.
     
  12. ScottM

    ScottM Taxi to Parking

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    C'mon doesn't everyone want the new $1100 Bose? It is an iHeadset!!
     
  13. stagecoachco

    stagecoachco Line Up and Wait

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    Sure, I want the new Bose headset, but only willing to pay about $500 for them...:cryin:
     
  14. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Rob I spoke to Light speed a few weeks ago they tell me the main difference is the zulus are about 3 oz lighter, have a lower profile, have blue tooth ( good for clearances at wings where you have to call) and has better noise attenuation.
     
  15. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    I spoke to a colleague who works for Bose a couple of days ago at the IEEE International Symposium on EMC about their new headset. The new feature OS Bluetooth for connecting to your cellphone.
     
  16. bdlarkin

    bdlarkin Pre-Flight

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    I looked extensively at the Zulu vs. Sierra vs. Bose A20 (new this year).

    Zulu - $800 at the show (25 discount from all the stores, plus $25 cash from LS tent)
    Sierra - $650
    Bose A20 - $1100

    Zulu vs Sierra - Zulu is a lower profile, and felt better on my head.
    Zulu vs Bose A20 - Both have BT. Zulu allows both music and phone which I loved! Bose only phone features.

    Did I mention Bose was $1100...

    I bought a set of Zulu's
     
  17. kingair300

    kingair300 Filing Flight Plan

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    Today i got to try out the Lightspeed Sierra and it fit my head very comfortable, and also great sound quality with the ANR and its built sturdy. looks like its very well worth the $650 so i will be buying one this week.:thumbsup:
     
  18. sba55

    sba55 En-Route

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    Bingo!!!! That's EXACTLY what I thought of when I went to reply to this thread :D :D ;)
     
  19. bluee

    bluee Line Up and Wait

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  20. kingair300

    kingair300 Filing Flight Plan

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  21. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    After 2 hrs with DC X11's yesterday, I know those aren't right for me. Then after another 6.5 hrs using my passive S-20's,... I definitely decided it's time to upgrade. I was going to try Gary's Zulus when we refueled at LNS on the way home but forgot. He noticed that he gets a ping or a noise in them from the strobes though, anyone else experience that?

    Got home, took some advil and went to bed. Nearly 9 hrs in the plane yesterday. Phew!
     
  22. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    So what didn't you like about the X-11s? The noise attenuation? The clamping force? The smell of mary's perfume on the mic cover? Also just curoius how did you hear ATC on the X-11s when sitting left seat? Mary says she can't hear ATC with them?
     
  23. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    The perfume wasn't that bad :)

    ATC was fuzzy, changed the batteries and the ANR seemed better but the fit wasn't that good I guess and I wasn't impressed. My S-20's blocked the engine noise just as well and I could hear everyone much clearer. I agree that those X11's should be checked by DC.

    My set worked great for the
    Longest flight I have made with them, the clamping just got to me by the end of the day ( granted that was nearly 9 hrs)
     
  24. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Can you let us know what you think after you wear them a little this week? Also, what headset do you currently use that you will be comparing the Sierra to?
     
  25. kingair300

    kingair300 Filing Flight Plan

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    Ok i will let you guys know how i like them. and im currently using a DC H10-13.4
     
  26. kingair300

    kingair300 Filing Flight Plan

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    I have flown with the Sierra now for about 5 hours and it was what i expected. crystal clear audio from ATC and while listening to music, maybe not as quiet ass the Zulu but it gets close. it was also very comfortable. the headset came with a carrying case but i do wish it was a bit bigger because sometimes its hard to close and fold in all the cords in the center. overall i highly recommend this headset for the price and seems like it will last for many years of:blueplane:
     
  27. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Awesome! Thanks for the PIREP. Other people are having similar good reports from what I have read so far. I am going to find a place I can try them on and then make the purchase.
     
  28. billwil

    billwil Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Oh booo hoooo! You had to fly for 9 hours while I worked. :wink2:

    To answer your question, though, I spent some time with the Sierras in Lightspeed's tent at OSH (Tiffany, Stu, and I spent about 8 hours total in that tent doing three days of interviews for the Pilotcast for our Lightspeed Aviation Foundation spotlights). The Sierra was important to Lightspeed because they felt like they had built the company on very successful, plastic, ~$600 ANR headsets and didn't want to permanently abandon that sweet spot in the market. They went all out on the Zulu; best materials, all metal, hand assembled workmanship, best bluetooth features, etc. to be at the very top of the market...which I think they accomplished very well (I'm a very, very satisfied Zulu owner).

    For this year they wanted to go back to their roots and build the best mid-level ANR headset they could. To do this they had to use some more inexpensive materials and processes and leave some of the electronics and features out. What they ended up with are the Sierras which have their roots in the Zulu design (they look and feel like they're from the same family, right), but achieved a price-point that is much lower without sacrificing very much. Both great headsets...but the 20% lighter weight, metal earcups, and metal headband (i.e. moldable) are worth the extra bucks for some people. I could definately see a lot of future cockpits with one or two Zulus and a couple more Sierras that get used less frequently.

    I like the Sierras a lot...but I'm also glad I have the Zulu. They feel better for my head and are just a little quieter...plus the bluetooth music can be nice if you use it. I would say that the Zulu will probably be a little more durable as well because of the construction...but the warranties and service from Lightspeed are so good you almost don't have to worry about that (besides shipping time). It's nice to have choice from arguably one of the best aviation companies out there.

    BTW, if you buy one, don't forget to register your Zulu (or Sierra) and Lightspeed will donate $50 to your favorite aviation cause from the 20 that are affiliated with the Lightspeed Aviation Foundation. If you don't know much about the causes, check out the videos we did to highlight some of them during Oshkosh. You can find the videos at the Pilotcast website (link in my sig).

    Good luck with your choice...I think you'll be happy with either one.
     
  29. dennyleeb

    dennyleeb Line Up and Wait

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    NO DIFFERENCE
    BOTH MADE IN CHINA
     
  30. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Nothing wrong with China. Have you tried to have ANYTHING made in the USA larely? I have!
     
  31. AdamZ

    AdamZ Administrator Management Council Member

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    Bill great write up on the differences. My Zulus are set to ship on Friday yeee haaa
     
  32. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    After calling around, I can't find a place locally to try a pair on. So I ordered a Sierra Headset this morning. Should be at my work Monday, in time for me to fly with them Tuesday morning :thumbsup:
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010
  33. billwil

    billwil Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Congrats Rob and Adam! I think you're going to like these cans. Don't forget to register them so you can have Lightspeed donate money on your behalf.

    Enjoy...and let us know what you think when you fly with them.
     
  34. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    As well they should be, Zulus are the better headset.
     
  35. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    The first statement is false, the second is inconclusive at best and to which my added comment would be, "like everything else", sigh.
     
  36. dennyleeb

    dennyleeb Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah nothing wrong with Communism. :crazy:

    True, China is known for their great craftsmanship. They are the new Germans! LOL

    I just try to buy american. Bose and David Clark are made in USA. Talk bad about our companies all you want see where that gets you.

    The reason the Bose are cheaper on Sporty's is b/c they have a new model out and trying to get rid of stock.

    And just one question the new Bose headsets meet or exceed all FAA and JAA TSO requirements. Can you say that about the Zulu's.
     
  37. dennyleeb

    dennyleeb Line Up and Wait

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  38. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I've never been able to stand wearing DCs for more than 2hrs, and that was after suffering for 1:45 of head squeeze and crown burn. For me they have always been the most uncomfortable headsets ever. After 15 minutes I'm having to fiddle with them looking for a comfortable way to wear them which always eludes me.
     
  39. kingair300

    kingair300 Filing Flight Plan

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    you made the right choice! :thumbsup: Enjoy them like i am!
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  40. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    OOooooo they are here. Ahh, the smell of leather, the squishy soft feel on my noggin,... Bluetooth linked to my iPhone flawlessly,... ANR turned on,... Ahh,.. no roof top unit noise above my cubicle :D

    Can't wait to try out. Hopefully if ceilings are good enough for pattern work at least, I'll get out in the Citabria for some Tailwheel time in the morning.

    For those interested, Cheif Aircraft in Florida is where I got them, with 0.99 cent UPS OVERNIGHT, shipping. :thumbsup: Last week Lightspeed emailed me moving the backorder date to 9/15, but suggested I look at a few of their vendors if I wanted them sooner and provided a list of 4 of them.

    Registered today with Lightspeed, for the donation to Angel Flight East, Thanks Bill for the reminder.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2010