Question of the Month

Choosing a headset—LightSpeed Zulu 2 or Bose A20?

May 12, 2014

Choosing the right equipment is important for any flying club or pilot. Jordan Fort from Columbia, MO just got his first flying job after college and needs a new headset. He asked on the AOPA Flying Club Network Facebook Page, besides prices, did members have recommendations between the Light Speed Zulu 2 or Bose A20? His question resulted in the expected supporters for each headset, but did generate some good tips as well as other options. Without endorsing either brand, here are some of the actual responses:

Simon Holland:‬‬ I've never owned a Bose set but I enjoy my Zulu's…If you are planning to do some CFI work, I would not recommend active noise canceling headphones...you don't hear subtle engine noise changes...but that does not bother me in my Cherokee...blue tooth feature works well.

Tracy Reed: I love my Clarity Aloft lightweight head set for long flights. The only one where I really do forget it's there, even after a 10-hour day.

Dean Bake:‬‬ Zulu 2s are great. I find them far more comfortable than the Bose A20's. I would recommend you try them both out before you buy.

Fred Waite‬‬: I agree with ‪Dean Bake‬‬. Everyone has different requirements. I tried both and settled on the Bose because it fit better on my head. I would have liked to try an in-ear model, which my instructor swore by, but that wasn't an option.

Shannon Davidson:‬‬ It's all about the fit, ANR is almost identical.

Frank Smith:‬‬ I find Bose to have a smaller profile, which was important to me.

John William Waddell:‬‬ I concur with Frank Smith regarding the smaller Bose profile. I tested both and went with Lightspeed. If possible, before you decide, borrow and test both on a long cross country.

Jim Hogan:‬‬ I like the deeper ear cups on Lightspeed. I still have their 1st generation 25XL - 15 yrs old and working great. Customer service is excellent too.

Jan Squillace‬‬: I've had Bose, but prefer the Zulu2. Comfort appears to depend on the shape of your outer ear. They are both excellent ANR headsets.

Sanjay Castelino:‬‬ Try them both and return the one you don't like. I did that and decided on the Bose but your mileage will definitely vary