Table of Contents

General Information

How To Buy a Headset: A Guide To Get You Started
By Elizabeth A. Tennyson
AOPA Flight Training, April 2001

One of the first pieces of aviation gear most students consider purchasing is a headset. Since choosing the right headset is such a personal decision, it's a good idea to think about what matters most to you before you start to shop. Of course, you'll need a starting point. Just what are your options, and what factors should you consider before investing in a new headset?

Waypoints: A Headset Collection
By Thomas B. Haines
AOPA Pilot, October 1997

I have recently been flying with a variety of new headsets. For years my personal headsets were a pair of David Clark H10-30s. Lately, though, the H10-30s have become the backup set as I have flown with the newer David Clark H10-13.4s.

Product Reviews

Pilot Products: Aloft Technologies: Clarity Aloft Aviation Headset
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, May 2005

In-the-ear headsets have become increasingly popular in the past five years and the attention is well deserved. These svelte designs provide superior long-haul comfort and excellent noise-canceling properties that negate the need for battery-hungry noise-canceling gear. Aloft Technologies is the latest player in this field with its Clarity Aloft Aviation Headset.

Pilot Products: Sennheiser lightweight headsets
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, February 2005

Professional pilots who fly primarily turbine equipment gravitate toward lightweight headsets because the relative quiet in turbine cockpits doesn't require the use of a hard-clamping, around-the-ears headset typically found in piston airplanes. Sennheiser has two answers for the professional pilot with its HMEC25-KA and HMEC45-KA headsets.

Lightspeed ANR headsets
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, July 2003

In recent months, the Lightspeed family of passive and active noise reduction (ANR) headsets has grown by a couple of new members, while others have undergone refinement. When we looked at the 25XL (" Pilot Products," July 2000 Pilot), it was the top of the line for Lightspeed. Now the Thirty 3G has taken over that spot, essentially replacing the 25XL and adding to it a personal equalizer with bass and treble boost selections (for improved music listening) and a cell-phone interface that allows for hands-free talking while on the ground (handy for obtaining a clearance at satellite airports).

AOPA Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes
All Dressed Up and Ready for Its New Owner
By Alton K. Marsh
AOPA Pilot, May 2003
Sennheiser headsets

Complimenting the PM1200 is Sennheiser's HMEC 300 active-noise-reduction headset for high-noise environments such as those in helicopters, aerobatic airplanes, and biplanes. Sennheiser provided three of them, two for the passengers in the front cockpit and one for the pilot in the rear.

Flightcom Classic ANR headset
By Alton K. Marsh
AOPA Pilot, October 2002

Other headset companies had better watch their six, as the fighter pilots like to say. (In case you don't speak fighter pilot, that means be careful of who is behind you.) At $389, the Flightcom Classic ANR (active noise reduction) headset appears to offer all the advantages of comparable noise-canceling headsets costing twice as much.

Telex Stratus 50-D ANR headset
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, August 2002

Telex's latest active noise reduction (ANR) headset, the Stratus 50-D, attacks noise from both angles. The cushy, sink-down-into-'em-and-get-comfy ear cups supply passive noise protection, and control the squish factor with a three-position dial that lets you adjust the headset's clamping action to fit your taste.

Panther Electronics C.A.T. System headset
By Peter A. Bedell
AOPA Pilot, October 2001

For years headset manufacturers have tried to make the traditional aviation headset as comfortable as possible. Today's models are lighter than ever and use sophisticated electronics to cancel out noise. One company, however, has done away with the often clamp-like headset apparatus in favor of hearing-aid-like devices that contain a speaker buried in one earpiece and a microphone in the other.

Lightspeed QFR Solo and X-C headsets
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, May 2001

You can't have it both ways - you're going to have to choose a headset, and it's going to be either a solid passive model or a reliable active noise reduction (ANR) set. That's the tough decision to make. The good news is, whichever choice you make, if you select between Lightspeed's new QFR Solo and X-C headsets, you'll come out OK.

Pilot Products: Pilot Communications PA-1779 XL(P)
By Thomas A. Horne
AOPA Pilot, February 2001

Pilot Communications has come out with a brand-new version of its popular PA-1779 XL noise-attenuating headset. The straight 1779 XLs are noted for their excellent noise-attenuation properties, comfort, and integral battery packs - which reside within one of the ear cups, and thus relieve pilots of the bother of external battery boxes. The new XL(P) differs in that it's designed both for portability and hard-wired installation.

Pilot Products: Headsets Inc. EM-1
By Peter A. Bedell
AOPA Pilot, January 2001

Headsets Inc. made a name for itself with its conversion kits, which transform many popular passive-attenuation headsets into active noise reduction (ANR) models. In 1997, we converted my faithful David Clark H10-13.4 to ANR with the Headsets Inc. conversion kit (see " Pilot Products," August 1997 Pilot). That headset is still my favorite and performs very well. And David Clark, despite the fact that we had heavily modified one of its headsets, still honored its legendary warranty when the microphone recently began malfunctioning.

Pilot Products: Avcomm AC-454 Headset
By Julie K. Boatman
AOPA Pilot, November 2000

In the current era of glamorous active noise reduction (ANR) headsets, it's nice to know that some companies are out there making the basic models better. Aviation Communications recently added the AC-454 to its Avcomm line of products, with a couple of important updates.

Pilot Products: Lightspeed 25XL headset
Michael P. Collins
AOPA Pilot, July 2000

Lightspeed Aviation of Portland, Oregon, is no newcomer to the crowded active noise-reduction (ANR) headset arena, having introduced its 20K headset in 1996 (see " Pilot Products: Lightspeed 20K ANR," November 1997 Pilot). All of its subsequent headsets were ANR models as well. Lightspeed says that its newest offering, the 25XL, will provide 25 to 28 decibels of active noise cancellation-in addition to 22 dB of passive noise reduction.

Flightcom Denali
Peter A. Bedell
AOPA Pilot, May 2000

Flightcom's Denali headset was a little late hitting the streets, but by all initial indications it appears that it was worth the wait. For months now we have been seeing the ads for the eye-catching Piper Cub-yellow headset appearing in magazines, and, like the pain-reliever commercial on TV says, the Denali is "little, yellow, different." And yes, you can get it in another color, graphite blue.

Pilot Products: Sennheiser HMEC300 ANR headset
By Bruce Landsberg
AOPA Pilot, January 2000

Sennheiser recently introduced a new line of headsets for general aviation airplanes and helicopters called the Sound of Silence series. We tested the top-of-the-line $599 HMEC300, which features the company's NoiseGard active noise canceling.

Pilot Products: Quiet Flight cabin noise-canceling system
By Peter A. Bedell
AOPA Pilot, October 1999

In the seemingly eternal quest for the quiet cockpit, a few owners of high-end turboprops have opted for cabin noise-canceling systems. But at a cost of $35,000 for these systems, owners of smaller airplanes are, shall we say, not interested. However, a new company called Quiet Flight LLC has introduced what it claims is the first affordable cabin noise-canceling system, with a price tag starting at $4,995 for single-engine airplanes.

Headset roundup, Earily quiet
AOPA Pilot editors test the latest in headsets
AOPA Pilot, December 1998

While the efforts taken to quiet the cabins of light general aviation airplanes have not progressed far in the last few decades, the leaps made in headset and intercom technology in just the past five years have been huge. Today, pilots are inundated with new headset offerings.

Pilot Products: Aearo Peltor Stratosphere
By Peter A. Bedell
AOPA Pilot, July 1998

Aearo Peltor has entered a player into the active noise canceling headset arena with the introduction of the model 7104 ANR Stratosphere headset. Peltor engineers have located all of the active noise canceling hardware within the headset ear cups, including the 9-volt battery. Despite the addition of those components, the headset weighs in at an acceptable 15.5 ounces, not including the detachable cord.

Updated Wednesday, April 20, 2005 8:39:45 AM