NFlight, the company popular with action cam enthusiasts and those looking to up their aviation YouTube game, is now offering the NFlight Nomad, a flexible communication system. Although, to call it a system is maybe overstating what this is. NFlight Nomad is a David Clark microphone that plugs into a consumer headset. It could be a consumer active noise reduction (ANR) headset, in-ear headphones, or a passive headset.
The microphone snaps onto the outside of the headphones with locking tape, creating a headset out of any type of earphone or earbud. A small plug below the mic goes into the audio input of a consumer headset, or you can plug in-ear headphones into the volume box. Then you plug in the aviation plugs. You now have a passive or active noise canceling headset for a fraction of the cost.
Saving money is one thing, but flexibility is maybe the bigger benefit. Switching from an ANR in a Cessna to a passive headphone in a radial or aerobatic airplane is as easy as unsnapping and unplugging. Or you can stay up to date with the latest consumer headphones and bring the mic to each new pair. It’s also a great way to have a cheaper backup headset or one for infrequent passengers.
Options include TSO, various plugs, Bluetooth, and other accessories. As with NFlightCam, the components are high quality and the service great.
Price: $249.99 to $449.99
By Ian J. Twombly
In our throwaway culture, it is refreshing to see companies investing in services that repair and refresh existing products. Lightspeed Aviation has adopted this strategy with a robust trade-up incentive, but more to the point, a program that will refresh your Lightspeed Zulu 2 and effectively make it a Zulu 3. My interest in this went beyond the pragmatic and into the personal.
I am tough on headsets. I throw them in bags without properly caring for the cables or microphone. I leave them in hot airplanes. I store them in a closed, humid environment at home, and I consider the case optional. It’s not surprising that my 10-year-old Lightspeed Zulu 2 was showing its age. The rubber cable wrap was fraying, the ear seals and head pad were leaving black flecks on everything, and the control box nonslip grip had turned into nonslip goo.
Lightspeed will take your Zulu 2 and refurbish it while upgrading it to a Zulu 3. They replace the ear seals and head pad, replace the cables with the Zulu 3’s braided cables, change out the control box, and add in a new mic muff and some other finishing touches. What you get is something like an overhauled engine. It’s your well-loved piece of equipment, but there are enough new parts that it looks new.
I hesitated to take Lightspeed up on their offer to refurb my headset because I fretted about the downtime, but this wasn’t an issue. Including coast-to-coast shipping and the time to do the work, it was out of my hands for fewer than 10 days. The technicians included an intake inspection and a list of upgraded parts.
It can be enticing when a new product comes out to throw your perfectly good current model to the side, especially if it’s starting to show its age. With the conversion program Lightspeed has created something that gives us the best of both worlds—the newest model for a great price and no waste.