One important thing about flying is safety. Pilot fatigue or pilot focus is a big safety issue. Roaring engines, cockpit noises can affect pilot’s focus and as time goes by will cause pilot fatigue. Moreover, a long term noise exposure will increase the risk of hearing loss at an early age. In this article we will help you choosing the best aviation headset following your particular needs.
From the very beginning of your pilot training you will have to choose a headset that fits your aviation needs. Of course it depends on where you’ll end up, flying jets that are less noisy than high-performance singles or flying piston engines from time to time.
The greatest difference in headsets are Active Noise Reduction headsets (ANR) or Passive headsets.
The ANRs are fitted with a noise reduction device that considerably helps lowering the blast, most of them also have several options such as bluetooth connection, aux-jack connection and of course a greater price than the Passive headsets.
Here is a list of the best aviation headsets and comparison.
Passive Pilot Headsets
The David Clark series are the most sold passive headsets in the world. Its iconic green and vintage touch makes it remarkable. Very comfortable for your pilot training, the H10-13.4 will surely give you entire satisfaction but you will shortly want to give a try to the ANR series from David Clark.
The Telex Echelon 20 is also a classic, maybe too old fashioned since a couple of years but it has great comfort, hearing protection and value.
Sennheiser has also a wide range of headsets that are reliable and affordable.
Active Noise Reduction Headsets (ANRs)
Bose offers the best in ANRs, it was leading the business with its previous model the Bose X and its upgrade is doing amazing performances: the Bose A20 with many connectivity options as Bluetooth, aux-jack connection that allows you to receive and pass calls form the cockpit or listen to music. It has of course a by-pass system that gives priority to ATC. From my point of view some of those features are useless when it comes to flying an airplane but as a passengers why not.
The Bose A20 offers great comfort and light weight, the best noise attenuation which in the other hand can disturb a pilot used to a passive headset, in fact you nearly don’t hear the engines anymore. No more indications of engine overspeed and so on… Another important fact is the price… approximately 1000$ but over a long term period it surely worth it!
Sennheiser, LightSpeed and David Clark also have their word to say in the noise canceling aviation headsets and they offer other looks, ear seals and a wider price range if you look for lower prices. From 500$ to 900$.
In 2014, the FARO G2 made a great score on the ANRs market by its price-quality ratio but many pilots pointed out that it was sparsely comfortable. I never tried it so…
Choosing the best aviation headset that will fit all your needs will be a question of budget, type of flights you operate and personal tastes. Keep in mind that the better you feel in the cockpit the better the flight will be!