Whether you're a student pilot, a private pilot, or an airline captain, you might be looking for the best aviation headset you can buy. There are several factors involved in rating a headset as the best aviation headset. This article will discuss those elements and point you in the right direction in your quest for the best headset for pilots.
The first thing to consider when choosing an aviation headset is active noise reduction versus passive noise reduction capabilities. Active noise reduction (ANR) headsets use advanced technology to cancel out cockpit noise. These headsets work very well, but of course, you have to pay extra for that benefit.
If your budget allows, I would always go with the ANR headsets. If you can't afford that luxury, find the passive noise reduction headset with the lowest decibel rating as possible. You can find websites that will give you that information or just check the manufacturers site for ratings.
In the ANR category the best aviation headsets are the Bose a20, the Lightspeed Zulu.2 and the David Clark X11 ENC headsets. These range in price from $831.00 to $1,095.00. Expensive, I know, but worth the price.
The way to find the best aviation headset in the passive noise reduction category is to compare the decibel ratings. Most have a dB rating of 23 or 24, but check before you buy. The lower the rating, the better. Also choose a headset with ear cups that completely enclose your ears. This will help cut down on noise, too.
Another factor to consider when choosing the best aviation headset, is comfort. Most typical flights last a minimum of an hour and can easily go to six or eight hours a day. Professional pilots can log 20 or 30 hours every week.
The point is, you don't want your headset clamping on your head like a vise for all those hours. You could easily develop a headache which detracts from the fun of flying, for sure.
Look for headsets that have padding underneath the top cross-piece. This is another part of a headset that can create uncomfortable pressure on your head, as well.
One other thing to consider when looking for the best aviation headset is the warranty. Of course, the longer the warranty the better, but also check on the quality of each manufacturer's customer service record. Read as many reviews as possible and pay special attention to how well problems were resolved.
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