You have taken your intro flight, picked up your medical and are thinking.. now what? Well, now you have the tough task of picking out the perfect headset. There are a ton of headsets on the market right now. Some have all the bells and whistles but might not be right for what you are planning to do. Below are a few companies and links to their websites. It is important to do your own research so you find the right headset for you!
Bose – One of the best headets money can buy.
David Clark – Offers a vast majority of headsets. From starter headsets to professional headsets. Plus the customer service is great! Would recommend
LightSpeed – Make quality headsets that rival Bose. Offer a few differnt options at different price points.
Sigtronics – Great if you are on a tight budget.
What to look for in a headset?
Does it have ANR?
ANR – is Active Noise Reduction. It helps cancel out the noise that is being produced by your airplane. It also protects your ears from any hearing loss. This is something to seriously consider if you plan on flying for most of your life. I haven’t met someone who decides to be a pilot that doesn’t plan on flying their entire life.
**Important** ANR can be affected based on the type of sunglasses you are wearing. So make sure your current sunglasses or sunglasses you have in mind to buy wont interfere with this feature.
Does it let you play music?
This is a major selling point, having the ability to listen to music while flying in non sterile cockpit situations is huge. I can’t tell you how many times I have been on a long cross country and been very bored. That is solved with this feature.
**Important disclaimer. Use this feature with responsibility and great judgement. Pilot to Pilot does not recommend listening to music when you are preparing to land, in a stressful situation, or even in IFR unless you are extremely comfortable in IFR conditions. Use it wisely and don’t let it become a distraction**
Is the headset comfortable?
This is a feature that is different for everyone. What is comfortable for you might be painful for someone else. It is important to try on as many headsets as possible. Once you a buy a headset you are going to be stuck with it for a while. So make sure it is comfortable. Your head will thank you.
What Pilot to Pilot recommends
If you don’t have to max out a credit card, or take money away from flying. Then we at Pilot to Pilot recommend getting the Bose A20 or LightSpeed Zulu series. Both are fantastic headsets, with excellent ANR and great sound. It is important for you to try on BOTH headsets and conclude which one is right for you.
**Bonus – LightSpeed comes with a cool carrying case. Bose’s carrying case is awful.
Now, if you can’t afford the nicest headset in the world. Don’t worry, there are some pretty great headsets in the affordable range. Check out entry level David Clarks. They are great for the training stage. Once you start making money as a commercial pilot maybe then you can spoil yourself and get a Bose or LightSpeed.
If you take this approach, know that most companies will give you money in return for you older headset. Only do this if you are getting a lot in return. You don’t know how handy having an extra headset can be. Especially if you have to send your nice ANR headset off to get repaired.
Comment below on what headset you love to use!
*Photo credit goes to @coastflighttraining*