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Top 10 Aviation Headsets 2017

Given that pretty much everybody owns their own aircraft in recent times, you will likely need to pick up a couple of these aviation headsets. They may be designed to offer a cozy and clear shape of communique at the same time as minimizing the noises commonplace in aircraft cockpits.

Bose A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth Dual Plug Cable, BlackFARO G2 ANR (Active Noise Reduction) Premium Pilot Aviation Headset with Mp3 Input (Available adapters for aviation headset connectors, helicopter adapter, universal pilot headset, standard dual GA adapter universal support) - GrayLightspeed Zulu PFX ANR Aviation Headset (Dual GA Plugs)David Clark DC ONE-X ENC HeadsetLightspeed Tango Wireless Aviation HeadsetFARO G3 ANR Aviation Headset (Active Noise Reduction) Carbon Fiber Premium Pilot Headset with BluetoothDavid Clark DC PRO-X Hybrid Electronic Noise-Cancelling Aviation HeadsetLightspeed SIERRA ANR Aviation HeadsetDavid Clark H10-13.4 Aviation HeadsetKORE AVIATION KA-1 Premium Gel Ear Seal PNR Pilot Aviation Headset with MP3 Support and Carrying Case

Active Noise Reduction Versus Passive Noise Reduction


One of the first, and arguably most important, decisions that you have to make when choosing a new aviation headset is whether you prefer active noise reduction — sometimes referred to as active noise cancellation — or passive noise reduction.

ANR headphones work by canceling out specific sound frequencies. A small microphone located in the earcup of an ANR headset picks up outside noise. The noise is then transferred to the headset's electronics, which power a small speaker inside of the earcup. This small speaker produces an exact replica of the outside noises, while at the same time the electronics add a signal that is 180-degrees out of phase with the original sounds sent by the microphone. A 180-degree, out-of-phase sound is an exact opposite frequency of the original sound. These two opposing frequencies cancel each other out, resulting in silence.

This doesn't mean that ANR headsets will leave you unable to hear anything going on around you. They are tuned to mainly cancel out low-frequency and repetitive sounds or those that contain a very limited number of frequencies — think the droning of an engine or hum of a large electronic device. High-frequency or constantly changing sounds, like somebody's voice or music, are more difficult to cancel out and will generally pass right through an ANR headset with minimal reduction. The fact that changing sounds is difficult to cancel out also means that if a constant low-frequency sound all of the sudden experiences a change in frequency, like an engine suddenly reducing in power or a propeller slowing down, it should still be noticeable through ANR headphones.

PNR headsets work in a very different manner. Rather than using technology and opposing frequencies to cancel out sounds, they simply use soundproofing to muffle exterior noises. It is akin to what happens when you place your hands over your ears, though much more effective. To muffle exterior sounds, a PNR headset will make use of dense foam or gel combined with a pressure seal. The clamping action created by a headset's headband keeps the earcups firmly placed on the side of your head to create a seal that prevents exterior noises from entering.

The Different Types Of Microphones In Aviation Headsets


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After determining whether your prefer an ANR or PNR headset, the next thing to look at is the type of microphone a given model uses. The primary types of microphones used in aviation headsets are electric, carbon, and dynamic. Electric microphones are the smallest and lightest of the three. They make use of a charged, flexible diaphragm that is set a very specific distance away from a fixed plate. As a user speaks into the microphone, the sound waves vibrate the diaphragm, causing slight changes in its distance from the plate. These changes are translated into electrical signals and then transmitted as sound. Electric microphones are the most effective at canceling extraneous noise and interference.

Carbon microphones are generally the least expensive of the three. They consist of two metal plates, which are separated by minute granules of carbon. When a user speaks into a carbon microphone, the sound waves hit the first plate, making it vibrate and exert a varying amount of pressure on the granules. The pressure affects the amount of electrical resistance the granules create. At the same time, a steady current is passed between the two plates. The varying electrical resistance causes a modulation in the current that mimics the varying pressure of the sound waves. These fluctuations are then amplified and transmitted. Unfortunately, carbon microphones have the narrowest frequency range of the three and they often produce a high amount of unwanted electrical noise.

Dynamic microphones offer a compromise between the high cost of electric mics and the low frequency range of carbon microphones. Inside of a dynamic microphone, there is a coil of wire attached to a diaphragm. This diaphragm is surrounded by a strong magnetic field. When a user speaks into a dynamic mic, the sound waves move the diaphragm and coil, generating an electrical signal. The voltage of this signal varies based on the amplitude and frequency of the sound waves. Despite being carefully shielded in aviation headsets, the magnetic field of dynamic microphones is susceptible to electromagnetic interference, which can result in garbled transmissions.

Other Considerations For Choosing An Aviation Headset


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Typically, aviation headsets are worn for extended periods of time. For this reason, comfort is a major factor in how much you will like a particular headset. Models that are too tight can quickly cause a pounding a compression headache, while models that are too loose won't be very effective at reducing outside noises. The best way to ensure that an aviation headset will fit you well is to choose a model that allows for a lot of adjustment. The more adjustment the headband allows, the easier it will be to position the earcups comfortably while ensuring they create a nice seal at the same time.

You should also consider microphone boom adjustability. Some models have a fully adjustable boom that allows for precise placement, some may just have a hinge or two that let you move the mic closer or further from your mouth, and some may not be adjustable at all. Another nice feature some models have is a boom that swings all the way around. This allows you to wear the mic on the left or right side to suit your preference. As with headband adjustability, the more adjustable its microphone boom is, the more likely that aviation headset is to fit you comfortably.

The final considerations should be weight, padding material, and the amount of padding. Heavy headsets can strain the neck when worn for long periods of time and should be avoided. A good amount of padding around the ears and on the headband is nice, but can also add to weight and bulk. You'll have to find the right balance between too much and too little padding. Finally, consider the materials of which the padding is comprised. Gel padding is often heavier than foam, but many feel it provides better cushioning. A vinyl cover will often cause you to sweat more than a cotton cover, but usually creates a better seal.


#10.KORE AVIATION KA-1 Premium Gel Ear Seal PNR Pilot Aviation Headset with MP3 Support and Carrying Case


KORE AVIATION's KA-1 is the perfect aviation headset for all: pilots, passengers, instructors, student pilots, flight schools and more. It provides maximum comfort with ultra-soft gel ear seals, clear sound with exceptional noise reduction, durability built to last and luxury you can feel with the highest-quality materials at the best value price. Designed, engineered, and manufactured by pilots and headset experts with over 30 years of experience, KORE AVIATION guarantees quality with a 5-year Manufacturer's Warranty serviced in Pilot Care Centers located in the U.S.


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#9.David Clark H10-13.4 Aviation Headset


I purchased this headset for my wife to use while we fly. It didn't need to be Bluetooth or sound canceling capable, so for the money, this is a really nice headset. I have used it myself to compare to my more sophisticated Bluetooth/sound canceling headset, and this set is remarkably quiet. A great buy for use by a passenger, or perhaps a pilot trainee.


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#8.Lightspeed SIERRA ANR Aviation Headset


Step up to the world of premium ANR headsets with the value-priced Sierra. Picked as the "hands-down favorite" in Aviation Consumer's real-world test of budget ANR headsets, Sierra delivers the comfort, quiet, and advanced features you've come to expect from Lightspeed. Active noise reduction (ANR) and Bluetooth connectivity bring top-of-the-line features to Sierra. Plush ear seals and sturdy fiber reinforced polymer construction add to Sierra's durability.


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#7.David Clark DC PRO-X Hybrid Electronic Noise-Cancelling Aviation Headset


Superior technology. Superior comfort. Superior performance. All in a sleek, new, supra-aural design. The new DC PRO-X from David Clark Company offers best-in-class Hybrid electronic noise cancellation and Bluetooth® wireless technology. Digital Signal Processing (DSP) provides high fidelity audio for superior communications and music listening. Dual voice coil earphone drivers ensure fail-safe operation. And plush, leatherette ear seals and head pad to cradle you in comfort. All supported by a rugged, yet feather-light magnesium alloy suspension.


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#6.FARO G3 ANR Aviation Headset (Active Noise Reduction) Carbon Fiber Premium Pilot Headset with Bluetooth


The carbon fiber isn't just a marketing thing, this headset is really incredibly light. It almost feels like its a dummy unit with nothing inside. I checked the stats and yup, it is 20% lighter than the Bose A20 and just as comfortable and quiet. This is now my primary headset and bought two more for passengers.


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#5.Lightspeed Tango Wireless Aviation Headset


The first premium wireless aviation headset, Tango blends outstanding noise cancellation, renowned Lightspeed comfort, and wireless convenience. With no cables to get in the way and critical controls — including volume and ComPriority™ — located on the headset, Tango creates an entirely new level of flying enjoyment and untethered freedom.


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#4.David Clark DC ONE-X ENC Headset


Good fit, great sound. Just a reminder, the Unit comes from the factory with the automatic shutoff disabled. You must manually enable the automatic shutoff. It only cost me one battery before I read instructions and manually reset automatic shut off. Good stuff.


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#3.Lightspeed Zulu PFX ANR Aviation Headset (Dual GA Plugs)


With Zulu PFX, Lightspeed Aviation has leveraged cutting-edge technology, world-class engineers, and superior customer knowledge to leapfrog the competition and produce the world's quietest premium ANR headset for aviators. Lightspeed's proprietary PFX technology creates a uniquely personal flying experience by actively conforming to your ears, your environment, and your preferences.


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#2.FARO G2 ANR (Active Noise Reduction) Premium Pilot Aviation Headset with Mp3 Input (Available adapters for aviation headset connectors, helicopter adapter, universal pilot headset, standard dual GA adapter universal support) - Gray


The All-New G2 Aviation Headset Large Soft Head Pad Extra Comfort for even long cross-country flights. Noise Canceling Electret Microphone Fully adjustable microphone beam with windscreen allows ATC and your companions to hear you loud and clear. No Battery needed. MP3/Radio/iPod/iPad Compatible Bring your favorite songs on board! Simply plug-in the 3.5 mm auxiliary cable (included) into your Faro headset and take the joy of flying to a whole new level.


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#1.Bose A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth Dual Plug Cable, Black


No matter why you fly, the Bose A20 Aviation Headset is engineered to improve the experience. It provides acclaimed noise reduction and clear audio with active equalization. Plus, a comfortable fit with minimal clamping force that makes even your longest flights more enjoyable. Features for this model include a high-performance electret microphone with a Bluetooth audio and communications interface, wired audio input, customizable audio prioritization and intuitive operation for plug-and-fly convenience.


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