Aviation Headsets - Review for Pilots - Dutch Pilot Girl

Aviation Headsets for Pilots – 2017 Review

Aviation headsets, another essential piece of equipment for any pilot. Unfortunately aviation headsets for pilots are quite expensive and since you will most likely use them on a daily basis it is important to review your options. You don’t want to waste money do you? Hence, this article! I will be your guide and explain the basics, what you should keep in mind and tell you about my favorite. Aviation headsets for pilots can last a lifetime, if you buy a good one ;)!

Flying Singe Engine Aircraft

Are you flying a small aircraft? In that case you will probably not spend more than 4 hours per day in a tiny space called a cockpit. Most likely you will not fly on a daily basis either. That is why, in my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to invest in an expensive headset in this case. The price difference between a basic and expensive aviation headset is astonishing and you need to ask yourself; Do I need a noise cancelling headset? One that fits your head as if you aren’t wearing any? Does it need to have fancy options like being able to listen to music? During my flight training in Arizona I used a cheap and basic headset that all students were using (more about that one below). You don’t see many pilots flying Cessna’s with a Bose headset, unless they are instructors.

Flying Jets

Spending more than 8 hours in a cockpit? Better cover your ears properly! Continuous exposure to a lot of background noise will contribute to tiredness, stress and in the long run you will lose the ability to hear certain frequencies. When you fly commercially it is definitely worth investing money on a good aviation headset. Noise cancellation, certain features and definitely comfort are desired by many airline pilots. The expensive aviation headsets fit better which prevents your ears from hurting after a days work.

Aviation Headsets - Review for Pilots - Dutch Pilot GirlThe ASA HS-1 is the aviation headset I used during my flight training. This relatively cheap headset will do just fine while flying small aircraft. Probably the reason why many flight schools promote this one 🙂 Comfortable, good quality and for a reasonable price. So in case you don’t want to spend loads of money and are in flight training or fly single engine aircrafts for fun, look no further!

Aviation Headsets - Review for Pilots - Dutch Pilot GirlThis super soft and double foam headset is a perfect aviation headset for pilots that want a little bit of everything. The David Clark H10-13.4 is a very comfortable headset with gel and undercut ear seals to protect your ears from noise and will prevent them from hurting. The low-profile volume control knob with detent settings is great when flying in different aircraft with different noise levels. A little bit more expensive than the ASA HS-1 Aviation Headset but also a lot better to be honest. Even some airline pilots use this headset. There is also an advanced noise-cancelling microphone available for this headset (in case you are looking for this feature). This aviation headset is most commonly seen in the general aviation scene. 

Aviation Headsets - Review for Pilots - Dutch Pilot Girl

Interested in the best aviation headset regardless of the price? Definitely go for the Bose A20. Almost every airline pilot has this one due to clear audio with active equalization, less clamping force and greater active noise reduction than the conventional aviation headsets. The customizable audio prioritization control lets you mute an audio signal when receiving a communication, or mix the two together. Bluetooth or no bluetooth, you can customize this headset just the way you want. The only downside of this headset is the price. However, this one is a real once in a lifetime expense (if you maintain it properly).

I hope the above helped you in forming an image and gave you a clue about what to keep in mind while purchasing aviation headsets. My favorite is for sure the Bose A20! If you liked this article you might be interested in my reviews about Pilot Sunglasses and Pilot Bags as well.

I am interested to hear about your own experiences. What aviation headset do you currently use? Are you happy with that one?

14 thoughts on “Aviation Headsets for Pilots – 2017 Review

  1. Oh my god I just looked all of them up and wow, the Bose A20 is very expensive. I didn’t know, that headsets would be this expensive!

    1. Hi Leon, most pilot headsets are expensive. The quality should be high and the certification process is costly… In general everything thats related to aviation is more expensive 😉 Keep in mind though that when you buy the A20 it is most likely the only headset you will ever purchase. Since pilots use their headsets on a daily basis the investment is actually a solid one 🙂 By the way I replied to your email as well. Have a nice day!

  2. As a pilot your are not allowed to install your own headset when it is not in the documentation. When you install it by yourself it is not certified on the aircraft. That must be done by a design organisation. They must proof that the headset can be used jn the plane without any problems in every flight phase.

    1. Hi Roxa, thank you for your comment.

      A headset is not a fixed piece of equipment and can most definitely be exchanged by a pilot. The design of the plugs and connections is especially designed so it is easy for anyone to use their own headsets in any aircraft.

      The only requirement for a headset is that it needs to be TSO Certified. All of the above mentioned headsets are TSO certified. There is also no need to proof that a headset works in “every” flight phase.

      Hence, your statement is false. Imagine having to cancel a flight because there is no maintenance personnel available to replace a faulty headset.

      However, there might be some airlines that place a certain brand of headsets in their cockpits and they can demand that all of their pilots use those headsets instead of using their own.

  3. I discoverd that my Sennheiser HD25 headphone that I use for DJ-ing is also very popular among pilots 😊 It’s also a great noise canceling headphone for loud kids during the flight. 🙌🏻

  4. I just started my flight training. I originally bought a new ASA HS-1. But I didnt like it at all. I found it really pinched my ears, and was uncomfortable. Even when using it on the loosest setting. I ended up buying a used David Clark H10, and this one was SOOOO much better, in every way. Very comfortable, much higher quality.

    About the only good thing with the ASA was the price, it is dirt cheap, but with if I could go back in time, I would have spent the bit extra for the David Clark right off the bat.

  5. I’m just finishing my PPL training and also use the ASA HS-1 they work just find. Although I have to admit that when I fly with my brother in Cirrus SR22T with Bose A20 on it’s whole other dimension. Great article 😉 Have a safe flight

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