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.
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.
The 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!
This 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.
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?