Doug Ranly

Three myths about active noise reduction headsets

ANR headsets make long flights in noisy general aviation airplanes more bearable. The standard passive headset reduces noise levels by 18-24 decibels; ANR headsets put an additional 10-25 decibels of reduction on top of that. But there is still pushback from those who want to continue to get a flashlight and shoes to go use the outhouse. Here are the top three myths we have heard when it comes to ANR headsets—and why they are wrong.

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Using a portable radio as your primary radio

While the general consensus is that portable radios don’t belong as a primary source, there are still plenty of aircraft out there that don’t have radios at all. Some were manufactured without electrical systems. Others might be homebuilt ultralights or Light Sport Aircraft. The question we like to ask: “Is a portable radio setup better than no radio at all?” The resounding answer is “yes.” 

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Sidetone in aviation headsets: what is it and how does it work?

Pilots like to hear themselves talk. Well, at least my wife says we do. This is especially true when transmitting radio communications. This is known as sidetone. When we press the push-to-talk (PTT) switch, not only does the world get to hear my amazingly professional voice, I get to hear it too. You won’t find sidetone on cell phones or gaming headsets, but it’s common, if not expected, in aviation.

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Top 4 Passive Aviation Headsets for Student Pilots

When looking at student pilot headsets, the first thing to consider is your budget. The saying, “You get what you pay for” is pretty accurate when it comes to aviation headsets. Many student pilots are on a tight budget. This has them looking towards less expensive passive headsets. Most pilots will start out with one of these headsets, then graduate to an active noise canceling headset once they get their license. Their original passive headset then becomes a passenger headset.

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Lightspeed Aviation Headset Comparison - Sierra vs. Zulu 3

Based near Portland, Oregon, Lightspeed Aviation is a company deeply rooted in the aviation industry. They are well known for providing great pilot headsets at a good value, backed by a friendly support team. The premium Zulu 3 and budget-friendly Sierra have become top choices for pilots of all ratings.

You might ask yourself, “Besides $200, what’s the difference between the two?”

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David Clark passive headsets - how to choose the right one

The famous green domes of David Clark headsets have been around longer than most of us have been flying, with a legendary reputation for durability. A little known fact is that David Clark started in aerospace by making high altitude spacesuits for the military. Communication became part of the suits, so speakers and microphones were developed. David Clark made their first pilot headset in 1975 and quickly became a mainstay in cockpits around the world.

 

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