Inevitably, there will probably come a time when most of us pilots will need to have some sort of hearing aid. After all, much like losing hair, it can be a natural part of aging. So it comes as no surprise that we get a lot of questions about hearing aids and aviation headsets. Which headset is the most compatible? Does my brand “X” hearing aid work well with ANR headsets? Should I take hearing aids out before starting up?
There have never been better options for premium aviation headsets, as companies like Bose, Lightspeed, David Clark and AKG battle to make the quietest, most comfortable headset on the market. The only problem is that most of these headsets cost $800 or even $1000. For pilots looking to spend less, there's an exciting new option from Faro. Their new Stealth headsets offer high performance without the high price, and are available in passive and active noise reduction models. We sent these headsets up for some test flights with our 24 flight instructors to see how they perform.
The original Zulu headset sparked a wave of innovation in aviation headsets when it was introduced a decade ago, and established Lightspeed as a major player in the premium headset market. Active noise reduction (ANR) headsets were not new at the time, but never before had they been available with so many features at such an attractive price. A lot has changed since then, but Lightspeed is not one to rest on their laurels. They recently released the latest generation, Zulu 3, and as always we went flying to see how it performed.