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?”

Lightspeed Sierra Headset

Lightspeed SierraWith many of the functions and features of high-end ANR headsets, the Lightspeed Sierra is a budget-friendly model for cost-conscious pilots. The Sierra has a fiber reinforced polymer (plastic) construction that is strong yet light. The ANR control box is identical to that of the Zulu 3, however the noise reduction isn’t as quiet. It's still a good performer in most general aviation airplanes, from LSAs to noisy twins. The Bluetooth connectivity is crystal clear and works for listening to music, getting audible alerts from navigation apps, or even making phone calls. 

The adjustable headset easily accommodates heads of all sizes and the reversible microphone is great for when you are sitting in the right seat. Made in the USA and only available in the twin PJ plug (GA) configuration.

Weighs 16 oz. and carries a 5-year warranty.

Lightspeed Sierra - $650


Lightspeed Zulu 3

Lightspeed Zulu 3The Zulu 3 is the premium offering from Lightspeed and you can tell the difference from the moment you pick it up. Constructed with magnesium ear cups and a stainless steel headband, the Zulu 3 feels virtually indestructible. The Bluetooth connectivity is the same as the Sierra, however, the ANR capability is noticeably better. If we had to give an estimate, we’d rank the Zulu 3 ANR approximately 25% quieter than the Sierra.

The Kevlar cables are practically indestructible and almost eliminate any pull on your head from the dangling cable. The Zulu 3 is available in three cable configurations: twin PJ plug (GA), U174 (helicopter), and LEMO (aircraft powered). Note that the ANR control box on the LEMO version is smaller and doesn’t use batteries.

Weighs 14.6 oz. and the microphone is not reversible. Industry leading 7-year warranty.

Lightspeed Zulu 3 - $850


Comparison Chart


  Zulu 3 Sierra
Ear Cups Magnesium Fiber reinforced polymer
ANR Great ANR. Approx. 25% quieter than Sierra Good ANR
Cable Kevlar Traditional PVC coated cable
Weight 14.6 oz 16 oz
Warranty 7 years 5 years
Price $850 $650

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