Update on Headsets

Philip Greenspun's Homepage : Philip Greenspun's Homepage Discussion Forums : Aviation : One Thread
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I'm a student pilot who just hit the 10hr mark, and it's time to buy a headset. I'm training
in a DA40. I read Philip's post titled "Shopping for Airplane Accessories" and saw that the
Telex Stratus 50D is (or was) his preferred headset. I was hoping to find out if that's still
the case, since it was written a while ago. My instructor, who's a very knowledgeable guy
and whom I trust, recommends the Bose X headset. But I've read negative reviews on it
and am usually skeptical of Bose. I think they make good products, but they tend to be
overpriced (my opinion).

I'd appreciate any thoughts.


-- Justin Toner, April 2, 2010


Bose is fragile and not very quiet, but it is comfortable and nice for use in the back seat of a quiet airplane, e.g., Piper Malibu.

If the airplane is insanely loud, like the DA40, I think the Telex is still the best choice. For a normally loud airplane, the Lightspeed Zulu is a great headset and far better in almost every way than the Bose.

-- Philip Greenspun, April 2, 2010

I'm a big fan of my Clarity Aloft headset. It's less expensive than the Bose, Zulu, or Telex. The lack of a top clamp makes it incredibly comfortable for long hours. The sound quality is very good. And, it's made in USA.

Caveat: my experience has been that the CA does not do well in very loud airplanes for long trips. In a DA40 or C172, the CA is just fine.

The Zulu, despite its great reputation, is made in China. I would never buy a headset made in China, and I certainly wouldn't pay $850 for it.

-- Ryan Gaytan, May 7, 2010

I flew with the Bose Aviation Headset for about 4 years before switching to the Lightspeed Zulu one year ago. 100 hours and several long trips later I can say unequivocally the Lightspeed is much better than the Bose in terms of comfort and noise attenuation. I've not used the CA headsets.

-- Joe Zuffoletto, May 10, 2010