ANR Headsets

Booker

The Ladies Man
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OK, I know I'm bringing up something that's already been beat to death, but the previous threads don't seem to apply to me entirely. I have a DC 13.4 that I've used faithfully since 1998. I love the comfort and quality, but I'm thinking of moving up to an ANR model (not necessarily DC). I am a flight instructor and spend about 70 hours a month in Piper Warriors, Arrows, and Seminoles. If anyone has had a similar experience, I'd appreciate some buying advice. I know comfort is subjective, but I really like my 13.4, for what it's worth.

Thanks in advance.
 

Anaconda

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i have a lightspeed 25K that i bought on ebay about a year ago, and i love it. very light, and quiet. it's kind of large, making it a tight squeeze in my flightbag, but i've been able to live with it. some have questioned it's durability due to the fact that it's made almost exclusively of plastic, but i have yet to have a problem with it in regional turbo-prop operations. lightspeed has an excellent reputation for customer support.
 
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Focker

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bose?

Anybody used the bose?

Worth the money?

Likes, dislikes, any problems?
 

rumpletumbler

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I have a LightSpeed 25XL which is extremely comfortable and cuts the noise very well. Before that I owned a pair of David Clark 13.4's and the first time I wore them it was a 3 hour flight and I literally felt like I had been hit in the head with a hammer about 1 hour after getting on the ground. I have not had this problem with the LightSpeed. I've only got about 30 hours in them but have had no problems at all and don't anticipate any.

RT
 

bigD

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I've used the Bose before, although I don't own one. I've got a DC ANR.

The Bose headsets are VERY comfortable and light. With the ANR, they're every bit as quiet as my DC's but just barely squeeze your head. It's like wearing a pair of stereo headphones. Batteries last about 10-15 hours for them (in my experience), which is a bit less than the 20 or so I get out of the DC's. The only problem with the Bose is that they're not really a good passive headset, so when the batteries fail, things get very loud! Carry spare batteries at all times. When the batteries die on my DC, I just end up with a pair of expensive 13.4's.

Are they worth the money? If my DC's hurt my head on long trips, I'd say yes. But I've done 5+ hour legs in them without any discomfort, so I'm happy where I am. I do know lots of people who can't ever seem to find a completely comfortable headset, and in those cases I can see someone shelling out the big bucks for a Bose.
 

NoPlaneNoGain

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I have a pair of DC 13.4 that I used while flight instructing. I then bought a Lightspeed 20XL. The lightspeed significantly cuts down on the noise from the larger twins and turbprops that I have flown. I do not have to wear earplugs with my headset, which a lot of people do. Negatives to the lightspeed - I have had to send my pair back to Lightspeed because of cord and power supply problems twice. Their tech support was very fast and courteous though. Also, they are kind of bulky. I feel like I have Micky Mouse ears on. Overall, I am happy with Lightspeed's.
 

skytrucker

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The good, the bose, the ugly...

I fly very load freight trash, and have the the 13.4 DC (passive only) and the Bose. I gave in to the outragous price for one reason only.... comfort. Some people can fly with a vise on thier head and don't mind; I'm not one of those people.

Bose is the best out thier... sofar. (I've tried about a dozen- friends mostly.) Having said that, there is a few things that they could do to stay on top.

1. Price- come down a few hundred, they would sell many more

2. Have an "Auto" off function. (buy stock in 9v. batteries)

3. Battery life- I only get about 15-17 hrs. on good batteries.

4. Better on/off switch

5. better "battery life" indicator.


All in all they are good to me, but not perfect.

happy hunting
 

willi7

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I have been instructing for 2 years with lightspeed 20k's. They are great only had one problem with them since i've owned them and they basically rebuilt the whole headset even replaced things that had just worn over time. Very good company and very comfortable. I will be mickey mouse as a trade for the comfort.
 

Draginass

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I DON'T recommend the Telex ANR500. Mine has burned-out the circuit card twice in 2 years despite only being used on heavy jets with stable electrics. When the card burns out the headset is completely inoperative. Both repairs were under warranty (would have been $200 repair costs each time), but it points to an inherent design/material flaw. If mine burns out again and they won't extend the warranty, then it goes in the junk pile along with any future thoughts of buying anything Telex.
 

azpilot

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Lightspeed Rule! They are coming out with 2 new models shortly. I have been very happy with mine. I get over 50 hours of use on the batteries. I think the DC are nice as well. They may be a bit more durable than the Lightspeeds. I have kept my headset in the bag it came with and have had no problems. They are a bit big to fit in my headset pockets of my flight bag.

I recommend going to a local store and asking if you can fly with the headset. This is what I did. I paid a bit more than buying it from Marv Golden, for example, but I felt since the owner was nice enough to let me try the headset it was fair to buy it from him.

- AZPilot
 

BradG

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I have a set of the Bose. I absolutly love them. Got them as my high school graduation present. Lightweight, great noise cancling, just a great headset in general. I think they are definatly worth the money.
 

Rerouted

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I recently had the opportunity to try out a bunch of ANR headsets as part of a promotional campaign that Lightspeed was running. After tryng Lightspeed's 20 & 25 XL, DC's, Bose, and something yellow....I think it was the Denali, I ended up buying a Lightspeed 20XL. Granted, it's physically big, but it's light, very comfortable, has very little white noise (as long as you are in something that is pretty loud - I do get white noise while on approach in newer 172's), and really takes the low frequency rumble away. I had been using DC 13.4's for a few years, and was getting headaches from all the noise. I've used the Bose in a Turboprop, and they are great and super comfortable. However, as long as the money's coming out of my rather shallow pockets, the 20XL's are the best bang for the buck.
RR
 

FlyinBrian

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I've owned Lightspeed 15K's, 20XL's, and now a Bose. When I first got the 20XL's, I was a big fan. The ANR is really great. The construction quality on the Lightspeeds is pretty poor though. Part of the problem is that I have a big head, and I stretch the plastic headband to it's limits. It broke on both headsets. The battery modules in both the headsets crapped out. For the record, Lightspeed was very good about getting them repaired, but who wants to screw with getting headsets repaired. Maybe their new models will be better. Their sheer size means you'll be banging your earmuffs on things. I also noticed that when within close proximity to a Radar, I got a loud pinging in the earcups when the radar hit me. My bose do this too but is is almost unnoticeable. I would say that Lightspeeds are a good value, but not that great for someone with a big head who wears them every day. They will break eventually.

I too received my Bose set as a gift. (college graduation) They definitely lead the pack by a long shot (in both quality and price.) Bulletproof construction, Awesome noise attenuation, the lightest, most comfortable set by far. Their customer support is awesome. A friend of mine broke his battery case. Bose replaced it under warranty (even though it wasn't a craftsmanship problem), and send him a loaner in the mail until they got his fixed. I kind of expect this level of support for $1000. Would I spend a grand of my own cash on them? I don't know, but I'm sure glad I have them.
 

Smoove Ride

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BOSE Rocks!

i've had my bose for about 3 years now.... and i love them more and more everyday. they did break when i was flying the bradildo (mic went out). i sent them fedex and they had them fixed and upgraded back to me in three days. for the $950 i paid i would expect as much in terms of service. i don't find that i go thru 9v's as quickly as most people say, maybe one to two a month (85 hour line). i thought about going to a "jet" headset.... telex 750's, etc... but my bose are still more comfortable and quiet (i hate sh*t in my ears). if you're concerned about killing the planet with used 9v's, there are several ways to convert your battery pack to a LI-ION rechargable. check out the link below....

Bose Conversion
 

Sonic Cruzer

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Telex ANR-1D is A-OK

I bought a Telex ANR-1D at Sun n Fun '01. At the time the price in every catalog and trade a plane advertisement was $700. I paid under $600 for it at the show. I think Telex just brought out a newer high-end ANR headset, so the ANR-1D might be a real good deal right now.

This headset is heavier than my old Peltor, but still extremely comfortable - no pressure points. The digital ANR works well enough that I have to turn it off when landing because it cancels out almost all the engine/prop noise at low power settings. Scared me the first time--thought the engine quit. I believe the ANR in this system is biased toward lower frequencies (i.e. prop/engine noise).

Not sure about current models, but when I bought mine, the ANR-1D was the only ANR headset that gave you both the option of using batteries or cig lighter (cord is included) with the same unit. This is great if you frequently fly in different airplanes.

The battery life (4 AAs) is respectable. I think the book says 15 hours, but I've gotten better than that. It actually has a verbal battery life announcement. i.e. "Ninety percent battery life remaining."

My only beef with it is that the Power On button is easy to trip while the unit is stored in its case. I've loaded batteries on a Friday only to find the unit powered-up and the batteries almost drained on Saturday. The battery cover is well designed, so it's no sweat to remove a battery after each flight to prevent inadvertent discharge.

Sound quality is crisp and clear. (it better be for that much money) Also the unit functions fine without power, albeit sans Volume control.

As for finish, quality is great. At 18 months/120+ hours of use later, it still looks and works like new. Telex passive noise reduction headsets are standard issue where I work. I suspect it's because the durability is high, while the cost is lower than the green domed monsters.

One side note... While I'm not completely certain, I believe that DSPs in the lightweight ANR jet headsets are biased toward cancellation of higher frequency noise. i.e. most of the noise in jets is wind rather than engine noise.
 
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skyslug

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Bose!

I've got both the Bose and Telex ANR500's. I use the Bose exclusively. They are comfy, light weight, great mic. The Telex's are great too EXCEPT, the ear cup is a tad too small and squished my ears (bad on long days).

I say the Bose is worth every penny I paid for it. I do agree that the price could come down a few bucks. As for battery life, I use about 1 battery, maybe 2 a month (86 hour line give or take).
 

Nightwing

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Lightspeed 25k

For the money lightspeed is the only way to go. I did a lot of research and everyone says the same thing. Bose have the best quality but if you can't afford the $1,000 by the lightspeed for $500.

The microphone boom on the headset did come loose and I had to send them in. It was back in a week, good as new. No charge. Service is great. While the headset was gone I had to wear my old David Clarks. It was truly painful. I don't know how I used to wear those things.

Read the Tutorial on Lightspeed's webpage. It's very long but extremely informative. Some smart people out there.
 
T

TDTURBO

Lightspeeds

I have both 20XL's and the 15XL's, I use the 20's and give the 15's to the passengers. I love them, I have had them on my head for 7hr legs without discomfort. I did allot of research before buying and most people agreed that they are the best bang for the buck.
 

Vik

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I have Lightspeed QNR Solo (non-ANR). They were $120 and had the highest NRR rating for a passive headset. They are great but after about 3-4 hours of continuous wear, they hurt my ears when I take them off -- especially with wire frame sunglasses. They are quiet and they do make a relatively inexpensive ANR model which must be just heaven because of how much more quiet they must be over the non-ANR.

Check'em out. I bought mine from Aircraft Spruce in Corona, Calif.

I've had them for over a year and they are in good shape.

If you are on a tight budget, check'em out.

I am not a CFI so I don't use them for 30+ hrs/month so I can't give you a report along those lines.
 
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