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Headsets

captmolina

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I am a student pilot and have been looking for a new headset to buy. What do you all recommend and which ones do you own? I have been looking at the Sigtronics S-45, Pilot PA 12.8, PA 21-60 and Avcomm AC454. I am willing to pay up to $200. I really appreciate any opinions. Thank you!


Thanks and Happy Flying,
Gabriel Molina
 

1900cpt

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I dont know much about sigtronics or the others you mention, but i would recommend david clarks. The way to look at this is....you are going to have theses for the rest of your flying....whether you make a career out of it or not.

I know money is probably tight, but you dont want to skimp on a headset. I know david clark has great headsets and they will even fix them up for you after you have had them for a while and they are a little beat. (last i remeber..)

David clarks not the only company out there...do some research try on different pairs if you have the chance...maybe some of the other folks can jump in and give their opinion..

hope this helps,

1900cpt
 

flyboy

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I agree with 1900 cpt. You should get a headset that will meet your flying needs. How much flying do you plan on doing after you get your private. If you are going to be flying only every now and then (just enough to stay currentfor passengers), then you could survive with a $200 headset. If you are going to do a good deal of flying, then i would definitely get a David Clark. I paid $285 for a dc 13.4. It has been great and reliable over the past 2 1/2 years.
 

vja217

Richmond, VA
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Ya I agree with the previous posts... when i was a student I did exactly what it looks like you're doing - I set a $200 price limit and wound up with a Telex set that felt more like a clamp on my head than a headset. After I started doing long cross countries I found that the uncomfortable headset was actually giving me a headache. Subsequently, I went out and bought some David Clark H20-10s for a little over $300. Let me tell you that extra $100 and change is definately worth it. Even though I only fly once every 2-3 weeks, I can tell you that buying a "cheap" headset was a terrible mistake, and not to mention that I am enjoying flights with the new DCs more that ever (I can actually fly several hours straight now without a migraine!). Your comfort and especially your hearing is invaluable in aviation so don't compromise it and end up paying twice of what you have to like I did. Good luck!
Max
 

troy

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I have DC's and my girlfriend has a pair of Avcomm's. She complains of her head hurting after a short while of wearing them. After she tried mine, (David Clark 13.4's also) she was going to save up and buy a pair of 'em. I think that they are worth their weight in gold.
 

Fr8Dog

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GO FOR THE DC'S

I would reccomend going with the David Clarks like most everyone else said on this board. I have had mine for over 3 years and love them. I have the 13.4's and they are one of the most comfortable headsets I have ever worn. They can also take a good beating and not get broke. In my case I am in different airplanes almost everyday of the month flying 80hrs and 20+ days a month and they do get banged around a lot. Not that I would intentionaly go out and beat on them, it just happens. I recieved a free pair of the new Bose Headsets which cost around $1000 and they are as comfortabe and quiter then the DC's but they do not hold up like the DC's do. After only a couple of months of constant use the cheap plastic broke and since I didn't buy them from Bose but got them from someone else they wouldn't honor the waranty and I have to pay to have them fixed. I haven't had to have my DC's fixed yet, but from other people I have heard that even after the waranty is expired they will fix them for free, and replace worn out ear seals, mic covers, ect. I would suggest going with the David Clarks, probly the H10-13.4 or H20-10. Good luck to you.
 

bobbysamd

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David Clarks

I'll join the majority. I have some David Clark H10-30s. Terrific equipment. Extremely rugged and wear like iron. I used them on every flight for six years. I didn't have headsets for the first five years I was flying. Stupid.

You might consider the noise-canceling mike version, which may still be H10-40s.

Piece of advice: Do plenty of shopping for headsets. You can go to an FBO to look at them, but don't buy them there. You'll pay retail. Same thing if you purchase from Sporty's. You'll get a better deal from someplace like Marv Golden, www.marvgolden.com, or Chief Aircraft Parts in Grants Pass, Oregon, www.chiefaircraft.com. I bought mine there 14 years ago.
 

Humty72

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David Clarks

I've been using mine for over 10 years.. no problems.
 

ShawnC

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I like the AV-Comms myself, I have had mine for a little while and I love them, after about two hours they are just as comfertable as they were in the begining. You have to adjust them properlly though.

You might also want to consider the Lightspeed QFR the passive ones. I have heard that in the 152s, and such they are actually quieter than the Lightspeed active ones.
 

hangar7guy

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Another view

I have the dissenting view here: Saying that one brand or model of headset is more comfortable than another is like saying that you should wear a particular kind of shoe, underwear, or whatever. IOW, what's comfortable for me might be unbearably painful for you. And vice versa. And even if the item is top quality and well made -- like a David Clark headset.

I've been flying for 20 years, and I have never, EVER been able to get comfortable with ANY DC headset. Not even the 13.4s with the soft headband and ear cushions. I'm sorry, but I just can't stand Clarks, no matter how well built they are or how good their service is. I just think they're overrated because of some kind of herd mentality. Also, I've found that their audio quality isn't that good when used with other kinds of headsets on the same intercom.

I've used the Lightspeed 20K for over 2 years now and it is superb. Audio quality, both transmitting and receiving, is as good as or better than any Clark, Telex or Bose I've ever used. I can actually forget I'm wearing them, and I've never been able to say that about any other over-the-ear headset.

Final suggestion: Try before you buy, and make sure that you can return it after a reasonable trial period (in good condition with all packaging, of course).

Good luck!
 
T

TDTURBO

I'll second that Hanger7guy!

I have been flying for 20 years and the most comfortable and quiet headsets I have flow with are the Bose and Lightspeed 25XL's. The Lightspeeds are half the price of the Bose so I would check into those. Personally, after flying with all of the DC's, I would get the Lightspeeds!

Tim
 

AWACoff

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I've had my David Clark 13.4s for over 10 years. No problems at all. They are very comfortable. David Clark has an absurd customer service policy. They will warranty headsets that are well beyond the 5 year limit if they determine it to be a defect. I have a Flightcom 4DX as well. The headset is a great buy for the price but it not even close as far as comfort is concerned. I can easily wear my DCs for a 16 hour duty day and not complain.
Steve
 

Jetscream32

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It is true that DC's are some of the best built headsets, but I have been using my Sigtronics s-40's for about five years with no hassles at all. They are pretty light and with a few extra bucks you can get the gel ear seals which make a huge difference. If you are looking to save money now get a rather inexpensive set and upgrade to some nice one's later. Who knows, in about five years you may need to get a Telex type that plugs into a shiny new jet.
 

Pilotadjuster

I voted for Pedro
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Pilot headsets

Planning to purchase DC 13.4s myself. Purchased Marv Golden MG-50s when I was student. They are manufactured by Pilot, and I have had an intermittent speaker problem since they were about a year old. Can't comment on the warranty (2years), as I failed to send them in. Also--quite the head-clampers, even though I have gel earseals and cloth covers.

Almost every instructor you will fly with has DCs. I do know people who don't like them, but they are in the minority. See if you can at least try on a headset before you buy (ideally, use for a couple of hours first!). Everyone's head is different size (just passed CFI ride, so mine is a size or two larger now...), and Im sure that accounts for the different opinions you see here.

Fly Safe!
 

azpilot

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I vote for Lightspeed. I have the 15xl (Cheapest Model) and they are great. One size does not fit all so you should shop around. I also own a few pairs of David Clark knock-offs by Marv Golden and they have worked very well. My original David Clark 10-40 headset that I bought in 1987 still works fine. So that definitely says something about the DC durability.

The ANR headsets are not that expensive these days and I would really try to demo one. They make such a difference in the cockpit.

marvgolden or headsetsetc.com have the best prices.

Good luck
 

starchkr

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I will have to join the Lightspeed crowd here and continue to rave about their quality and excellent feel.

So instead of saying the same things over that have already been said, my advice is to SHOP AROUND!!!!!!

I have the Lightspeed 20XL's and while shopping i noticed as much as a $70 dollar swing in prices from place to place. Some of the more popular places were offering it for $430+ while i purchased mine for $360 from Marv Golden when they were having a pretty good sale. I noticed the same was true for other models and makes as well while i was comparing prices, BUT Marv was NOT always the best price. It seemed that for every different headset, a defferent place had a better price. Go to your search engine and search for aviation headsets and you will most likely get close to 100 or so different places that sell them. I would visit EVERY one of them to find the best prices. You never know, that $300 dollar headset you really like could be found somewhere for your $200 limit.
 

Colonel Cairo

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Re: Another view

"I just think they're overrated because of some kind of herd mentality."

Sounds to me like everyone is relating their personal experiences with DC so I don't see how there could be a "herd mentality" here. People might buy them for that reason initially but unless you're a masochist you wouldn't keep using them if they bothered you that much.

"Try before you buy, and make sure that you can return it after a reasonable trial period."

Excellent advice. I had the opportunity to use a new Bose ANR ($1000) headset a year or two ago and after 45 minutes or so it felt like I had two nails being driven into the top of my head. Kind of a good thing to know before you spend that kind of cash.

I've had a pair of DC 13.4's for over 6 years and haven't had any trouble. I broke a plug a year ago and it was repaired free of charge and they threw in new earseals, a headpad, and mike muff on top of it. If I had it to do over again the only thing I would do differently would be picking the ANR model. Kind of pricey but I would have gladly paid the difference after having my head beat in for 6.5 hours a day in a 1900.

Just my $.02. As starchkr said, Shop around!
 

Pilotadjuster

I voted for Pedro
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Pricing

Best prices (and service) I have found so far has been at www.spinnerspilotshop.com . DC 10-13.4 $266.00!

I would check as many places as possible (except maybe Sportys...). At least with David Clark, the factory does all the warranty work and has a reputation for repairing headsets long out of warranty for no charge.
 

aero99

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I'm gonna join the "herd", and say I like and use my DC's more than any other head set I have. I Have two Avcomms for passengers, and they work just as well. The AVcomms were 175.00 and worked just fine for my initial training. The DC were a little more comfortable for the long hauls, but for trianing I couldn't tell the difference.
 
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