Redback Aviation's online pilot shop for all your homebuilt, ultralight, kit, personal and experimental helicopter pilot supplies - Electronics - Headsets & Intercoms.
The most well known of aviation headsets, David Clark which is occassionally misspelled as David Clarke is the mainstay of the aviation industry whether your aviation headphones are intended for fixed wing or rotary wing use, you are sure to find the perfect model David Clark headset in our well stocked pilot shop. There are many great brands of aviation headset available with some of the more popular such as David Clark, Flightcom headsets, Sigtronics and Peltor amongst the favorites.
Wanting to go for a top of the line aviation headphone? Try the Bose headset or Sennheiser headset, they offer a higher quality unit with unrivalled clarity. Most come with noise cancelling options.
With the need of on board person to person communications there is also available some great aircraft intercom systems. Some of the brands stocked are Gulf Coast Avionics, PS Engineering, Cell Guard and Pilot USA flight comms. All will provide years of reliable service for one of the most important systems of any aircraft - flight communications.
Now available from Redback Aviation are Faro Stealth Headsets. Pilots have a choice of either an active or passive noise reduction headset.
With either choice, the headsets feature music input with an aux input jack, and double thick ear seals.
An adjustable microphone boom is reversible and features a noise-canceling electret microphone, Sporty's officials note.
The Faro Stealth Passive Headset is available for around $199.95, and the Faro Stealth ANR Headset is available for approximately $399.95.
WITH Sennheiser throwing the gauntlet down to the other headset manufacturers, LOOP has a quick look below at what else is on the market.
THE Zulu 2.0 was launched this summer and is claimed to be quieter, clearer and comfier than the original. Instead of going for a completely revolutionary new headset, Lightspeed claims to have improved on the original Zulu.
The 2.0 benefits from lots of new technology including a Microport Vent for better ANR, better ear seals and a claimed 15% less side pressure.
THE Bose A20 has the same magnesium headband as its X model, but the ear cups and control module are different.
The two biggest additions is the ability to use Bluetooth, the addition of a 3.5mm auxiliary audio input (MP3 player, GPS unit etc.) and priority audio switch - all things the X lacked. Bose also claim that two normal alkaline AA batteries will last for up to 45 hours.
IT was big news in 2010 when Bose announced the launch of its first new AN headset in just over 12 years. Just when the Bose X was starting to look a tad dated they released the A20. As soon as it was revealed Dave Caiderwood got his hands on one to see if the best got better.
His summary? "With the ANR off the sound quality is OK and there's a definite improvement in the passive noise reduction, through built-in insulation. However, once you've tried the ANR, you won't go back - the difference is outstanding."
"The new ear cushions contribute hugely to the A20's overall comfort level which is nothing short of extraordinary. The new bigger ear cups/cushions seem to embrace the ears with just the right amount of pressure, which is claimed to be one-third of the pressure of other leading headsets."
"The new headband is a very clean redesign of the X, though the family resemblance is kept and it sits on the head so lightly you forget it's there."
BEYERDYNAMICUS latest headset has just been given its 'Manufaktur' treatment and can now be customised to one's own tastes.
Pilots can customise the new HS800 to their own specifications. The ear cups can be selected in a design of high gloss black piano lacquer, basalt grey metallic or burl wood.
For a small extra charge engraved text is also available on the yoke giving the option to have a name or licence number on the headset.
The HS 800 Digital is the German comapany's second ANR headset and one of the first to used digitally controlled Active Noise Reduction.
Using a high-speed microprocessor, Beyerdynamic combines feedback and feedforward algorithms in a digitally controlled system. The headband has a special shape to keep pressure away from the top of the head.
WITH just earcups, a mic, wires, a control box, and sound cancelling now a regular feature, you'd be forgiven for thinking there's not much left to be squeezed from the 'humble' aviation headset, Beyerdynamic disagree.
It launched at AERO 2011 its new range-topper, the HS800 Digital, which doubles the level of digital control over the sound feed to create a clearer and sharper sound in the ears, it says.
By eliminating any vestiges of analogue control and going fully digital with both 'feedback' and 'feedforward' (a technology first seen on its earlier HS600) control, Beyerdynamic says it outstrips any system that still utilises analogue elements and is far more reactive to unusual sound conditions. In short, that should mean better and more sophisticated noise cancelling, they say.
It's typical Beyerdynamic in look and style, with tweaks to improve comfort, weight, and compatibility with other devices such as phones and MP3 players.
Cushions are leather-covered, ear-paddine soft, peak padding shaped to improve comfort, and clamp pressure meant to reduce fatigue. It retains the signature circular earcups, which have been critiqued before for not being ear-shaped - so we will have to see in testing how it feels after a few hours wearing.
The control and battery unit is compact and makes sense, metal parts are anodized, and carbon-earshells eive it a cool look. As with other Beyerdynamics it can be customised too.
There is a helicopter version, either can be powered from the panel, and there are alternative, connectors. It comes with a five year warranty.
THE HS400 doesn't have ANR, so weighs in at a fraction of the cost of the pricier adaptive units up nearer the $1,000.00 mark.
Big ear cups completely enclose the ears, while the pads are viscoelastic covered with soft leatherette, which we found created a good seal around the ears, even if wearing spectacles.
It's light (325g) and comfy even in extended use, and best of all the passive noise reduction is excellent - as good as any passive headset we've used. iPad connecting was easy and very dear, while overall it's smart, compact, and is nicely built with a 5-year warranty.
THE BRAND new headset from Beyerdynamic has hit the streets. The HS400 Signum (and HS400 Rotor) is the German company's latest passive headset and is set to replace the HS300. The new set benefits from online questionnaires that the firm set-up to quiz existing users of the 300.
Feedback has seen HS400 development focus on shrinking the audio box and being able to connect to MP3 layers and mobile phones. It also comes with two volume controls (one on the left, one on the right) and an LED screen showing how much power is left in the two AA batteries.
Much like Beyerdynamic% range-topping HS600DANR headset, the 400 also benefits from the online 'Manufaktur' programme, where potential owners can design the colours and choose materials for the headset they buy.
The HS400 Signum will retail at C289. The Rotor is the helicopter version, with twin jacks and coiled cable. Keep an eye open for a test soon.
SOUTH African avionics firm MGL has dipped its toe into the pool of headsets with its new 880 budget passive headset-just $125.
The 880 weighs 580g, not overly heavy, and MGL says it's comfortable and with no annoying pressure points on the headband.
The headset works in both stereo and mono operations and comes with silicone gel filled earcups, gold plated headphone and microphone plugs, metal swivel gooseneck and metal microphone boom fitted.
It has a claimed passive noise reduction rating of 27db. Other features include an adjustable open foam cushioned headband and a quick response noise cancelling filter amplified electret microphone with wind muff (in other words, it becomes active when it detects you speaking so save wind noise being generated).
With the price as low as it is, it seems this headset would be a great spare or for a student who wants a first headset but doesn't want to spend big bucks to get it. We'll test one soon to try it out.
We all know how Concept Industries has been a rising star in the headset business over the past few years, and a recent review of their ATC-2Y intercom proved to me that their intercoms are just as good.
Well, there's more. I just took a flight to Colorado and grabbed a handful of headsets to review along the way.
One of them was in a neat padded and zippered bag with the Soft-Comm logo. The headset was the Model C-90. a medium-priced, noise-attenuating stereo headset.
The Model C-90 looks like other Soft Comm products, except for an extra wire coming out of the left side. This wire plugs into a 3"x3"x1" box which contains four AA batteries and Soft Comm magic.
They call this unit the Electronic BNC (for Background Noise Canceling). I didn't want to be bothered by hooking everything up at takeoff, so I simply used the headset as a regular headset at first.
The fidelity was just as crisp as should be expected in one of Concept's products, and the response on the mike was equally as good. If it were a plain old headset, it would still be quite good. Then I plugged into the box.
A Piper Apache isn't the world's quietest airplane. Back in 1954, when they built N1082P, the art of soundproofing was limited to how much fiberglas insulation could be crammed in between the fuselage skins and the upholstery.
My ride for the trip was a thirty-nine year-old airplane, and the door had sagged, the window seals had dried up and hardened, and any efforts toward cabin comfort had been defeated long ago. Noise was a part of the panache of this old classic, and she had a lot of panache.
When I plugged the little extra line into the box, however, the somewhat subdued din of the Apache I was cut at least in half. Without sticking a decibel meter probe into my ear for a comparison, I can't give empirical data, but in terms of comfort, the difference was dramatic.
Like all noise-canceling headsets, the C-90 uses sensors to pick up the noise which makes it through the ear cup cushions, determines those frequencies and transmits frequencies which cancel out the noise.
It's a "phase thang!" What Soft Comm does is focus on the low frequency noise, allowing the higher frequency stuff to be heard. This would normally be the kind of noises you need to hear should something go wrong with an engine or whatever.
The problem I personally have with the high-dollar noise cancelers is that they effectively block out nearly all noise, including screaming passengers and baggage doors flapping in the slip-stream.
Speaking of high dollars, the Soft Comm unit lists for $595 (1993). and can be bought through some mail order houses for around $495 (1993). You can put the extra money into another unit, or fuel, or gift subscriptions to US Aviator.
The great thing about this unit, to me, is that it is reasonably priced and cancels out the noise which has the most deleterious effect on our poor pilot ears.
Pilots who fly a great deal usually suffer some hearing loss in the lower register from all of the rumbly noise.
This set does what it has to and no more, so we're paying for what we need, not what the factory can do with their technology.
The fact that Concept has taken great pains to make the unit adaptable to a variety of head shapes and sizes doesn't hurt, either.
The headset is fully adjustable, from the band size and angle of the ear cups for oddly-shaped craniums to a large, dual-density foam headband pad and a four-way adjustable mike boom.
They can even exchange headband sizes. They have another model, the C-60 Silver Edition, which is designed purely for comfort.
By the way, all of Concept Industry's products are made totally in the USA by American citizens.
None of this shipping jobs or dollars overseas for these guys. All of the Soft Comm product line is suited to anyone from a student to a jet jockey, from carry-on use in a C-152 to built-in intercoms for the Corporate Joe.
Their prices are reasonable and their stuff works. We have never heard a complaint in the office from anyone regarding a Soft Comm product. That's just as good as bragging on them.
The new silver-edition Softcomm C-60 headset has 12 built-in adjustment points, including a foam- or liquid-filled head pad that moves left or right of center and conforms to head contour to eliminate "hot spots." The C-60's ear cups are filled with a foam material that produces a sound attenuation rating of -29 decibels.
Another feature of the C-60 are adjustable stirrups that allow the ear cups to rotate backward or forward 30° from center. A four-way articulated fulcrum mike boom lets the wearer adjust the mike position, and an RF-immune electret microphone provides noise-canceled voice transmissions.
There is also a built-in stereo/mono switch with dual volume controls. The C-60 also features a six-foot cable that can withstand a strain of up to 95 pounds and retains its flexibility in temperatures ranging from -40 to 180°F.
The Blackhawk Model 5DX noise attenuating headset features what Flightcom Corporation calls its "supreme comfort air suspension system," which consists of a wide, padded headband and gel-flo earcups that fit comfortably and block outside noise.
Flightcom listened to their customers feedback and set out to develop the most comfortable pilot headset while retaining the highest noise-canceling qualities possible.
The Blackhawk has a detent-positioned, flexible mic boom mounting a noise-canceling electret microphone, nylon-core, multi-strand shielded cables, and a stereo/mono switch for use with intercom systems. It weighs only 17 ounces and comes with a two-year warranty.
The Aerocom III, a portable two-place stereo intercom, is now available from Sporty's.
The Aerocom III's IntelliVox(r) squelch processor continually monitors both microphones and automatically adjusts the threshold for ambient noise, so that clipped words and reaching for a microphone are virtually eliminated, the manufacturer claims.
The company also says each microphone opens instantly when it is spoken into, further preventing unwanted background noise from entering the audio system.
Two operating modes provide the pilot with control of cockpit communications with the flip of a switch. In the ALL mode, each position hears radio communications and has intercom capability.
In the ISO mode, only the pilot's side is connected to the aircraft transceivers — without intercom or music distractions — while the passengers continue to speak and listen to music independent of the pilot.
When a radio communication comes in, the music or conversation is muted for the transmission and then gradually returns to the original level.
Measuring 4-3/8 x 3-1/4 x 1-1/2 inches, the Aerocom III is made in the United States and comes with a five-year warranty.
A single 9-volt battery provides 10 hours of continuous operation and the unit can also be operated from the aircraft's cigarette lighter.
The Aerocom III is expandable to four places with the use of an Aerocom EX expansion unit.