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Aviation Headset Reviews...

...of the three most popular ANR pilot headsets on the market. We've organized the prominent features, identified the pros and cons, and weighed outside reviews and chatter from pilots and aviation enthusiasts for each aviation headset to give readers a quick and easy comparison - all on a single page.

Aviation Headsets - Comparison Table

Headset... Features, Pros & Cons...

The Bose A20 - Our Top-Rated
Aviation Headset

"We haven't found a better price than Amazon. They're trusted, returns are easy, and the A20 is eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping. "
-- Editor

Bose® A20 aviation headset - portable model, Bluetooth

Bose, a trusted name in aviation headsets for the past 20 years, has developed the most advanced pilot headset yet. Breakthrough innovations in the A20 include improved ANR (active noise reduction) and even greater comfort than previous models, as well as auxiliary audio input and Bluetooth phone connectivity. All without compromising the clear audio that pilots have come to expect from Bose.

 Famous Bose noise reduction is now even better.
 12 ounces and greater comfort; more room for your ears.
 Auxiliary audio input for GPS and other devices.
 Bluetooth lets you receive calls without taking off headset. Exceptional 40+ hour battery life on two AA batteries.
 Meets or exceeds all FAA and JAA TSO requirements.

 Deep pockets needed, as this headset is pricey.
 Unlike the Zulu, you can't stream music from your cell phone.

"The passive attenuation is markedly better than most ANR headsets we’ve tried, and the active noise canceling is in a class with few competitors."
-- Ian J. Twombly, AOPA Online

Lightspeed Zulu.2 -  Our 2nd Top-Rated Aviation Headset

"Amazon rules. They're trusted, returns are easy, and the Zulu is eligible for FREE Shipping. " -- Editor

Lightspeed Zulu.2 - Premium ANR Aviation Headset

Giving Bose a real run for their money, Lightspeed engineers researched how pilots perceive noise at various frequencies, then developed technology providing focused noise attenuation over the most critical ranges. The result is an ANR headset combining total noise cancellation attributes with a distinctive look and unparalleled comfort. Offers Bluetooth connectivity and an integrated control box input allowing you to connect a cell phone, music player or iPod for a range of communication options.

 Active cancellation over a broad range of low frequency noise.
 Plush ear seals and thin, low-profile headband spell comfort.
 Allows wireless connection from Bluetooth phones/devices. Experience a dynamic, surround-sound like quality to music. 40+ hour battery life on a pair of AA batteries.
 Save almost $250 over the Bose A20.

 One ounce heavier than the Bose A20.

 "The Zulu passes the test in noisy environments: I don’t want to fly my Edge without it... But the Zulu also outperforms on more standard cross-country flights, when pilots can take full advantage of all the features." -- Bill Stein, Plane & Pilot

 "The bluetooth functionality on the Zulus is far superior to the A20... With the Zulus, you can easily prioritise between phone/music/radio..and stream devices with bluetooth. You either can't..or can't do this easily with the Bose." -- Beach King, Professional Pilots Rumour Network

Dave Clark X11 ENC Aviation Headset

"Amazon rules. They're trusted, returns are easy, and the X11 is eligible for FREE Shipping. " -- Editor

David Clark X11 ENC Aviation Headset

With over 50 years experience in the air and space industry, Dave Clark has a reputation for reliability and performance. Their latest ANR (or what they call ENC - Electronic Noise Cancelling) aviation headset is no exception. It's intelligently engineered with a low-force, dual-hinge suspension assembly that provides optimum articulation and personalized fit. A super-lightweight, carbon fiber headband coupled with a vented head pad and super-soft, gel-filled ear seals provide long term pilot comfort.

 Noise-canceling M-77 microphone for clear communications.
 Cell phone/auxiliary music input (3 accessory cords provided).
 High-fidelity stereo ear phones with dual volume controls.
 New dual voice coil ENC technology reduces pilot fatigue.
 30-hour battery life on two AA batteries.

 No Bluetooth connection, unlike competitors A20 and Zulu.
 A fraction heavier than the Bose A20 (by 0.2 ounces).

"A decent set of David Clarks do a great job, and I wouldnt swap them for anything that I have come across so far. Yes the newer Bose and Sennheiser headsets are 'nice' but for me, the DC's are tried and tested, and found to be super rugged, comfy, quality sound and you dont have a problem with after sales service." -- kevinbark, AVCOM

Why buy an ANR aviation headset when there are "passive" headsets on the market that only cost a couple of hundred bucks? We think the answer is summed up pretty well in the following comment...

"If you are thinking of buying a set of ANC [active noise cancellation] headsets (whatever brand), just do it! The investment is cheap compared to the hearing loss that you will suffer. I flew 3 hours the other day in a mate's Cherokee 235 with cheap headsets and my ears are still ringing."

-- Beach King, Professional Pilots Rumour Network

Filed under: Aviation Headset Reviews, Pilot Headset Reviews,
ANC Aviation Headsets, Bose A20 Reviews, Zulu Reviews,
Bose vs Lightspeed, Bose vs Dave Clark

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