I recall my first flight instruction lesson and putting on the headset provided by the flight school – sufficient, but hardly high quality, the microphone arm a bare metal lever with no foam cover on the mic itself. I adjusted the headset to fit my head, only to have to repeat the process a few moments later. Small movements of my jaw were all it took for the earcups to let noise in from the Cessna engine outside.
When I looked over to my instructor, he had the Bose A20s on his head, apparently with no such struggles. I remember thinking that while I didn’t want to spring for the Bose A20 quite yet, I sure didn’t want the cheap set on my head either. I figured there must be some mid-range pilot headphones that would be much better quality but at a more manageable price. We’ve already covered the Bose A20 and the Bose A20’s Top 3 Alternatives. Let’s now look at the best value mid-range aviation headsets.
1. David Clark DC Pro-X. This on-ear aviation headset comes with a magnesium alloy headband that evenly distributes headset weight for a comfortable fit. The leatherette head pad is breathable and vented to virtually eliminate “hot spots” and keep the top of the head cool during long flights. Hybrid electronic noise cancellation and Bluetooth wireless technology. 1.9 lbs. 5 year limited warranty.
2. Lightspeed Sierra ANR Aviation Headset. This around-the-ear aviation headset from Lightspeed is popular with pilots looking for great value. It has active noise reduction (ANR) and Bluetooth connectivity. ComPriority reduces the volume of everything else while you listed to ATC. Microphone placement is reversable (left or right) and is now compatible with FlightLink, an in-flight cockpit recording application for iPad and iPhone. 2.9 lbs. 5 year warranty.
3. Faro G3 ANR Aviation Headset. The lightest headset in this group at only 9 oz, this ultra-comfortable full carbon fiber design has premium speakers for crystal clear audio and superior active noise reduction rated at 52 dB. Connect via Bluetooth for music and phone calls. 3 year full coverage warranty and life-time wear and tear protection.
4. David Clark H10-13X ANR Aviation Headset. An around-the-ear option from David Clark, this active noise reduction headset enhances the headset’s passive noise reduction of 23 dB by another 17-22 dB of low-frequency electronic noise attenuation. Up to 25 hours of ANR noise suppression on one 9V battery. Has an auto shut-off feature. 18 oz and 5-year warranty.
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