Plane & Pilot
Sunday, June 1, 2008

Heads Up On Headsets

New models & new technology, priced from $79 to $995

HeadsetsAviation headsets—now that’s a topic that’s close to my heart, or ears. My first “headset” was a Gosport tube in a military trainer, an all-rubber affair with a speaking tube connected to rubber ear pads via a long tube. Pity the poor student who tried to follow the grunts, snorts and expletives emanating from the rear cockpit. A few years later, after bouncing my head off the canopy of my SNJ Texan too many times, I took my Bell motorcycle helmet, hollowed out the padding and, using a discarded TV camera headset, inserted a set of Telex ear pads, bolted on the boom mic, then wired it to the navcom. Forty years later, it still works, more or less.
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Headsets Inc. EM-1: This company claims that the EM-1 headset is guaranteed to meet or exceed any ANR headset’s performance. With an ANR rating of 18 to 20 dB at 200 Hz, plus a range of 20 to 600 Hz, the unit has four speakers producing high-fidelity sound. Headsets Inc. also offers an upgrade module that will fit most headsets on the market. The kit comes preassembled for installation in your headset.
Suggested Retail Price: $399
Contact: Headsets Inc., (800) 876-3374,

Lightspeed Mach 1: Based on new in-the-ear technology, the Mach 1 features advancements in ear-plug attenuation; comfortable, artisan-crafted custom ear molds; ultrasmall speakers; and noise-canceling microphones.These in-the-ear headsets are the first of their type from Lightspeed Aviation. They’re light as a feather (at less than one ounce) and comfortable for long flights. These modern headsets have ANR and PNR circuits, plus connections for cell phones and music inputs.
Suggested Retail Price: $499

HeadsetsLightspeed Zulu: Named after Greenwich Mean Time, these light headsets weigh just a little above 13 ounces. The headband has a core of thin, flexible spring steel, offering an excellent fit, with 40% lower side pressure than other headsets, which allows them to be worn all day. They’re also very quiet, thanks to their ANR and PNR circuitry. Indeed, Lightspeed asserts that the Zulu is the “world’s quietest ANR headset.” All of the headset’s wiring is concealed, and the Zulu folds for easy storage. Zulus are Bluetooth-compatible for easy access to cell phones.
Suggested Retail Price: $850
Contact: Lightspeed Aviation, (800) 332-2421,

Marv Golden’s Golden Eagle: This affordable headset weighs just 11 ounces and has a noise-reduction rating of 24 dB, stereo/mono capability, a reversible boom microphone, a three-year warranty and a free headset bag. A low-profile, Neoprene headband allows for hours of comfortable wearing.
Suggested Retail Price: $79

Marv Golden’s Golden Eagle ANR: With its closed-cell acoustic foam seals, the Golden Eagle ANR sports larger and deeper ear openings for a comfortable fit. This feature-laden headset has cell phone and music interfaces, automatic shutoff and a PNR of 25 dB. Additionally, the 12-ounce headset offers 10 to 12 dB of active reduction, dual volume controls, stereo/mono capability and a reversible boom microphone.
Suggested Retail Price: $239
Contact: Marv Golden, (800) 348-0014,

Panther Electronics 2001-SDACFT: This in-the-ear headset from Panther doesn’t interfere with eyeglasses or sunglasses. The less-than-two-ounce unit eliminates all headband pressure or any other head or ear discomfort. Free-flowing air eliminates the sweating associated with some ear cups. This modern ear-bud headset has a noise-reduction rating of up to 46 dB. It comes with a one-year warranty.
Suggested Retail Price: $625

Panther Electronics 2001-ACFT: As Panther attests, this is the “21st century replacement” for the standard aviation headset. The 2001-ACFT has ear pieces that weigh less than one ounce; the “headset” eliminates the need for a heavy boom microphone because all transmitted and received audio is derived from and delivered to the pilot’s ears. The ear pieces have a noise-reduction rating of up to 46 dB. The unit has individual volume controls and is connected to the controller, which plugs into most avionics packages.
Suggested Retail Price: $525
Contact: Panther, (407) 933-0222,

Peltor Nordica 7000 Pro GT: This professional-series unit features new gel ear seals. The headset weighs just 12.8 ounces and features a noise-reduction rating of 25 dB. A wide, softly padded headband ensures all-day comfort thanks to patented stainless-steel spring arms that offer durability and low pressure. The microphone is on a sleek gooseneck boom that uses the latest electret noise-canceling circuits. The boom rotates for left or right position. The 7000 Pro GT is offered with a limited lifetime warranty.
Suggested Retail Price: $299

Peltor Nordica Sport: The European-style Sport model is available in four dual-color models (black with red, yellow, red or grey). It’s lightweight (at only 9.8 ounces) and has contoured low-profile ear cups with a noise-reduction rating of 23 dB. The Nordica Sport is available with a cell phone and MP3 jack, a carrying case and a soft padded headband. (The headset is offered with a five-year warranty.)
Suggested Retail Price: From $140
Contact: Peltor, (800) 225-9038,


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