Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Headsets: The Critical Component
Defining your mission is the key to finding the right headset
craft?” My friend would then patiently answer in her clearest voice, “No, it’s one niner mike kilo and it’s a Decathlon-type bravo lima eight.” Eventually, they would get it right, and it would start again at the next handoff.
This was an example of the wrong headset in the wrong airplane. The headset she wore sounded fantastic in most airplanes. It has ANR (active noise reduction) and an excellent microphone, albeit one that was designed for quieter cockpits. Decathlons (like Super Cubs and many other airplanes) are particularly noisy in the cabin. They have an abundance of two things: a loud, low-frequency hum and a great amount of high-frequency noise from air flowing over the boxy fuselage. The fuselage also acts like a guitar body, amplifying the noise. It’s a very unique cockpit environment. It’s not good or bad, it just is.
My friend’s expensive headset—with the unprotected microphone designed for average GA cockpits—was transmitting all the aircraft noise in the cabin. It wasn’t a problem with the headset; it was just the wrong environment for that particular one. I wore my less expensive, passive headset that I wear in open cockpits. I selected that particular headset and tweaked it until it gave the best results possible in that loud environment. It was a simple example of picking the right tool for the job. Mine is a headset tailored to a particular environment.
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Labels: Buyer's Guide, Cockpit Gadgets, Features, Headsets, Pilot Resources, Pilot Supplies, Pilot Gear, Gear, Gadgets