Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The New Peltor 9500 Digital Headset

Peltor’s new headset aims for the cockpit

As my passenger and I reached cruising altitude, we talked about the usual flight-related topics, and I got a better feel for the sound of the Peltor ANR 9500. ATC communications sounded very clear. As a musician, I noticed an odd prominence of high to middle frequencies, which is probably a result of the headset enhancing sounds in the speech frequency spectrum. Intercom conversations were very clean, and I noticed that the mic was doing a good job of canceling unwanted ambient noise in the taildragger.

The mic noise canceling was less noticeable in the quieter environment of a Cessna 172SP. In both cockpits, the ANR was great. I removed the headset to listen to the ambient noise for a few seconds so I could compare the effect once I donned the ANR headset. The difference is marked. ANR is definitely the choice for many cockpit environments. It’s still hard for me to get used to the sound of certain frequencies getting “sucked” away when you turn on the ANR, but there’s no question that it does make for a comfortable cockpit environment.

The Peltor ANR 9500 boasts analog and digital ANR. Analog ANR refers to the traditional active noise attenuation method where a set frequency is pumped into the ear cup that’s 180 degrees opposite to the engine/prop noise. In effect, that generated sound “cancels out” the unwanted noise. With digital ANR, the headset takes a more adaptive role and cancels out different frequencies as the noise environment changes. These adjustments happen in microseconds and aren’t audible to the wearer. Digital or “adaptive” ANR is the way noise attenuation is headed.

Overall, the new Peltor ANR 9500 is an excellent active noise reduction headset. Its adaptive technology is its strongest selling point, and the Peltor team seems to have addressed all the usual areas of concern in a headset. If you’re in the market for an ANR headset, make sure you try the 9500 to see if it fits your personal style. Visit


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