Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Beyerdynamic HS 600 DANR Headset

Advanced noise reduction from Germany

I tested Beyerdynamic’s HS 600 DANR on a local flight in a friend’s Cessna 180 (my airplane was down for maintenance). I found the headset generally quite comfortable, though the weight and clamping pressure were both a bit higher than a competing noise-reduction headset I’ve used for several years. In passive mode (with noise reduction off), the HS 600 DANR gave comparable results to the competition—but I was very impressed when I turned the noise reduction on. Low-frequency rumble from the engine almost disappeared, making voice communications easy to understand.

I compared the HS 600 DANR in flight with my older analog noise-reduction headset and a friend’s passive headset, and had him try the HS 600 DANR as well. We both agreed that the HS 600 DANR was the clear winner in cutting low-frequency noise. I also was delighted to find that the HS 600 DANR avoided a common problem with older analog noise-reduction headsets: feedback that sounds like a squeal during descent. That’s likely a benefit of the HS 600 DANR’s microprocessor-controlled, digital noise-reduction circuit.

Like all portable electronic noise-reduction headsets, the HS 600 DANR has a battery box and control unit, which in this case uses two AA batteries, and like all such units, it will happily flatten the batteries if you forget to turn the unit off. Thankfully, the HS 600 DANR includes an automatic switch-off function to save battery life. Still, Beyerdynamic uses a soft-touch on/off switch that’s easy to turn on by accident when handling the headset, so I recommend that owners remove the batteries when not in use. The HS 600 DANR battery box also includes jacks to connect a cell phone or music device and for external power.

On the plus side, the HS 600 DANR includes a volume control that works in both passive and active modes, which I found quite effective in finding an audio level that worked well for me and my friend, who was using a different headset. And I was pleased with the HS 600 DANR’s well-designed carrying case.

Beyerdynamic’s HS 600 DANR sells for $749 plus tax and shipping. It’s manufactured in Germany and serviced in Farmingdale, N.Y., and includes a five- year warranty. A wide range of customization options (mainly related to the color of various components) is available through the company’s website. Visit


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