Best Aviation Headsets for Pilots

Aviation headsets are precisely built to serve flying purposes and it would be impractical to go for conventional headsets because they will obviously fail. Even in an instance where you understand all the features available in a good headset for pilots, sometimes you need a good review or a buying guide to help you sift through the numerous brands and models available, which is the precise role that this article plays. The headphones reviewed here are not only high-end but also functional, affordable and built for aviation purposes.

So without further ado, here’s our selection of 10 best aviation headsets you should definitely consider.

Top 10 Best Aviation Headsets

1. Bose A20 Aviation Headset

Bose A20 Aviation Headset

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Compared to the ordinary aviation headsets, this particular model ensures that you enjoy a noise and disruption reduction of up to 30%. They feature both wired and wireless connectivity technology and perhaps this is why they are rated as the most versatile aviation headsets. The right gadgets should be light in weight and Bose not only takes this into account but also adds a comfortable sheepskin cushion, ensuring that all pilots focus on matters of value only when flying.

The module is ergonomic in nature, whereby the output features an auxiliary audio feature, ensuring that there is easy auxiliary and intercom switching, which provides a good option for receiving traffic warnings. The audio control feature is customizable, implying that the pilot can shift from mix to mute settings with ease. Bluetooth connectivity is a select model on these earphones, allowing users to take calls and even listen to music whenever appropriate.

The Best Features

  • Active equalization, which makes the audio content very clear
  • Customizable audio controls
  • Ergonomic controls which have Bluetooth functionality and audio prioritization settings
  • Flexible auto powering, which goes into effect whenever the avionics is powered

Pros

  • It is FAA certified
  • Two batteries can give up to 45 hours of continued use
  • The audio system is very clear, enhancing both music and communication functionalities

Cons

  • The bag is a little smaller, which requires some time to properly fix the headsets and wires before zipping it up

2. KORE Aviation KA-1

KORE AVIATION KA-1 Premium Gel Ear Seal PNR Pilot Aviation Headset

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This pair of aviation headsets is not only ideal for pilots but also students, instructors and flight schools. It is built ergonomically to provide optimal comfort, resulting from the ear seals which are defined by ultra-soft gels. They come with dual volume controls, and another 3.5mm plug, allowing users to listen to music and related content from their Android and iPhone devices. The microphone is endowed with noise-cancelling capabilities, a reason why the headphones create room for clear communication. The plates are also gold-coated, which offers corrosion resistance while giving the assurance of good connections as well.

The Best Features

  • The headset is very light, weighing 2.12 pounds only
  • Ultra-soft ear seals
  • Up to 50% passive noise reduction
  • Acoustic foam ear cups
  • 50mm performance speakers
  • 5mm audio port

Pros

  • They are exceptionally comfortable because they do not squeeze the head too much
  • The headband pad is extremely comfortable
  • They are built to last, a reason why they offer the solid feeling

Cons

  • The volume controls are rather difficult to balance

3. KORE Aviation P1

KORE AVIATION P1 Series PNR Pilot Aviation Headset

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It is rare to find aviation headsets with a stainless steel finish but this is exactly what KORE P1 series offers, in addition to the gold-plated plugs which abate the fears of corrosion. The volume controls are ‘on-ear’ in nature, which makes it easy to balance the sound and besides, there is a 3.5mm port which is compatible with Android, iPhone, MP3 and iPad devices. The ear-cups are made of acoustic foam and this explains why they are extremely comfortable for the pilot. They are capable of reducing noise passively by 24 decibels, giving the implication that the headset can be used even in the noisy multi-engine helicopters.

The Best Features

  • Superior noise reduction, ranging up to 24 decibels
  • Very light, weighing 1.75 pounds only
  • Comes with a cord having two standard prongs, which are connected to the a/c system, either for the microphone or hearing

Pros

  • The microphone picks up the pilot’s voice in an easy and clear manner
  • The ear seals are designed for optimal comfort
  • It has a sleek color, which is subtle in nature

Cons

  • The metal microphone adjuster is a little troublesome, moving frequently

4. Lightspeed Zulu 3

Lightspeed Zulu 3 Aviation Headset

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Zulu has been a brand of choice by pilots, both in public and private airlines but the new Zulu 3 has numerous additions, which propel the headset to a position among the top ten in the industry at the moment. The ear seals are beautifully contoured such that they hug the jaw’s curve irrespective of your facial configuration. The company also unveils a new set of cables, which are very light, highly flexible and amazingly durable. Actually these are the wires that are proven on Wireless Tango and PFX. Compared to the other models, the ear seals are also defined by a 20% increase in surface area, which allows them to work seamlessly with glasses.

Using the award-winning ANR Lightspeed technology, these headsets have all the essential features such as Bluetooth functionality, allowing the pilot to comfortably listen to music. The mic is user-adjustable, implying that it can easily and effortlessly pick the pilot’s voice irrespective of the surrounding noises. The headset is also Flightlink compatible, meaning that the pilot can retrieve all the outgoing and incoming communication, with the help of a free app which is compatible with iTunes and iPads.

The Best Features

  • An auto shut-off feature
  • 30-50% additional space for the ear
  • Tall head pads for additional comfort
  • A stainless steel headband
  • Magnesium cups

Pros

  • The ear cups are huge, giving enough room for all users
  • Ideal for long-cross country flights because of the Bluetooth functionality which gives the assurance of continued entertainment
  • It comes with the option of an auxiliary cable connection in case the Bluetooth fails
  • It has amazing sound-dampening capabilities

Cons

  • When using the Bluetooth, sometimes there is an echo which renders the sound inaudible

5. David Clark DC One-X ENC

David Clark DC ONE-X ENC Headset

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These headsets are designed to offer electronic noise cancelling capabilities, making them ideal for all pilots who are sensitive to disturbing noises. The design features a low profile but the comfort is top-notch and the durability is quite satisfactory. It is built using the hybrid ENC technology, which incorporates Bluetooth technology for playing music and picking inflight calls. The headset also comes with Fail-safe operation, which gives the assurance of communication even in an instance where there are system failures and battery losses.

The Best Features

  • Audio mute functionality
  • It comes with a David Clark Bag
  • It has leatherette ear seals which prevent the build-up of heat
  • The head-pad is also heat-absorbing

Pros

  • It has phenomenal noise-canceling capabilities
  • The headset is light and very comfortable
  • It has a compact and backlit control module
  • It comes in a collapsible design, which makes it easy to store

Cons

  • The ear seals are very fragile and can fall off easily

6. David Clark DC Pro-X2

David Clark DC PRO-X Hybrid Electronic Noise-Cancelling Aviation Headset

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There are very few brands which adorn their headbands with a magnesium alloy but David Clark stands out with this model. The head pad is leatherette and breathable, a reason why it is capable of absorbing heat to maintain comfort. On-the-ear design is one of the technologies that are rarely used but David Clark has leveraged this to ensure that the headset weighs as little as possible. Just like most models from this brand, the design is collapsible and therefore easy to store and carry around. It also comes with two coil voice driver functionalities, which give the assurance of continued use even in instances where the batteries have failed. The Bluetooth feature is not only meant to enhance music enjoyment because it is adorned with with mute functions to ensure that the pilot pays attention to the most essential sounds when necessary.

The Best Features

  • A five-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • An adjustable suspension
  • A vented headband
  • Hybrid ENC technology

Pros

  • It disperses clamping pressures for ultimate comfort
  • It comes with a free bag
  • It gives room for crisp reception and transmission
  • The control module is devoid of the clatter resulting from additional wires
  • The Bluetooth device can work even in instances when the headset is disconnected from the airplane

Cons

  • It takes multiple trials before one can find a comfortable position for the headsets
  • It is not the best when it comes to noise cancellation

7. David Clark H10-13S

David Clark H10-13S Stereo Headset

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At 17.0 oz, this is one of the lightest headsets that you will ever come across. It has a specialized noise reduction rating of at least 23 decibels, with a super-soft head pad which features double foam. The mic is flexible boom in nature, added to the gel ear seals for optimal comfort. The volume-control seals are designed with a low profile but they are decent when it comes to practical operation. It offers the addition of stereo audio, serving beginner and experienced pilots when it comes to stereo intercoms. It is especially ideal in flight training because its sturdy build can stand all forms of abuse and besides, it has all the entertaining features needed to stand long cross-country flights.

The Best Features

  • Gel ear seals
  • Molded cord assembly
  • Exclusive M-7A microphone
  • Soft Air-flow head pad

Pros

  • It is very durable, almost indestructible
  • Its volume is of high quality, alleviating the need for ANR
  • The audio content is crisp and clear

Cons

  • It lacks the high-end noise cancelling capabilities
  • It cannot be used in an F-16 aircraft

8. Cadence CA501

Cadence CA501 Premium PNR Pilot Aviation Headset

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Cadence offers a free carrying bag as part of its package but most essential are the features which come alongside this headset. The microphone features the flexible boom technology, which is capable of filtering and picking up the pilot’s voice for excellent disruption attenuation. The volume control is adjustable in nature, a reason why it is considered to be an ergonomic headset. The auxiliary input is compatible with MP3, iPad and iPhone devices, which is idyllic for entertainment in the course of flight. The ear seals are made of premium plush leather, which is comfortable even in long hours of flight.

The Best Features

  • 6 Auxiliary cables
  • It is light, weighing 2.0 pounds only
  • A solid build quality

Pros

  • It comes with a good sound quality, augmented by sound controls
  • The microphone’s sensitivity is phenomenal
  • It comes with a 3.5mm audio input
  • It comes with soft sound-dampening abilities

Cons

  • There is a need to constantly move the mic closer to the mouth, which can be a source of distraction

9. Rugged Air RA200

Rugged Air RA200 General Aviation Pilot Headset

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Noise reduction is a key feature underpinning this pair of headsets, considering the fact that they have a sound-dampening capability of up 24 decibels. Despite the fact that it is an affordable choice, the manufacturer does not make any compromises when it comes to quality and features. It has a 3.5mm music port, which is almost a standard requirement in any high-end headset. The 50mm audio speakers are very clear and besides, it features a noise-reflective microphone-EM56. The headband is made of stainless steel and besides, it is adjustable in nature, to ensure that all the essential sounds are picked from the surrounding. The microphone also has electret noise cancelling capabilities, a reason why it is a leader in the industry.

The Best Features

  • Stainless steel hardware
  • Tensile copper wiring
  • Foam-comfort ear seals
  • 50mm audio speakers
  • Deep-pocket ear canals

Pros

  • It offers the clearest communication between passengers and the crew
  • The volume controls are easy to use, allowing you to keep the radio volume higher as opposed to the music
  • It offers good sound-cancelling abilities

Cons

  • They fit snugly, but this is not the case for big persons
  • When keying up to talk, the sound quality may be awful before it finally gets clear

10. ASA HS-1

ASA HS-1 Aviation Headset

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The manufacturer’s confidence in headsets is seen in the type of warranty offered and this particular model comes with a lifetime warranty. The ear cups are made of acoustic foam, offering passive sound cancelling totaling to 23 decibels. The high-fidelity speakers which come alongside this headset give the assurance of clear and natural sound, not to forget the electret noise-cancelling microphones which can pick clear pilot sounds even in the noisiest of environments. The cables are multi-strand and high-grade in nature, an aspect which improves durability. The dual controls are large enough and easy to use, which offers the flexibility of easily controlling sound for each ear.

The Best Features

  • A lifetime warranty
  • A sleek appearance
  • An adjustable headband
  • Gold-plated plugs
  • A flex-boom microphone which blocks background noises

Pros

  • The high-density foam ear cups protect the pilot and ensure that he or she does not miss any radio calls
  • It can be rigged sometimes to ensure it works with Ham radios
  • It enhances two-way communication in-flight
  • The voice controls are simple to use, even when the pilot is on gloves

Cons

  • The cord length is fairly short

In summary, issues such as the quality of sound, the kind of fit and the noise-cancellation capabilities are essential when buying pilot headphones. This article brings to the fore all the features that experienced pilots and students ought to consider when making a purchase. Right from the warranty to the ear cup material and headband structure, it is important to be comfortable while enjoying the functionality of high-end headsets in order to stay safe and have a memorable flight. With such a comprehensive guide, your next buy should be ABC-easy.