Most of us are still looking to get more value for less money when we buy products these days. And a decent headset, especially one with active noise reduction, can be a costly item for any pilot. If your price point is out of range of some of the higher-priced ANR headsets, the Telex Stratus 30XT ANR (up to 16 dB) headset can be had for nearly half the price (it retails for around $500) with pretty much the same features that its pricier counterparts have, including an MP3 and cell phone adapter that allows you to attach both at the same time.
One of the unique aspects, however, of the 30XT is that volume adjustment is via knobs located on the outside of each ear cup. For me, it's easier to reach up to adjust the knob than to search for a volume switch on the cord. Though the ear cups are bulky, they are quite comfy and secure, which for my training is perfect — I love to fly the Remos G-3 with the doors off, and sometimes the wind briefly finds its way into the cockpit.
Another feature I like is the snug fit of the mike. Once it's placed, it stays firmly in position, and the clarity of communications is noteworthy. As for power, it's nice to have battery options on a headset at this price point, disposable and rechargeable. With Telex's exclusive microprocessor-control battery management system, the battery life should see 50 hours on AA batteries. Or you can opt to use the rechargeable batteries that come with the headset. And the power turns off automatically once not in use — yet another good thing because I often forget to turn my headset off until long after my head is out of the clouds and I'm back on the ground. For more info, visit telex.com.