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I already posted this message on the "Headset Shopping" board but I think entry level headsets deserve their own message board. So does anyone have any horror stories or great successes with entry level headsets(mainly Flightcom and Avcomm)?
My first set was the Telex Echelon 100. It has always worked great. I did put a set of gel ear seals on it to make it more comfortable, and my wife now uses it from the right seat. She likes it, too.
Whatever you do, do not buy one of the $59, $69, or $79 or whatever the really cheap ones advertised in some of these magazines. Sure they'll save you a little money now, but in about 2 months you'll wish you hadn't. I'd say skip the entry level and go for the good stuff. You will not regret it.
I couldn't agree more. I have a pair of Dave Clark H10-30(?) that I got ten years ago when they were top of the line. My only change was in response to a challenge from Oregon Aero last year when I stopped at their booth at Oshkosh looking for a seat cushion. I happened to mention to the salesman that I was considering purchasing ANC headphones and he offered me an upgrade of my phones for $99. I won't detail everything, but, without making a single change in electronics, they are quiet, extremely comfortable, and the best value I've seen yet. I won't trade them for anything (including the top of the Bose line stuff). Take a look in their catalogue and you'll see what I had done.
I don't think you can find a better headset(for the price) than an ASA HS1. It comes with a lifetime warrenty, and usually costs between $135 and $160. I got two now actually, bought some gel-cups when I bought my first one, and it's on its 3rd year. If nothing else, it makes a great second headset for passengers, they dont need the $1000 Bose ANA :) ) For comparission I have used some David Clarks and I must say, the DCs were noticably louder, although they were not the Active Noise Canceling models. The gel-ear-cups probably made the difference, but the point is that you don't have to spend $260+ on a DC to have a nice headset. I have nothing big against DC and they make a fine headset, but if you are just starting out the lifetime warrenty, price, and function of the HS1 is real hard to beat. Unless you got about $500 to burn on a nice ACA headset, I don't see much point in needlesly spending on something that isn't really much better.
I bought the Dave Clark H10-30XL headset with electronic noise cancelling because I have worked around too many jets and machines that have already wrecked my high tones. Yes they are expensive but they come with all the extras like padded headset, gel, dual volume knobs, and noise cancelling mic. The sound cancelling is extremlly noticeable when you flip the switch. Intercom and radio communications are crystal clear.
I can tell when another pilot is using a cheap headset, I can hear every sound his plane is making right thru my own headset. I have even humbled a few smug pilot friends by letting them use my set. They come back with a whole new respect for electronic noise cancelling.
On the other hand I do have a Telex Echelon for passengers, its very reasonably priced (around $100 I think) and the quality is pretty good too. I use it now and then to compare and its really not a bad set.
I bought a set of Marv Golden MG-40's when I got my private several years ago. I use them everyday (I am a CFI) and the only change I made was to put a set of gel seals on them. I have recommended them to several of my students and they have all had good luck with them. I also tried out a set of Marv Goldens new ANR headsets. I like the ANR, but the box is kinda clunky. For the price though, you can't beat em. I have about 1200 hours on my BG-40's now, and love em.
Date: 10/26/2003 10:47:39 PM
I don't think you can find a better headset(for the price) than an ASA HS1. ...
I love my DC 20-10XL set, but my wife has the ASA HS1 for when she joins me in the right seat, and likes it fine, especially after I added a set of gel seals (the DC 10-13 ones fit). I've only heard good things about the company's commitment to the product, too, though I have personally not had to send them back for anything.
I had passed down to me, a set of lighweight over-the-ear Plantronics and a set of Pilots, with articulated boom. Bummers, both. The Plantronics just didn't do the job (one ear) and the Pilots were plain uncomfortable.
I wanted a passive set so I didn't have to fool with batteries. Sigtronics S-58 have many of the best features (gel ear seals, flexible boom, electret mic, 5 year warranty, etc) and are among the lightest in weight. If you shop the internet, reasonable and competitive prices can be found. They come with a carrying bag. I liked the first set well enough to go for a second for my wife. It was a tossup with Lightspeed, though.
They are medium priced and can be found at a number of web sites, including Sporty's at around $250.00.
Considering the price and lifetime warranty the ASA HS-1 headset is a great value. I currently have them available on my new web site through the end of April for $114.95 with free domestic shipping. http://www.stormscopes.com
Don't buy an 'entry level' headset. Buy the best and save your hearing from the start.
Take extra care to avoid activities that might detract from flying.
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