Most aircraft engines may produce noise levels up to 85 Db inside the cockpit. Thus, getting one of the best aviation headsets is crucial to protect your hearing and keep you in touch with your co-pilot, passengers, and ground control. Although 80 Db might not seem like a lot, anything over that level has the potential to be harmful over time. Active noise cancellation is a feature of some headsets, like the Lightspeed Zulu 3 at Amazon, which significantly lessens the strain on your eardrums.
Anyone who has flown in a small, single-engine aircraft will tell you that a radio is required to communicate with the person sitting next to you. This is why getting a high-quality boom mic is crucial. Models like the Bose A20 are available at Amazon and have a side-swappable microphone, Bluetooth connectivity, and a range of plug kinds. Before purchasing one of the best aviation headsets, read our explanation on how noise-cancellation works if you’re curious how these headsets can help protect your hearing.
1. David Clark DC ONE-X
David Clark’s reputation precedes it, and the United States Armed Forces and first responders employ its communication equipment. The DC ONE-X is, without a doubt, the most incredible aviation headset available from the firm, with a wide range of options. It achieves Hybrid Electronic Noise Cancellation (ENC) using cutting-edge feed-forward and feedback technology, and it has Bluetooth capability for simple connecting with smartphones, tablets, and other similar devices.
David Clark DC ONE-X has a small, in-line control module compatible with all aviation audio panel setups. All the headset’s controls, including on/off and volume, are conveniently accessible on the illuminated module and run for up to 50 hours on two AA batteries. The headset has a five-year warranty and is TSO-C139a certified.
2. Runner-Up,Bose A20
While Bose is most known for its consumer-focused audio products, the business also creates some items for specific uses, such as the tremendous A20 aviation headset. It comes with Bluetooth for hassle-free wireless networking and offers up to 30% more active noise suppression than standard aviation headsets. The “Active Equalization” technology in the headset automatically balances and molds incoming signals, improving audio quality.
With the Bose A20, you can also adjust the order of audio transmissions. You can mute the auxiliary audio signal when receiving communication or combine inbound transmission with Bluetooth- and plugged-in-audio. The A20 comes with an ergonomic control module that runs on two AA batteries for up to 45 hours and has a side-swappable microphone that can be connected to either earcup. Numerous plug types, including 6-pin and U174, are available for the headset.
3. Kore Aviation KA-1
There is no benefit to spending a fortune on a high-end aviation headset if you are a student who has just started earning your pilot’s license. And you don’t have to because of the KA-1 from Kore Aviation. The KA-1 aviation headset, unquestionably the best cheap option on the market, uses high-density acoustic foam cups for industry-leading passive noise reduction.
It uses ultra-soft silicone gel ear seals with a noise reduction rating (NRR) of 24dB that guarantees a pleasant fit and lets your ears breathe easily. The headset has 50mm drivers, and each earcup has dual volume controls for easy adjustment. Additionally, you receive a built-in electret noise-canceling microphone for whispered conversations and a durable molded Y-block switch for quickly switching between mono and stereo modes.
4. Rugged.Air RA200
While the top-of-the-line aviation headsets, with their long lists of capabilities, are fantastic, some users might prefer something a little more straightforward. If that describes you, consider Rugged Air’s RA200. The RA200 has 50mm mono audio drivers because it keeps things simple. This low-cost aviation headset is perfect for passengers, flight instructors, and even novice pilots because it has a Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) of 24dB.
A wind-blocking foam mic muff is included with the integrated noise-reflecting EM56 microphone to guarantee consistently clear conversation. Even the 3.5mm audio port on the Rugged Air RA200 includes gold-plated connectors so that you may listen to music on portable music players. There is a seven-year warranty on it.
5. David Clark H10-13.4
Although there are many different price points for aviation headsets, the best ones strike the perfect balance between features and affordability. Although there are several reliable, reasonably priced choices on the market, David Clark’s H10-13.4 receives our endorsement. It has comfort-gel ear seals and is one of the best-selling headsets in the aviation sector. These seals, which have a patented undercut design, are more extensive but lighter.
The double-foam head pad is another option, and its distinctive center hinge guarantees a better fit.
The H10-13.4 has a cutting-edge M7-A noise-canceling electret microphone for apparent speech transmission, and its universal flex boom enables improved mic placement. The headset comes with a low-profile volume control knob with detent settings and a molded wire assembly that resists pulling and flexing. There is a five-year warranty on it.
6. Lightspeed Zulu 3
Communication between the flight instructor and ATC must be crystal clear when the pilot is in the cockpit. You’ll need a noise-canceling aviation headset, and we’d be happy to suggest Lightspeed’s Zulu. It utilizes magnesium earcups that effectively filter out high-frequency noise while providing superior Active Noise Reduction (ANR) performance over a broad spectrum of low-frequency noise. Communication is greatly improved thanks to the inbuilt dual-aperture disc microphone’s improved noise cancellation.
Additionally, it has user-adjustable mic gain, which balances loud and gentle sounds in scenarios with several headsets. The Zulu 3 is also one of the toughest aviation headsets you can get right now, with cables encased in a Kevlar core and almost entirely made of stainless steel and magnesium. You receive an auxiliary input for connecting smartphones, tablets, and portable music players in addition to Bluetooth for wireless connectivity. Numerous configurations exist for the Lightspeed Zulu 3, including Dual GA, LEMO, and U-174.
7. Faro Aviation Faro G3
An aircraft headset must be light and comfortable if you plan to wear it over your head for a few hours each day. It has top-notch capabilities packed into a body that weighs only 9 ounces. It is an Active Noise Reduction (ANR) headset made entirely of carbon fiber with a 52dB rating. Because of the imitation leather ear cushions and the plush padding on the headband, it is also charming to wear.
Premium drivers are included in the G3 for an improved audio experience, and the noise-canceling electret microphone can be rotated 360 degrees for simple adjusting. Auxiliary audio input is supported, and Bluetooth is used for wireless connectivity. The Faro G3 headset has an in-line controller that makes it simple to use all of the features, including dual volume controls, audio priority modes, and many others.
8. Faro Aviation Faro Air
Even though over-the-ear (or circumaural) headsets are widely used, they are cumbersome to transport. We advise the ultra-light Faro Air if you prefer something smaller (and more manageable). This in-ear aircraft headset, which weighs only an ounce, offers a 50dB noise reduction. It has padded loops that wrap over the ears for a secure fit and a thin adjustable band.
The in-ear drivers of the Air (rated at 280 ohms) produce music with stunning clarity and include removable foam ear-tips that fit more profoundly into the ear canals for improved noise isolation. Additionally, you receive a built-in electret noise-canceling microphone and an in-line controller with quick access to key features (such as dual volume controls and stereo/mono switching).
Look no further than the David Clark DC ONE-X, which is essentially the industry standard, for a fantastic aviation headset. This headset is unmatched and is used by the US Air Force and private contractors. But we advise the Lightspeed Zulu 3 if you’re searching for something more commercially viable with superior noise canceling.