The David Clark H10 13.4 Aviation Headset is our best aviation headset and its placement of the microphone is very strategic because of its universal flex boom feature. It also has remarkable and convenient detent settings for your preferences. Even if you are wearing glasses with thick frames, you can still wear the headset in a very comfortable way due to its perfect fit and intuitive design and you can also use the headset for a helicopter.
Our step-up pick is the Bose A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth and it has a Bluetooth function so you can use it for playing music on the go even in flights. Clamping force is also significantly reduced by 30 percent compared to other aviation headsets out there. It comes with a convenient and easy to use control module. At only 12 ounces of weight, it is very portable and light weight to consider as a headset for aviation with an amazing quality of audio clarity.
The budget pick is the KORE AVIATION KA-1 Gel-Ear Aviation Headset and this headset for aviation purposes has a noise reduction rating or NRR of 24 dB so it greatly helps to protect your ears from engine sounds and loud airplane ambient noise. There is also a y-block switch for mono or stereo output for this headset for aviation purposes and the design is very luxurious, sleek and durable so you can use it for a long time without breaking and with proper care.
A Little Background
An aviation headset is a specialized headphone that effectively blocks out noise from the outside source that is meant for airplanes and airplane engines on the cockpit. Aviators or pilots are often in a great need for control and reliability for radio transmissions from the command center of the airline company and this is why they will really need a very reliable headset that is meant for use in aviation purposes.
Because flights can be very noisy because of the take off sound of the engine and the succeeding amounts of noise by the jet engines, aviators find it hard to communicate with airplane personnel and command centers. To resolve this mind boggling problem, advanced technology has made its way in the aviation industry in the form of reliable aviation headsets.
Perhaps we are all aware of the very fact that wearing a headset or a headphone for long hours can strain your ears. This is why aviation headphones have been invented for the aviator’s convenience in the long run. Hours and days of flight means they have to constantly wear the headset and this is why comfort is a big issue for such headsets for aviation purposes. Moreover, aviation controls only permit special types of plug ports such as dual plug for headsets, making such headsets specifically made for airplanes.
How We Picked
These are some of the things we are looking for in a great aviation headset:
Comfort factor – sitting in the pilot seat for hours of manning flights can be exhausting, and more so if you wear a headset that can strain your ears. This is why you need absolute comfort using a headset that takes good care of your ears without compromising sound quality.
Noise reduction – airplanes and cockpits are very noisy and the only thing that can save you is a noise reduction feature. Some aviation headsets use active noise reduction and some use passive noise reduction in its method of eliminating noise.
Other features – some aviation headsets are also capable of Bluetooth functions so you can listen to music during long hours of flights without compromising the important audio signals from your command center or flight crew.
David Clark H10 13.4 Aviation Headset
Our best aviation headset is the David Clark H10 13.4 Aviation Headset and this amazing aviation headset has a low profile design in the knob that is specifically for controlling the volume. It also has remarkable and convenient detent settings for your preferences. Because it has great noise cancelling capabilities, it is definitely built for aviation and the loud sounds of any typical airplane.
Its placement of the microphone is very strategic because of its universal flex boom feature and the ear seals have an undercut design with comfort gel so that the pilot can enjoy controlling flights for long hours without getting their ears strained. Even if you are wearing glasses with thick frames, you can still wear the headset in a very comfortable way due to its perfect fit and intuitive design.
The head pad has a double foam material that is very soft and comfortable to help the pilot endure long hours of flights and its microphone that is built-in the M-7A, even has tremendous amounts of noise cancelling capabilities so it is definitely built for the high skies where engine volume levels are tremendously loud. You can also use the headset for a helicopter and if you want great quality in passive noise reduction for a good aviation headset then this is the headset you can depend on for an affordable price. It effectively seals the noise outside to let you focus on the important details from your command center. Because of the light weight feel, you can be assured that it will not take its toll on your ears or strain them.
There is also a Bluetooth adapter so you can listen to music on the go to keep you awake during long hours of flight. They are also a great pair of headsets for flight students and the like. Because they do not require batteries due to not being ANR headset types that use electronic noise cancelling features, the headphones are super convenient to use and maintain in the long run. A warranty of 5 years ensures that the manufacturers got your back when it comes to customer satisfaction for this awesome product for aviation purposes.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
Like most electronic gear, the David Clark H10 13.4 Aviation Headset has its own bucket of flaws but they are very small and there is nothing to worry about. They do not break the deal at all. For example, some people wanted the headset to have at least a carrying case for added protection, but this is rather optional.
Bose A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth
This step-up pick, the Bose A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth, has a Bluetooth function so you can use it for playing music on the go even in flights. There is also a dual plug cable feature included with this awesome aviation headset for convenience. Also adding to its great line of features it can offer is the clear audio that is provided by the headset’s technology such as active equalization so you can only listen to superb quality wherever the source is coming from.
Clamping force is also significantly reduced by 30 percent compared to other aviation headsets out there. Active noise reduction for this aviation headset outmatches competitor brands at a rate of 30 percent so it is quite a successfully built headset to consider for your next flight. You can also mute any specific audio signal due to its audio prioritization control or you can also mix two signals together for a greater sense of monitoring things while in the flight. You can even use the Bluetooth function to easily connect to any navigation device that you may have onboard.
At only 12 ounces of weight, it is very portable and light weight to consider as a headset for aviation with an amazing quality of audio clarity. Also, its plug and fly feature helps add convenience to the user. You can also choose to customize the microphone’s connection to either the left or right ear cup so you feel more comfortable and confident with its flexible design. It only requires 2 AA batteries to run wirelessly and comes with a convenient and easy to use control module.
There is also a clothing clip with an in-line design for convenience and stability and its dual plug measures 64 inches all in all. The headset is meant for general aviation purposes. It uses active EQ technology to power up and spice up audio quality and the amount of time you can use this headset is for up to 45 hours on regular wireless usage. It also comes with a carrying case, which is something that our budget lacks, thus making this truly a step-up pick.
KORE AVIATION KA-1 Gel-Ear Aviation Headset
This budget pick headset for aviation purposes, the KORE AVIATION KA-1 Gel-Ear Aviation Headset, has a noise reduction rating or NRR of 24 dB so it greatly helps to protect your ears from engine sounds and loud airplane ambient noise. The headset comes with a neat bag that has a custom fit for you to easily carry it around and for protection purposes. There are also dual volume controls as a feature on this premium aviation headset that lets you control the volumes of each ear piece of the headset.
The great thing about this headset is that it supports mp3 files and mp3 players so you can listen on the go while in flights to your favorite music or audio source. Breathability and comfort are never compromised because of the foam ear cups that provide great acoustic power and the gel ear seals that have an ultra plush design to provide you with utmost comfort and reliability for long and extended flights for endurance. The plugs are gold plated so that you can receive audio signals clearer without much distortion at all.
There is also a y-block switch for mono or stereo output for this headset for aviation purposes and you can use it for iOS or Android phones just fine. Passive noise attenuation is very great among its class and its price value. The design is very luxurious, sleek and durable so you can use it for a long time without breaking and with proper care. The microphone that is built-in is also very flexible so you can use it in any situation without compromising comfort overall and the gel ear seals are made from silicone material that is hypoallergenic to sensitive skin so you can wear it for longer hours of flights without itching. It is also a great aviation headset for those who are in flight school and is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty of 5 years.
Best Heavy Duty Aviation Headset
ASA HS-1 Aviation Headset
The sleek look on this aviation headset, the ASA HS-1 Aviation Headset, makes it very pleasing in its design and comfort factor. You can wear it for hours without getting your ears strained due to its comfortable build and materials on its ear cups. The advanced technology on this aviation headset is undeniably great and dependable for its capability of processing audio and it also has a flex boom feature in its system as an aviation headphone so its microphone can be able to cancel out noise using electrets mechanism.
Each of the ear cups have been silk screened with ASA silver wings to give it a sleek design and a comfortable feel and its noise reduction rating or NRR is at 23 dB so it effectively blocks out outside noise. You can easily control the volumes due to the dual controls with a large design and the headband can be easily adjusted to your liking for providing excellent comfort on the go.
The wire has multiple strands so it is very effective in sending out signals and is of high grade material to add to its durability and the microphone and headphone plugs are both gold plated for excellent signal and audio quality and also to resist corrosion to add to its durability. It is also capable of both stereo and mono outputs. It is backed by a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty for the best customer satisfaction.
Ideal Aviation Headset with ANR or Active Noise Reduction
FARO G2 ANR Pilot Aviation Headset
This aviation headset, the FARO G2 ANR Pilot Aviation Headset, uses active noise reduction or ANR in its noise cancelling capabilities. Moreover, there are also adapters included with this headset that allows you to use it for mp3 players, helicopters and many more and it also supports any dual GA adapter for any aviation system. It is also highly compatible with any iPad, iPod, and radio or mp3 player so you can also use it to listen to music or record sounds.
As for the specs, the noise reduction rating of this aviation headset is at 52 dB and one of its key features is the compression technology that goes along with its ANR or active noise reduction. Because of the very fact that the headset is engineered in the United States, you can be assured that its quality is unmatched compared to other competitor brands. The FARO G2 ANR Headset uses an electret microphone that is integrated which effectively cancels out noise in the background so it gives you a very clear communication in the long run. In fact, any cockpit noise can be filtered out using the active noise reduction so you can stay comfortable and communicate clearly.
The microphone beam also permits ATC and also has a wind screen for additional features. It is durable yet soft fiber material is used for making the cushion pads of the aviation headset. Other than the cockpit noise, it can also block out wind and engine sounds due to its noise reduction capabilities. It even has a passive noise reduction at 23 dB for additional comfort in any flight.
The FARO Headset comes with a 3.5 mm aux cable for listening to music conveniently. As an active noise reduction headset for aviation, it can last up to 30 hours of regular usage with its battery system that uses 2 AA batteries which can be of any brand. It still works as a PNR or passive noise reduction headset even when out of battery power or when on low battery power.
Any intercom system, whether it is on mono or stereo, can be highly supported by this aviation headset. As a great aviation headset to consider for flight school or for general aviation purposes, it is backed by a warranty of 3 years for replacement of parts.
Unique Aviation Headset with Flex Boom Feature
Rugged Air RA900 Aviation Pilot Headset
The Rugged Air RA900 Aviation Pilot Headset is highly reliable and the flex boom microphone that filters out noise as you speak is a very great feature of this aviation headset. Its rugged design also makes it highly durable to the test of time and reliable even on the most dangerous situations and the fact that it is a stereo pilot headset makes it very high quality in its output sounds.
It uses audio speakers at 50 mm to deliver you either mono or stereo quality sound in any flight or similar activity and hearing protection is superb due to its noise reduction rating of 24 dB. The flex boom microphone also has a reflective cup design and is an EM56 noise reduction microphone in its brand. Listening to music is not a problem at all because it also comes with an input jack (3.5 mm) for audio devices. The dials are relatively easy to locate and control and each of the ears can be adjusted with their volume levels for convenience as you fly or man the flight.
A perfect headset for general aviation purposes, it uses a dual plug GA connector for just about any aviation system. The headband poses a lot of durability due to its stainless steel build which keeps it from rusting and the elements so you can use the headset for a very long time and you can also connect any mp3 player or iPod for conveniently listening to music.
Ear canals also have a deep pocket design so you can reduce the outside noise better without sacrificing the comfort factor of the headset. The dome even houses the push to talk button that is also weather proof so it is highly reliable even in the greatest airplane emergencies possible. There are also ear seals that make up the headset’s rugged design.
Ideal Aviation Headset with Built-in Microphone
Telex Airman 750 aviation headset
The Telex Airman 750 aviation headset comes with the needed dual GA plug for connecting onto any general aviation system and it also has a flex boom microphone to eliminate noise as you speak and communicate with others to take out the engine noise, cockpit noise and wind factors on the background. At just 3.2 ounces of weight, it is super dependable for long hours of flight so you can wear it for a long time. The electret microphone is also very dependable so it can cancel out and filter out noise as you wish and the wire near the assembly of the microphone is not just braided but also enclosed for durability and dependability when it comes to signal quality.
The microphone placement is highly flexible due to the flexible boom design and it has a hum rejection of up to 400 Hz which is great for a noise cancelling headset for aviation purposes. The receivers on each side are both dynamic to deliver the best of sound output and the cushions that house the receivers help your ears relax during long hours of flight without having to take the headset off as much as often.
There is also an overhead cord on the headband and you can also install a push to talk switch separately. The headband is also very sturdy due to its stainless steel construction that makes it highly durable. You can also use it with the Airbus family. Communications from the cockpit with radio are not a problem at all due to its noise reduction capabilities.
Ideal Aviation Headset for Radio Systems
Wishingcar Kenwood Noise Cancelling Pilot Headset
The Wishingcar Kenwood Noise Cancelling Pilot Headset is a highly applicable pilot aviation headset for various radios and radio systems such as Kenwood, iCom, Motorola among others and it uses a min DIN plug to connect so it is very versatile and can adapt to a lot of radio systems in its build. It also effectively cancels out noise in its way so it is a very great aviation headset to consider.
With a noise reduction rating of 24 dB, you can definitely depend upon its quality as a noise canceling aviation headset. Using ABS or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene material for the speaker’s dome part, it gives durability, resistance to high temperatures and also sturdiness without sacrificing the weight so it is a great and dependable headset for rugged use as well. There is also a meal frame that efficiently connects the two speakers behind your head for a superior sound quality and experience due to the strategic placement of the speakers.
The ear pad has three layers and is quite thick to give you the best comfort and the best of cancelling out noise from the background. The unit also works on Linton, Quansheng, Puxing and many other aviator radio brands out there and there is also a double PTT setting for your convenience which you can select between PTT and VOX. The metal frame also helps it adjust to any position or angle you need or prefer. It has also passed a humidity test under 40 degrees Celsius at 95 percent of humidity and a temperature test at freezing -25 degrees Celsius and at blazing 50 degrees Celsius as well so it is very versatile for any weather that might hit your aircraft. The included cable for the headset to PTT is 1 1/2 feet while for the radio from the PTT is also 1 1/2 feet, with a total length of 4 feet.
It also uses a sponge filter to add to its noise reduction capabilities and it has an impedance of 8 ohms at +/- 15 percent at 800 Hz 1 volt. The head straps on this aviation headset are Velcro that helps you keep the headset intact without feeling awkward or heavy in its build and it is also highly adjustable using the Velcro straps included in the unit.
Reliable Aviation Headset with Noise Reduction Capability
Flightcom 4DLX Classic Style Headset
As a passive headset for aviation, the Flightcom 4DLX Classic Style Headset is super light weight at only 16 ounces so it does not take its toll on your head and still keeps you comfortable for long flights. Ear seals are made from foam and liquid to give you comfort for extended hours of flight without sacrificing its ability to reduce outside noise as a passive noise reduction headset.
You can also adjust the volume of each ear cup using the dual volume controls, both of which are strategically placed for convenience and its classic and rugged style makes it a good aviation headset for general aviation purposes. The headband pad also features an air pillow material that keeps your head comfortable as the headset rests upon your head for prolonged hours.
The microphone also has flex boom capabilities, allowing it to cancel out noise effectively to filter out the excessive engine and cockpit noise as well as wind noise and it even works with any open cabin ultra light. It is also placed tightly around your ear and it will not come off easily and it uses a dual plug GA for its connection system, which is typical for civilian aircrafts. It is backed by a warranty of 3 years plus a 30-day trial period.
Unique Aviation Headset with Bluetooth Function
Lightspeed ZULU.2 Straight Cord Aviation Headset
The Lightspeed ZULU.2 Straight Cord Aviation Headset has a unique Bluetooth function which lets you listen to music from your mp3 player, smart phone or other source of music conveniently and you can also switch between mono and stereo sound quality with this headset. Using a straight cord plus dual GA plugs, this headset for aviation is highly reliable in its build.
Battery life can also be saved better using the automatic shut off feature. In fact, there is also a Com Priority feature which lets you set a priority device when receiving intercom transmissions to lower the volume of any secondary auxiliary device such as a song playing from your phone which is a Bluetooth source. It is also highly comfortable and quiet in its build so you can depend on it for long flights.
Any kind of noise in the cockpit can be filtered out using the noise attenuation of its high-end technology to cancel out noise to let you hear the most important transmissions. It uses ANR or active noise reduction as it is a battery powered aviation headset.
Other aviation headsets out there did not match our criteria simply because they are a bit too tight for long hours of flight and they also do not offer a lot of other features that can be useful for an aviation headset. Remember that flying an airplane or any aircraft is no joke and you have to depend on reliable communication systems to maintain safety.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What does an aviation headset do in comparison to regular headsets?
A: According to Stack Exchange , aviation headsets are specifically for ATC communication, hearing protection and usually offer greater durability than standard commercial and gaming headsets out there. Aviation headsets also use a dual plug system instead of just one and these headsets use either active or passive noise reduction.
Q: Which is better: ANR or PNR?
A: According to Pilots of America , it depends upon your preferences but ANR protects the ears better although they are more expensive and use batteries to run. PNR on the other hand does not expend battery power yet may not be as great as ANR in noise reduction.
Wrapping It Up
To summarize, the David Clark H10 13.4 Aviation Headset is our best aviation headset to keep your ears on track without the excessive engine noise of the aircraft.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.