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Re: headsets

Postby DJTorrente » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:07 pm

Add me to the Clarity Aloft camp. I've tried to get out of the aircraft still plugged in because I forgot I was wearing them.

Quiet Technologies makes a model called Halo that is the same basic concept (speaker-in-earplug) for $360. I've heard good things by those who used them, but they don't seem to have the same market penetration.

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Re: headsets

Postby PilotBillFromTexas » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:26 am

DJTorrente wrote:I've heard good things by those who used them, but they don't seem to have the same market penetration.

As long as there is less wallet penetration then who cares?

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Re: headsets

Postby champguy » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:13 pm

Radio Shack has ear buds with noise attenuating foam tips, but no mike boom for only about fifty bucks. The big price jump is in the marketing and "aircraft premium". Of course good quality foam ear plugs can be had at any outlet selling noisy power tools for about twenty five cents.
The one issue worth really looking at is the foam in the ear plugs. The type of foam in the Clarity Aloft is a porus "memory" foam that slowly expands to seal the ear canal giving both comfort and really good noise reduction. Because the foam is porus it does absorb some ear wax, slowly breaks down, and has to be replaced from time to time. Hence the pack of replacement tips.
Another brand uses custom molded tips which are expensive and presumably permanent but must need cleaning from time to time.
I love my Clarity Aloft, but I'm sure they could be sold for a hundred bucks at an obcene profit margin if there was any volume at all.
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Re: headsets

Postby Rockdog » Thu Nov 26, 2009 11:41 am

If there is any interest in LS Zulus, I am looking for a set and found a deal. just check this thread viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1110

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Re: headsets

Postby Soccer-Jock » Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:28 am

I just replaced my Lightspeed 20XLc's with Zulus. The 20 XLc was a good ANR headset, but very BIG and bulky... and they tended to clamp a bit after 2 hours.
The Zulu's are remarkable. The ANR is superb, the bluetooth is a welcome feature and they are supremely comfortable. I have tried the DC's, the Bose and a few other brands. The Zulu's are on par with the Bose, though a bit more "stylish" (if you're into that sort of thing). In my opinion the Zulu's are a bit more comfortable and have a greater range for adjustment of sound to YOUR preference (more or less bass / treble).

For the life of me I cannot figure why ANY company should charge these near-thousand dollar prices... the mark-up is astounding.
In all, communication is vital to me. And hearing things on the first shot, without hesitating even one second to replay what was said in your mind... is worth spending for the ANR enhanced headsets. Fatigue is another factor. Combine ANR with lighter weight and less pressure and you are definitely less fatigued in the end.

Zulu's get my thumbs up.

The engineer in me couldn't help but take them apart the first day to see what my money bought. I was quite surprised to find that the Zulu headset "automatic power off" features works by using tiny pressure sensors in each ear cup. The headset can actually detect tiny pressure changes when the earcups are sealed around your ears - as long as the pressure continues to vary slightly... the circuitry decides that it is still on your head and keeps the ANR powered up. When the earcups are removed from your head and the pressure stabilizes between outside the cup and inside the cup without significant change... the headset starts a "watchdog" 2 minute timer, if nothing changes in 2 minutes... the headset powers itself off. Brilliant!

The ANR and bluetooth is pretty run-of-the-mill. But I was quite surprised to find an audio DSP (digital signal processor) inside. They apparently do quite a bit of wave shaping. My guess is this is part of their "Front Row Center" audio feature.

Really good quality.

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Re: headsets

Postby Landis » Tue Mar 23, 2010 1:11 pm

As a flight instructor flying about 1,000 hours/year in a large range of smaller Cessna's I can attest to the Clarity Aloft's being a wonderful product. I started with the David Clark H10-13.4 which I still love. The Zulu's have been tried and are really, really good. For me, the Clarity Aloft's work better for a couple reasons:
I wear glasses (ANR and glasses don't mix well)
I fly in small planes in warm temperatures (no sweaty ear cups)
No batteries to replace, or die
The noise isolation really is comparable to ANR as long as you replace the Comply eartips - I replace mine about once a month (±100 hrs)

I really like the Zulu BlueTooth integration. The music quality is excellent. But when the batteries die, it almost seems louder to use the Zulu than to just take them off. They are comfortable though.

Personally I'd start with a good quality passive low-cost headset and spend some time flying before deciding to spend $500-1000 on a headset. My DC's are still a great option as a backup and I've owned them for 15 years.

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Re: headsets

Postby cozy171bh » Tue May 11, 2010 5:16 pm

My David Clark H10-80, was no longer in production and way out of warranty when after 22 years and an estimated 7000 hours in flight the mic boom broke and one of the ear cup volume controls failed. I called David Clark and made arrangements to ship it to them for repair. After about 2 weeks and only $80 it came back rebuilt with about 80% new parts! David Clark is a great company which stands behind its product and provides excellent customer service.

Just don't do with your headset what one of my formerly employed airline pilot colleagues did last week in an MD-80. One of the ground crews who was operating the tug failed to remove the headset they use to communicate with the cockpit during push back from the gate and left it hanging on the ground power receptacle door, which he also left open. As the aircraft was taxiing out for departure, ground control advised them by radio that the door was open. Further, when the ground crew realized what they had done, they also contacted the crew through dispatch to return to the gate. The captain elected to refuse, then took off. At the destination during his post flight walk around, the captain noticed that there was part of a headset cord hanging from its receptacle, puzzled as to where the rest of the headset ended up. Upon inspection, maintenance discovered that the $1 million engine was a total loss! It ran well enough and gave the crew no indication of damage during the flight, but nevertheless suffered significant internal damage requiring replacement. It was a David Clark headset, and departed the airplane during takeoff and went through the aft-mounted engine.



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Re: headsets

Postby lucaberta » Tue May 11, 2010 6:31 pm

cozy171bh wrote:It was a David Clark headset, and departed the airplane during takeoff and went through the aft-mounted engine.

were they able to send it in for repair, to get 80% of new parts in too like you did? :lol: :lol:

Did your former colleague file a NASA report for this? I'd love to see they way he found to spin in writing all this huge mistake... :o

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Re: headsets

Postby champguy » Tue May 11, 2010 10:11 pm

I'll bet my ClarityAloft headset wouldn't do half that much damage. It sure ain't built like a David Clark, but I love it anyway.
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Re: headsets

Postby Andrew B » Tue May 18, 2010 5:03 pm

Im a student pilot (pre-solo) and right off the bat with my flight training that was one of the first things i did...... get a headset for myself. I bought the David Clark H10-13.4 and I love it. Sounds great and comfortable as well.

P.S. I live in a family full of firefighters and our E-One's have David Clark too..... they work great also.
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