It’s a story that’s all too common. New pilot settles for a budget aviation headset when they start learning to fly. New pilot promises themselves they’ll upgrade ‘someday’. ‘Some day’ never comes. Now not-so-new pilot ends up flying with an uncomfortable, poor-quality headset for years.
Don’t let it happen to you. We’ve talked in the past about the benefits of investing in a good quality headset, but we’ve never talked about what specifically to look for. While the following features are not strictly essential to an aviation headset, we think you’ll agree that they are more than worth any additional cost they attract in terms of the comfort and convenience they add. Read on to learn more.
Active noise reduction
As close to essential as any feature on this list, active noise reduction (ANR) offers real advantages to anyone looking to make a career or a life-long hobby out of flying. A headset equipped with ANR technology reduces unwanted noise by adding a second sound with the same amplitude but an inverted phase to that of the noise, cancelling it out. The pilot hears a new wave that preserves the wanted sound while cancelling out cockpit noise.
Headphones equipped with ANR technology protect your ears from cockpit noise better than those that purely rely on passive noise reduction. Not only will you potentially leave the cockpit without a headache or an earache, you’ll hold onto your hearing longer.
Auxiliary audio interface
For long flights, sometimes you need something to keep you engaged and focused. Auxiliary inputs on headphones allow pilots to listen to music, podcasts or radio while flying, allowing you to make long haul travel just that little bit less boring. Many models also offer the ability for pilots to take calls via their mobile phones, allowing them to communicate with friends and family while in the air.
Many ANR headsets proudly brag of their using rechargeable batteries, but don’t be fooled. While you may plan as well as possible, accidents and technical failures can happen which can leave your headset without enough charge for a long-haul flight. There’s no way you can charge a rechargeable headset while in the air, but if your headset takes disposable batteries, it’s so easy to simply slot another battery in and instantly get back up to full charge with no break in communication.
If you’re looking for some of the most affordable ANR headsets on the Australian market, look no further than the PA18-50 and ANR2888 from Pilot Communications and enjoy a better flying experience.