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  • ANR vs Passive headsets

    Probably been discussed, but...

    I have been using DC 13.4's since I started training...I love them, but for me I think the actually block out too much. By that, I mean there have been many times my CFI looked at me about the stall horn starting to go say on short final. I would never hear it till it got louder....
    It started bothering me. I know at my age, some of my hearing is down. I am an audio recording/sound engineer so I try to keep aware of it, but I know that these younger guys hear better than I do.....

    A while back when we were working before my checkride I asked to swap headsets with him. He has a pair of ??? ANR's. I could not believe the difference. While the general loud engine sounds were lower, the mid and higher frequencies were much more present than on my DC's. I told him NOW I know why he hears the stall horn quicker than I do. He also said he was amazed how much the DC's muffled everything.

    So now I am really thinking of getting some ANR's of some kind. They are expensive, but I feel like they would be worth it. I could keep my DC's for pax.

    Any thoughts? comments?

    I had thought about trying the small Sony in-ear ANR's. We have a lot of musicians who use them. They are about $150. I thought about putting them in then wearing the DC's over them and plugging in the Sony's instead of the DC's. But the Sony's only offer 10db of ANR vs about 20-25 on most of the regular aviation units.

    I did find a company that is making a great looking ANR headset at a reasonable price. I won't mention it here so as not to compete with Neil. I wish he handled it. I think they just sell direct.

    BTW: Why in the world don't the airplane companies tie the stall transducer into the audio panel so it comes through the headset. Or even a stall light like on some larger aircraft. Never understood that...

  • #2
    Re: ANR vs Passive headsets

    Originally posted by oldflyer
    Probably been discussed, but...
    Yup.

    Search 'headset' and you'll be inundated with informative posts.


    Originally posted by oldflyer
    So now I am really thinking of getting some ANR's of some kind. They are expensive, but I feel like they would be worth it. I could keep my DC's for pax.
    I tried a pair of Lightspeeds one day and bought them the next day. It's astounding how much difference they make.

    I'll buy Lightspeed again...very impressed with their quality, value and price.


    Originally posted by oldflyer
    BTW: Why in the world don't the airplane companies tie the stall transducer into the audio panel so it comes through the headset. Or even a stall light like on some larger aircraft. Never understood that...

    One reason I can think of is that this would make the stall warning horn an electrical accessory...dependent on a functioning electrical system. In other words, less reliable and more expensive than the simple, mechanical, pressure activated one.

    Less reliable and more expensive are 2 things that general aviation doesn't really need any more of.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: ANR vs Passive headsets

      Originally posted by oldflyer
      BTW: Why in the world don't the airplane companies tie the stall transducer into the audio panel so it comes through the headset. Or even a stall light like on some larger aircraft. Never understood that...
      Actually, Piper aircraft do have an electrical stall warning system (at least the Pipers that I've flown so far). It is activated via a stall warning "tab" on the leading edge of the wing. As the airplane gets slower, the wings AOA increases, and once the relative wind is low enough on the wing, the tab is pushed up. This electrical switch then activates a horn in the cabin. As part of the preflight for those airplanes, you have to turn on the master, and while checking the lights for proper operation, also lift this tab to see if you can hear the stall warning horn.

      johnpeace is correct in that it is somewhat less reliable in that if you loose electrics, then you have no stall warning. But, if you loose electrical and can't see that you're approaching a stall, you've had to make a pretty serious series of mistakes to be in the situation that you're in.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Re: ANR vs Passive headsets

        Originally posted by johnpeace
        I tried a pair of Lightspeeds one day and bought them the next day. It's astounding how much difference they make.

        I'll buy Lightspeed again...very impressed with their quality, value and price.
        I too own a pair of lightspeeds, and bought them prior to getting my PPL. They're a wonderful pair of headsets, and the ANR in them is quite amazing. I will be buying a pair of 30-3Gs from them as soon as my wallet will allow.

        However, some people think that they are not the most durable in the world, and I would probably tend to agree with them. I've had to send my headsets back twice for "durability" issues. Plus side of it is that Lightspeed repaired the headset twice out of warranty. Only charge to me was shipping the headsets to Seattle. Another plus side is that Lightspeed has started addressing the durability issue, replacing the headband on my headset with a "beefed-up" version, as well as changing some of the wiring in the ANR portion.

        I recommend Lightspeed to anyone looking for an ANR headset. You can't beat the price for the value, and despite a few bumps along the way, I've had them now for 5 years, and will be buying another pair from them soon.

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        • #5
          As I seem to say here quite often, I'm very happy with my Lightspeed QFR-XC set. If I was flying six days a week I would probably look for something a little more robust, but for a sunny Sunday afternoon flyer like me I see no reason why it shouldn't last a lot longer than the three years I have had it already

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          • #6
            Unless it was for a short flight, I'd never fly with a passive headset again. I value my hearing too much.

            If you want top of the line and are willing to pay for it, Bose is the hands down winner. As stated above, Lightspeed makes an excellent headset for the money. I'm personally not too fond of the QFR/Solo series, but the 15XL, 20XL, 25XL, 2G and 3G series are excellent headsets.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CraigH
              If you want top of the line and are willing to pay for it, Bose is the hands down winner.
              I tried Bose at Oshkosh and found that they didn't sit right on my head. (Conclusion: I have a lop-sided head). Plus, I wasn't terribly impressed with the ANR given the cost.

              If I'm going to pay that kind of money for a headset, I want it to work how I want it to work, as well as be comfortable on my head. Neither of which was the case.

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              • #8
                I've commented many times on my Bose. At first I occasionally forgot to turn on the ANR, they were that much quieter than my DCs.

                They're also far lighter so I can wear them longer. DCs hurt after about 10 minutes. The Bose after about 7 hours (but other body parts are hurting more at that time).

                Too me, the Bose are worth every penny.

                My sound studio guys use DC's ANR headsets and are happy.

                Another set of clients use the Lightspeeds. The CFI-types that use the Lightspeeds constantly complain about the high breakage, something that won't survive my flight bag.

                Fly SAFE!
                Jedi Nein

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                • #9
                  Johnpeace:

                  I see your point. But as an electronics guy I can think of several ways I could tie and electronic alarm into that mechanical one so you would still have the mech if the elec. failed. Just a matter of tieing a transducer to the horn. Or to the pickup device in the wing. Pretty simple, lightweight. I am sure that it is similar to what airliners or larger planes use. I don't know how they work, but figure there has to be an electro-mechanical device.

                  I will check into the Lightspeeds. I am still shopping around.

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                  • #10
                    Two more votes for Lightspeed. Also, if you want to save a few bucks, check out the refurbs they sell on their site from time to time. That's what I bought for my wife. So far, so good. (I was already sold on the brand due to the set I bought for myself new from Neil).

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                    • #11
                      I own a LightSPEED 30-3G, a LightSPEED 20XL2 and a DC 13.4. I find them all to be very comfortable and rugged (although the DC takes a lead there), but the LightSPEEDs are quieter by far and what I prefer to wear. The 20XL2 is IMHO the best bang-for-buck out there, and you'll only spend $30 more for them than the DC 13.4. The 30-3G is better still, but I viewed it as an unnecessary "treat" to myself since I don't fly longer than 2 hours at a time.

                      Scott

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                      • #12
                        I wouldn't trade my ANR DC 13XLs for anything.

                        There are a couple things to note about DCs--they have been redesigned in the last couple years to eliminate the clamping effect and the seals are now gel, which add to their comforts.

                        I have had mine on for more than 8 hours in a day multiple times with absolutely no discomfort. I think some of the viewpoints regarding their older design need to be tempered in light of their redesigned product line.

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                        • #13
                          I am looking for a new headset for myself.....

                          I fly on just the weekends now with flights longer than 3 hours....my ears kill me with the Flightcom passive ones I have now. I need some ANR (which is what I am currently borrowing from a friend).

                          I was thinking the Bose, but thought the price is ridiculous....it might as well talk for me for that price. Then I was thinking the Stratus, but that's $800, do I need that nice of a headset? Then I went for the Lightspeed, but there are too many models!

                          I was thinking the 3G - 20s.....

                          HELP PLEASE!

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                          • #14
                            Anybody know anything about these?

                            http://www.bassleraviation.com/hd-1000ac.html

                            Pretty nice looking. Kind of a familiar look?

                            Sold direct.

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                            • #15
                              if its not from Neil, don't buy it....hehe

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