View Full Version : David Clark headsets - comparison

2nd Jul 2002, 22:16
Hi everyone,

Anybody have any experience with DC's models H10-20, H10-30, or H10-66?

I have owned the H10-13.4 for the past three years, and am quite pleased with it. Now I need a second headset and am wondering whether to try one of the above models because of their lower profiles and (in the case of the H10-66) greater noise dampening ("attenuation").

Any information that you can offer from your own experiences would be very helpful! :D

4th Jul 2002, 22:50
Hmm, I guess nobody has experience with David Clarks. I guess I picked a very obscure brand of headset :(

5th Jul 2002, 00:32
No, I think you asked your question just after there had been a long thread on that very topic. Look back a bit in the list of topics and you should find it.

Some of us like DC, a few don't.

5th Jul 2002, 01:45
Hello. I can't help you with what you want to know as i own a good old DC H10-40 set with gel seals and i love them to bits. I have however found this for you, Headset link (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=57680) I hope it helps.

As a footnote, the David Clark headsets are probably the most widely used sets around.

Circuit Basher
5th Jul 2002, 07:46
Sorry - I use an H10-40, so didn't feel qualified to respond!

I've had my fair share of incompatibility problems (as discussed on another link, this is due to impedance of the electret mike being significantly different to those in other makes/models). This is really only a problem where the older style cheap interocm systems are used, with no separate mike pre-amp for each intercom station. When 2 or more mikes are connected in parallel, the lowest impedance one will take the most current and over-rule the rest. The cheap ways around this are to either buy a 'headset matcher', which used to be available from Transair (this is a plug-in impedance matching unit) or just buy an after-market intercom unit, which is what I did.

For comfort, etc, I still like my DCs!!

5th Jul 2002, 20:52
Thank you for the replies.

I have clicked on the link supplied by Big Red 'L', and indeed it features helpful comments.

I'm definitely going to stick with DC's [as Evo7 said, "David Clarkes aren't the Mercedes of the headset world - more like the Focus, Golf or Vectra. They're solid, reliable and better than some ..."]. Guess the best way to chose, and to ensure comfort and compatibility, would be to go out to the airport and try the different models .... hopefully the avionics shop won't hassle me about that.

Thanks again. :)

Whipping Boy's SATCO
6th Jul 2002, 08:12
I just bought a DC 20-10. I liked the 13.4 but, having tried both, I found the 20-10 to be more comfortable. OK, its a bit more expensive but you don't buy a headset every week.

11th Jul 2002, 21:33
I have a friend who has the H20-10, and he also likes it very much. :)

I have heard the H20-10 criticized as being vulnerable to loosing its shape over the long-term due to the plastic construction, but that wouldn't worry me too much; I doubt that DC would make something that wouldn't hold up for many years, plastic frame or not.

I understand that the NRR is very slightly less than the H10-13.4 (22 vice 23); probably not enough to make a difference, but the H10-13.4 is not exactly a world-beater when it comes to noise reduction, so personally I would not be keen to go below it in performance, even for slightly increased comfort.

Thanks for the input SATCO; enjoy your new headset. :D

12th Jul 2002, 07:54
I've got both the H20-10 and the H10-13.4. The latter was designed to be mrs b's set. When I'm on my own though, I tend to use the 13.4 as they're just a bit less bulky - especially in the headroom dept. Both are excellent and well worth the shekels.


9th Aug 2002, 23:03
I'm thinking of buying a second headset in the near future - have a DC H10-13.4 which i find quiet good but wondering are ANR's worth the extra cash? ie. ANR version of H10-13.4 is roughly twice the price.
Second question-do similar makes of headsets (ie two DC's) work better when used together than say, when a DC and Peltor are used together?

Fly level,

9th Aug 2002, 23:33
ANR - opinions vary, but I wouldn't be without it. I wouldn't pay what the manufacturers charge, either: there are some after-market kits that are better quality and value. There are also folks who will convert your headset for you. (I'm not one, but I do recommend Richard Holder's conversion!)

Some headsets are not compatible with some others - it's a bit of a lottery. Even DCs can be problematic.

Richard H and I have done some research into this (for other reasons).

1. If the problem is that plugging in your headset means that other folks can no longer HEAR, then the only cure is to change the earpiece inserts - the best way is to do the ANR conversion, since the inserts that come with that are well-behaved.

2. If the problem is that your microphone kills everyone else's when it's plugged in, it's pulling down the bias voltage and starving the others. That will only be a problem in aircraft with a common intercom supply to all the headset mike sockets. The cure is a resistor (usually about 220 ohm) in series with the mike lead, decoupled to audio with a capacitor in the 8 to 50 microfarad range.

Canadian Luscombe
10th Aug 2002, 01:02
mixturelean, I too am thinking of buying an ANC headset. What do you think of the 13X vs the 13XL (DC's website is not very clear why the latter is worth the extra money. For that matter, DC's website isn't much good period, IMHO).

I heard that Peltor recently got out of the aviation headset business ... can anyone confirm that? Personally I am not a Peltor fan but they do (did) have a loyal following among many GA pilots.

10th Aug 2002, 08:54
I wouldn't bother with 10-30s. I have a set as they were recommended for noisy environments e.g. open cockpit etc. however I have found that 10-40s or 10-13.4s are much better in all environments, with their electret mikes. The 10-30 has a different mike - I forget which - but it's just tinny, noisy and irritating. Of the ones I've used 10-13.4s are the best.

12th Aug 2002, 19:32
Canadian Luscombe, from what I can gleam from various sites on the net, the only difference between the H10-13X and the H10-13XL is that the latter allows for panel mount use - only good if you have your own plane I'd imagine.
Given that I only fly 12-15 hours per year, hard to know if I can justify extra amount.

Fly level,

12th Aug 2002, 22:49
Thanks DB6 for the helpful feedback re the H10-30 model.

Since the H10-66 also has a dynamic microphone, I guess I will pass it by as well.

MLS-12D :)

12th Aug 2002, 23:05
I recently bought a new David Clarke H20-10 and I have to say that it really is extremely comfortable. The 'pad' is VERY padded though and does stick up a bit though, so it may cause problems for very tall pilots.

Having used virtually all of the DC range over the years, I personally think that this is the best. A worthwile investment indeed.


12th Aug 2002, 23:11
Keef, Thanks for your reply. Trouble I have with present set is when passenger plugs in headset,I can hear him/her and ATC but passenger can not hear me and I can not hear myself. However ATC can hear me (hope you can follow this!).
Thanks for hints on resistors etc. - will look into this.

Fly level,

13th Aug 2002, 00:09

- the problem is almost certainly incompatibility between the microphone insert in the headset the passenger is using and yours. If passenger unplugs his/her mike, yours is fine, yes?

When you press the transmit button, that disconnects all microphones but your own, so the problem goes away and ATC can hear you fine.

Ideally, some measurements would be useful before opening up the headset and soldering. If you can get two or three different "OK" headsets, measure the "resistance" of the microphone lines of them all (with the meter leads both ways round in case the mike is polarity sensitive). (There are snags with some electret mikes with preamplifiers, but that's getting complicated).

If the pax one is indeed a lot lower resistance than the others, try inserting about 220 ohms in series with the mike line - in the plug or in the junction box. If that sorts it, stop there. If that sorts it but that headset now can't be heard loudly enough, try a 22uF or thereabouts across the 220 ohm resistor.

It's a case of experimentation to find the best component values. I don't know anyone who's tested them all and knows the right resistor/capacitor values for all types.

Grim Reaper 14
13th Aug 2002, 09:45
Ditto Greatorex really. Being 6'2", I occasionally make contact with the ceiling of a PA28 due to the extra padding, but it's not that bad. Comfort? Mmmmmmmm! Fan-bl33ding-tastic!!:D

20th Aug 2002, 20:08
Thanks for advice Keef, not very mechanically minded so lot of it went over my head, but I'll look into it.
Did you find out any more about differences between 13X and 13XL?


20th Aug 2002, 22:20
Mixturelean - best solution is to find a local bloke who knows what it's about and who will do it for you. Takes a minute to check the headsets, and less than an hour to make the mod.

I've not done anything on 13X vs 13XL - can't comment there.

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