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Headsets

Old 11th Feb 2014, 20:32
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Headsets

In a recent newspaper story on the new control tower in Manchester there is a picture of a headset being worn. What is the brand name and type of that headset and is that particular headset generally liked by ATCOs? Anyone have any other headsets that they like?

Manchester Airport's new control room with a 360º view - Manchester Evening News
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 20:35
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Sennheiser HME 46

They're not great given the alleged price. Some ATCOs like them, most don't.
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Old 12th Feb 2014, 09:10
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They're exceptionally brittle for the price.
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Old 12th Feb 2014, 17:17
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Yep, Sennheiser HME 46. Very expensive and rather unreliable. Lots of ATCO's seem to have issues with them. I beleive the headset of choice is the old AirLite 100.
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Old 12th Feb 2014, 21:13
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I am on my 10th replacement in only 3 years, reliability has been very poor as far as I am concerned!
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Old 12th Feb 2014, 21:38
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I find the HME46 really rather painful to wear with my specs for more than an hour.

I have a standing request in with Tels for any Airlite they may find!
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Old 12th Feb 2014, 22:37
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Originally Posted by Gonzo
I have a standing request in with Tels for any Airlite they may find!
I've got one in gold doing nothing...
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Old 12th Feb 2014, 23:45
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We use Plantronics; but sounds like we have all the same issues, either that or the grass is greener...
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Old 12th Feb 2014, 23:48
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We've got loads of Airlites north of the border
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 00:38
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When I woz at Manch .... The headset were ok. Nice and light. The leads weighed a ton, however
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 08:17
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Plantronics....I knew one guy who refused to use anything other than a Sennheiser (despite it's lack of a bungee lead) because of the "sound quality"..... It's not Mozart!!
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 10:04
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And the bungee lead's critical - how else am I supposed to reach the chocolate drawer!!
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 10:21
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Headset leads are critical. Chap I new nearly strangled himself playing armchair football when it wrapped round his neck!

CAA/NATS and predecessors have never got headsets "right" since the days of the Jetlite in the early 70s. They did trials and a survey to see which would be the best replacement. I had friends in Tels and they told me that the Ministry had already purchased a couple of thousand Astrolites so I noted this on the survey form, which resulted in an invite to the boss's bit of Axminster to be told I wasn't "playing the game" (God Bless you Mr MB). Guess what? We all ended up with Astrolites.

If it's any consolation, the headset I wore in IAL in the 60s weighed 2 ounces including the lead!

Last edited by HEATHROW DIRECTOR; 13th Feb 2014 at 20:11.
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 10:57
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Astrolite Headset with one earpiece castellated, the other not and voice communication in one ear and RTF in the other ear plus the castellation let one hear the Crew Chief and other assorted Bods all at the same time. As close to perfection as possible. Multi tasking capability to the Nth degree. Also very robust. They get my vote.
 
Old 13th Feb 2014, 16:14
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Plantronics MS260 is becoming the standard in ENAV (Italy).
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 17:59
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HD wrote "If it's any consolation, the headset I wore in IAL in the 60s weighed 2 ounces including the lead!"

One day at LL he got fed up with the heavy long lead on his headset and shortened it himself. Only problem was he went too far, it was great sat down but when he stood up/leant back the lead was so short it nearly took his ears off as it came off!
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 18:07
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Astrolite every time. By no means the cheapest headset but robust, comfortable and relatively easy to repair. It's a great shame Racal stopped manufacture as its successor, the flimsy rubbery Jetlite, wasn't a patch.
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 19:35
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Originally Posted by windowjob
when he stood up/leant back the lead was so short it nearly took his ears off as it came off!
That was happening at LATCC. One could unwittingly taxy a castor over the generous lead, stand up to do something (most things in my case…) and mid-transmission the castor would violently rip one's hat from one's head knocking out all the cocked-out strips in the process. If one was really unlucky one could catch one's shirt buttons under the edge of the radar console and tear one's shirt off too…that's if you hadn't already caught your sleeve in the huge ashtray…(Nothing that wasn't cured with a bit of compulsory tap-dancing…)

I think the Jetlite's were the ones where the rubber mic holder changed state and the mic would fall out mid-transmision. My vote is for the Stratolite with the huge plug that one could play conkers with...
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 20:10
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WJ.... I love you too!
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Old 14th Feb 2014, 19:10
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Incidentally I have a Sennheiser HME45, the predecessor to the 46. Very light in weight and high quality sound from the earphones. The microphone itself is also high quality. The Achilles heel is the mic boom itself which is rather flimsy with a somewhat loose joint to the earphone housing. The old Airlite 71 was pretty good. I still say the Astrolite is the best.
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