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Helicopter specific advice on ANR Headsets?

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Helicopter specific advice on ANR Headsets?

Old 24th Dec 2006, 20:42
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Question Helicopter specific advice on ANR Headsets?

Howzit everyone,

I was wondering if anyone has any advice on ANR headsets, which ones are any good - with coiled cables/NATO single plugs?

Seems to me Bose X and David Clark X11 might be a good bet, but (wow) bose seem expensive, and i'm not sure the new DC's come with helicopter plugs etc?


Any Thoughts? Cant find any really good reviews out there....
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Old 24th Dec 2006, 22:00
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Paul,
DC have a line of helicopter specific headsets and if my memmory serves me they also offer the different plugs. If not, that is a simple swap to do.

Lekker kersfees!
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Old 25th Dec 2006, 11:01
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I have a Bose. It has over 1000 hrs of use now and I am still very happy with it, BUT (there is always a but) it is in no way as rugged as a DC. A year ago it had to go back to Bose for repair ( a squeal in one ear cup) and now it has a bad connection somewhere in the cord.
I will say, Bose was amazing on the service the first time around, all completly free of charge. Will see how it goes this time.
The one thing you need to know is that the Bose has 0, that is zero, passive noise reduction. If the batterys go dead, you are left with your head in the downwash. The DC's are basically a regular DC with active reduction added, so if the batterys go dead, not much changes. Actually a freind of mine invested all that money in a DC ANR and never turns it on. He says there is no reason to. The Bose is the most comfortable and light headset I have ever worn. Very ergonomic. If you are in a job that is mostly white shirt flying, the Bose is the way to go. If you are a flight suit guy that is wobbling his own fuel, then the DC will take the heat.
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Old 25th Dec 2006, 19:28
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Outwest said it in the first line. Ditto I like the Bose but they are not as rugged. I also have a set of DC H10-56HXL?? right from the factory in da box if your looking for some.
Its Bose for the tours and Gentex Helmet for out in the bush. DC in the bush if your not wearing a skid lid.
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Old 25th Dec 2006, 20:06
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PaulSA

I was in a similar situation to you earlier in the year, being unable to make my mind up between Bose and David Clarke. Fortunately I was in the States at the time, where most headsets are significantly cheaper than they are in South Africa (the exception being the Bose which were only marginally cheaper). I wasn't able to reliably compare headsets whilst there so in the end I bought both a Bose X and the David Clark H10-13HX set on the grounds that I could sell whichever one I decided not to keep when I got back. I still haven't done that though (despite the amount of flak I receive for having two headsets!

I find myself choosing the Bose over the DCs when I fly. They are lighter, with less clamping force and are consequently more comfortable than the DCs. I also find that voices tend to be clearer using the Bose, including my own (which may indicate a better mic but it could just be the headphones). That said, I still find they occasionally make a popping/clicking sound every now and then which I think might be related to a change in the airflow over the exterior of the earcups around the "TriPort headset openings".

The DCs are a solid piece of kit and I am not nearly as circumspect handling them as I am with the Bose, regardless of their difference in price. I suppose I worry that the Bose might break (and treat them accordingly) while the DCs will always work - probably why I haven't got around to selling them yet, they're my backup! In adding to what Outwest and others have said: If you want the best, get the Bose, if you want them to last forever, get the David Clark.

The DC X11s had just been released when I was in the States and weren't available with a helicopter plug. I believe this is still the case, although I think they'll release one sometime next year. Very neat headset with lots of features, it looks like DC's response to the Bose with far less passive reduction and a lot more active reduction. I see from your profile that you fly fixed wing too: you might consider buying them along with a converter for helicopters. I actually ended up doing the reverse - buying helicopter headsets, and a fixed wing converter. It keeps the helicopter cabin a little bit neater at the expense of the stereo capability of the headsets (I don't actually fly fixed wing but have a friend whom I fly with who does).

Well, I have rambled on for quite a bit now, hoped I've helped. If not, you're welcome to come compare them yourself if you want. I fly out of FAGC - send me a PM if you're interested.

Cheers
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Old 25th Dec 2006, 20:27
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I also have used the Bose for about 3 1/2 years on the North Sea(Fairley demanding environment). I feel it is by far the most comfortable having started on peltor and tried DC as well. the ANR bit is superb but i agree that if the bat fails then it goes back to the old Peltor standard.

I understand although i have not tried it that Bose along with good ear plugs is the ideal solution but i havent tried that.

T4
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Old 25th Dec 2006, 21:35
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The ANR models are ok, I guess, but they don't work as well at high frequencies, and most not very well at all if the active electronics fail. If you wear earplugs underneath you'll get more protection, but that defeats the purpose, doesn't it? My solution is to just wear the earplugs. I have an in-the-ear headset, using standard foam earplugs, resulting in overall higher noise reduction than any ANR headset, and vastly greater comfort. No problem with earseals, sunglasses, cap buttons, or anything else. Cheaper, more comfortable, works better - I won't change.
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Old 26th Dec 2006, 09:59
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ANR

I have flown with a few generations of Bose, a DC and a Peltor. The ANR of the Bose sets are far superior to the others, in fact they don't even belong in the same segment. After a long ferry with the Bose sets the head is just clear and fresh. I beleive it has to do with the quality of the audio parts and the filter curve for the ANR - it's just better. I would like to take a Bose set apart and glue it into my Alpha helmet

As for the mechanical part... Well, Bose is not as sturdy as the others...
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Old 26th Dec 2006, 12:27
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Hi Perfrej, agree that Bose is the best head set.I have is the past retro fitted ANR into a gentex SPH5 and the results were good. The biggest differents was turning the radio volume down from 80% back to 40% and still hear it and this is in a Lama. I think I have a bit of hearing damage due to exposure to aviation. I can turn the radio on (ADF) to a normal level and when I turn the ANR off I can not hear it at all. About to retro fit ANR into a new Alpha Eagle so will keep you informed.Back in a 500 at the moment and the Alpha was not good, so back to the SPH 5 with ANR so this is the reasons for the up grade
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Old 26th Dec 2006, 16:42
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Let me add my 02cents. Agree with all the above, I have a DC that had about 6,000 hours on it when I dropped it and the band snapped. The warranty had expired but I sent it back to DC along with credit card details requesting a fast turnaround. They sent me a BRAND new one, in the box--NO CHARGE. That is what I call customer service. I personally will use nothing else.
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Old 26th Dec 2006, 17:00
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I have found that the Oregan Aero Hush kit works just as well as any ANR and it is much less expensive. You dont need batteries either!!

If your flying a B212 or any other 2 bladed medium or heavy, the blade slap interfers with the seal and you lose a lot of the noise cancelling capability regardless of which ANR system you purchase. A good passive systme is best for my dollar.

At least you are working on a long term solution to avoid hearing loss...good luck with whichever system you choose.
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Old 26th Dec 2006, 21:30
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Shameless flag waving

Hello all

Since the introduction of the European HSE Noise in the workplace regulations effective 6th April 2006 Scotia Helicopters (under the guidance of BALPA/ Scotia Company council Reps) have been conducting noise trials to establish suitable PPE (personal Protective Equipment) ie Headsets.

We are currently testing the AS332 L/L2, S92, S76A/A+/C+, AW139, and AS365 and although the tests are not yet complete, one of the least protective of all those tested (in so far as protecting against High tone deafness) is the Bose ANR, although they offer great comfort and good base tone attenuation it would appear that they are well out proformed when it comes to hearing protection in those types tested to date. There is some work to do yet as these tests are geared towards the best possible solution.

It is a very frightening fact that when you loose your hearing you will never ever recover it and although you may think that you are protected, simply feeling less fatigued after a flight is no measure of a headsets protection from high tone deafness, Our company is committed to finding the best protection possible and with BALPA's expertease and resouces we hope to have this solution on the table early in the new year.

Answer Number 187 to the question "What as BALPA ever done for Me"
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Old 26th Dec 2006, 22:32
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ANR v ENC

MaxNg just wondering how did the Dave Clarkes Score so farr and what model off D.C ????

J
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Old 27th Dec 2006, 01:50
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I pulled the guts out of my Pilot ANRs and fixed them into my Alpha. Excellent result but not a quiet as Sennheiser ANRs which are even better.
The ear cups in my Alpha are quite shallow and I couldn't get the Sennheisers in.
I couldn't put bigger cups in the Alpha and get it on my fat head.

edit just to add that the rechargable battery of the Pilot headset fits inside the Alpha cup.
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Old 27th Dec 2006, 10:44
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Originally Posted by MaxNg View Post
Hello all
Since the introduction of the European HSE Noise in the workplace regulations effective 6th April 2006 Scotia Helicopters (under the guidance of BALPA/ Scotia Company council Reps) have been conducting noise trials to establish suitable PPE (personal Protective Equipment) ie Headsets.
We are currently testing the AS332 L/L2, S92, S76A/A+/C+, AW139, and AS365 and although the tests are not yet complete, one of the least protective of all those tested (in so far as protecting against High tone deafness) is the Bose ANR, although they offer great comfort and good base tone attenuation it would appear that they are well out proformed when it comes to hearing protection in those types tested to date. There is some work to do yet as these tests are geared towards the best possible solution.
It is a very frightening fact that when you loose your hearing you will never ever recover it and although you may think that you are protected, simply feeling less fatigued after a flight is no measure of a headsets protection from high tone deafness, Our company is committed to finding the best protection possible and with BALPA's expertease and resouces we hope to have this solution on the table early in the new year.
Answer Number 187 to the question "What as BALPA ever done for Me"
About time too!!!!!!!!!!!

We were told 2-3 years ago we would need new headsets due to new laws and thanks to H&S. I asked the question several times of the company and BALPA all I got as an answer was to expensive and Aberdeen doesn't want it. So we had to stick to our cheap and simple bog standard Peltors. Hence I believe now I have some hearing loss.

Am I glad to wear an Alpha Eagle now
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Old 27th Dec 2006, 21:26
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I just hung up my Alpha and back on peltors (not through choice) and I stunned how much better the peltors were.

Gomer Pilot, I like the sound of the in ear foam plug type headset (if nothing else for the comfort) what make and model would you recommend.
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Old 27th Dec 2006, 23:14
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Originally Posted by Droopystop View Post
Gomer Pilot, I like the sound of the in ear foam plug type headset (if nothing else for the comfort) what make and model would you recommend.
I think the Clarity Aloft is a better quality, both overall and especially for the earplugs. It also has an input for cell phone (if you have an adapter) or mp3/other player. The earplugs they offer are good, but expensive. I remove the foam from a used one, keep the hard plastic holder, and insert that into a Howard Leight foam plug, and get excellent noise reduction and good communications quality. The Auricomm is about $100 cheaper, but it comes with crappy earplugs, and no inner part to reuse, so if I use that one I use some .133" plastic tubing from the company parts bin. It fits, it works, and it's cheap. Both are very comfortable and very quiet. It takes a few seconds longer to don them than a standard headset, but then who's in that big a hurry? It takes about the same amount of time as a helmet, I think.

One note - all these come with fixed-wing double plugs, not helicopter plugs. You need an adapter, or if you're handy with a soldering iron, you can replace the dual plugs with a U174 plug.

Last edited by Gomer Pylot; 28th Dec 2006 at 00:50.
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Old 27th Dec 2006, 23:28
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Pilot

Have been using Pilot PA17-79DNC XL for two years find them good, + points rechargeable battery's, plug in leads, so whatever plug is just a click away,fair dynamic N\C if you forget to charge, can have Tel. socket .
Tried DCs to tight, have not tried BOSE but they must be taking the proverbial with the price, try and borrow a set of PA17
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Old 28th Dec 2006, 06:59
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Trials

I know that Bristow have also been conducting trials of noise levels generally over the past 7 or 8 months. Quite a few results now and it would be nice to assume that they are co-ordinating their results with H&S at Scotia.

I know the rumour mill is much the same as quoted above - Bose doing a fine job in keeping the noise levels down and reducing fatigue, but they are letting in the damaging high frequency noises that you aren't even aware of.

DC's are too heavy. What I want is a ANR Peltor - Is there one in the pipeline ? Or do we go with the Sennheiser which looks like pretty much the same headset - Any advice on that one ?
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Old 28th Dec 2006, 10:15
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With respect to all previous advice - it's out of date if you haven't tried the new DC X11s. I've just installed a pair in an Astro (with twin plug to US adapter) and they are the most comfortable, lightest, best ANR set I've ever used. They have nothing in common with previous DC ANR sets (I've had some) - passive performance is good, the ANR is excellent and they fold up very small. The different right/left ear gel seals (with furry covering!) are stunningly comfortable. Cheaper than the Bose, I think nothing comes close.
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