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reasonably priced headsets for commercial jets

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reasonably priced headsets for commercial jets

Old 17th Dec 2008, 01:33
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: London
Age: 46
Posts: 15
reasonably priced headsets for commercial jets

I've recently started flying the 737-800 (first airline job!) and I'm using the crappy headsets provided by the company. I'm finding it quite difficult to make out what's being said by ATC and I'm hoping a half decent headset might help. Unfortunately I can't afford more than £200 at the moment and the cheaper the better - Is there anything in this price range that will offer any significant improvement in clarity of speach? Preferably in the ear or on the ear - I don't fancy huge over the ear headphones that will cut me off from the flight deck. Thanks...

Last edited by cheakymunkie; 17th Dec 2008 at 01:39. Reason: spelling
cheakymunkie is offline  
Old 19th Dec 2008, 08:06
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Join Date: Nov 2007
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Plantronics MS200....small,light and easy on the ear.
Derate is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2008, 19:33
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Join Date: Dec 1998
Location: Down Under
Posts: 97
The solution, well, one option anyway ;-)

There is a great little ANR headphone primarily for passengers listening to their iPods. It's the 'Bose Quiet Comfort 2'. Now some retired airline pilot in the USA discovered that it was a fantastic headphone but it's a headphone only. It hasn't got a mic ! So he made a high quality one that clips onto it and hey presto, one great little headset unit.

You can go and buy a new QC2 for about £200 but you can get some good 2nd hand ones on e-bay for about half price. Then you've got to buy the mic adaptor.

Read all about it here; UFlyMike

Just in time for Christmas . . . well, cutting it a bit fine perhaps.

Good luck, and take care of your hearing. Spend what is needed to achieve this ! Wish I had when I was your age, then I wouldn't have this tinnitus that I have now.
ooizcalling is offline  
Old 21st Dec 2008, 21:31
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Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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... and the UFlyMike is now TSO'd

mblackey is offline  
Old 22nd Dec 2008, 05:11
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 561

Sorry. Didn't realize I was speaking to an international audience only.

It's not worth explaining a "TSO" other than to say there's a ridiculous bureaucratic waste of time so-called "certification" program run by the FAA in the U.S. to supposedly standardize manufacturing and performance specs on aircraft equipment.

It does nothing but cost a lot of $$$ to prove nil.

mblackey is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2009, 14:06
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Join Date: May 1999
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To all: I know that not one headset fits all BUT The QC2 combo is probably the best you an get for the money. I am one the those guys that can have an on the ear headset, as it causes hot spots or pain on the ear. Having said that,, I am a over the ear guy. the Uflymike Is buy far the BEST headset I have every had on my head. They are comfortable and the mike and earbud set up are easy to use and work very well. No more missed calls, less fatigue from loud cockpits. For those of you skeptics, think about the times you have missed a call or something from your crew member due to noise. I have used the OLD plantronics ear spike and have had it fail more than a few times in the last year alone. In using the Uflymike for the last 3 years I can say I have NEVER had a failure. You get a flashing lite when your batt STARTS to lose power and you still have about 4 house to change the batt which can be done in about 5 sec. For me there is no alternative. Also remember that if you are a commuter that you have a great ANR headset for riding in the back to listen to whatever you want or nothing at all. If not for the buracratic BS that some of have had to go thru this combo could easily be the best aviation headset in the world.
boeingboy737 is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2009, 16:20
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Thailand
Posts: 942
Save your money!

Maybe I have been missing something but after 38 years flying with the company/aircraft manufacturer headsets, I seem to have manged to communicate with ATC, my colleagues in the cockpit and the Cabin Crew without spending a dime on a headset.
rubik101 is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2009, 16:28
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Join Date: May 1999
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Age: 59
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rubik thats great but let me ask do you still fly a dc-7 Ie yea you could use some old headset but guess what technology has changed and there are MANY benifits and SAFETY issues with all that comes with it But if you want to use your old stuff go ahead...
boeingboy737 is offline  
Old 29th Jan 2009, 22:56
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: UK
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I have some reservations about noise cancelling headsets, probably because I was brought up never to use intercom - we just flew around with one earpiece over and ear and conversed with each other on the flightdeck. If comms were difficult (HF for example) we would temporarily put the other earpiece on.

There are times when I now find it quite confusing as intercom seems to be used all the time and I seem to spend a lot of time adjusting the ATC/intercom sound levels, whereas with the "old" system it was much easier to differentiate between the two.

Also from an airmanship point of view there are some noises I want to hear! Noise can be a good clue or cue as to what is going on - airspeed increasing or even unusual noises from the engines etc.
fireflybob is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2009, 09:34
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Thailand
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Like fireflybob, I was flew in the era when we used the one ear uncovered style. In recent years the fashion has changed and now the accepted style is to use the I/C and cover both ears. After some months of experiment with this system, I reverted to the right ear uncovered style for the same reasons that bob has pointed out.

In answer to the question about my hearing tests, yes, the line of crosses stretches neatly across the top of the graph paper, much as it did in 1970 when I had my first test.

I will also point out that I have been very remiss when it comes to the use of ear-defenders during the walk-round. Considering that I have done this more than 15000 times and flown the subsequent flights with the Boeing supplied headset you can see that the manufacturers and sales teams of these headsets have done a good job in persuading pilots that they really do need these extravagant accessories.

If I flew a particularly noisy aircraft, a DC6 perhaps, then maybe I would have a different opinion but for the Boeing/Airbus aircraft that the vast majority of us fly, forget it.

Better send your hard earned money to RNID.org.uk
rubik101 is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2009, 10:11
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: earth
Posts: 516
I have my own Sennheiser headset, more for personal hygiene than anything else, I suffer with bad Psoriasis of the scalp. I have not yet come across this idea of wearing both earpieces in regular flight. I have used it when trying to reach some far away station on HF, Dakar anyone, and bad ATIS, but on the 737's I have flown (300, 400, 600, 700, 800, currently 400 and 800) there has never been a issue with noise in the flight deck, maybe someone is trying to make money out of us?
ford cortina is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2009, 16:12
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We recently did a trial of alternate headsets (in a BAe-146). The Lightspeed Zulu gave us a lot of trouble and was nothing like as good as the Bose-X which we eventually bought. In fact, next best after the Bose was the much cheaper DC10-13.4 but for long flights, it does clamp on the head somewhat and is likely to become rather hard on the system.

BAe are I think releasing our report to their customers if you know any BAe-146 operators they may be able to get a copy. (Or PM me with an Email address and I'll ask somebody nicely).

If you want something very light and comfortable, I have a Telex 750 which I find great so long as I'm in a very quiet cockpit; presumably the 2 cup or single cup ANR version would do both very well, but I've not tried it.

A thought - however broke you are, it's your hearing, it won't repair once damaged - get the best you can and worry about the cost later.

Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 31st Jan 2009, 23:45
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Age: 77
Posts: 1,421
Dave Clark...

A smile for this one...
Was a few years ago, say 5 years... Miami, 36th Street...
Pilot uniforms and accessories store.
I know the lady there and was buying some shirts fitted for me.
There was another customer, busy with her, fairly young guy.
He just had acquired a uniform, 3 stripes, a hat, pilot wings... etc...
British accent. During that time, I go try my shirts.
He tried his uniform, back and forth to the mirror, admiring himself.
Then he wanted to buy a headset, maybe was a Dave Clark...?
Good customer $$$ - so the lady owner was a little busy with him.
I myself wanted a couple of "clip-on ties", hard to get in South America.
So I look around, made my choice.
The other customer tries the headset ON his head...
Then goes to the mirror to look at himself, then sideways...
Then goes back to get his hat, and back to the mirror, hat ON again...
This time with the hat AND the headset ON TOP, OVER the hat.
Excuse me here, but I was close to laugh with this clown...!
Do you guys buy headsets for the looks...? - That is, to look like a pilot...?
Just a detail, I never seen pilots wear headsets over a uniform hat.
The only hat I wore in the cockpit was a baseball cap, when facing the sun.
As far as headset, I have a tiny "Plantronics MS-50"... 1970 vintage.
Worked great, for most of my career. I think I paid $50.oo for it.
Then years later. it failed, sent it back, Plantronics replaced it for FREE.
No need to look like an astronaut to be a pilot.
Besides, I needed my RH ear free to listen to the F/O and F/E corny jokes.
So, permit me to smile... You guys look so good with a big Dave Clark set...!
I guess the smaller the plane, the bigger the headset...?
Be careful not to exceed the maximum takeoff weight.

Happy contrails
BelArgUSA is offline  
Old 2nd Feb 2009, 19:47
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Moon
Posts: 136

Just looking for a good headset to keep my hearing excellent. I have been reading some threads concerning these products and the Plantronic MS200 seems to be a good option but it doesn“t have ANR. So I continued my search and I found the "tboneaviation". tbone aviation
Much more expensive, with ANR, personal fitted and with other options. Does it value what it cost?

Wich one would you recomend?

Any other suggestion?

Thanks and have nice flights

nopoal is offline  
Old 4th Feb 2009, 15:19
  #15 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: ---
Posts: 281
Apparently the problem with earplugs molded to fit is that after a couple of years you'll have to change them because of slight change in fit. Don't know if you can have a headset "renewal" from Tbone, otherwise you'll have to consider the lifespan of this headset might be limited..
ray cosmic is offline  

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