Posting this on behalf of a member looking to buy a new headset.
I'm thinking about buying a new headset of the less expensive kind in the $100-200 range. I'm looking at the Rugged Air RA900 and the KORE Aviation KA1. But, I don't know much about pilot headsets and am wondering if you have any recommendations in my price range. Thanx.
Obviously we all have out own favorite headset, but I don't have any experience with the models he listed. Nor have I had any good luck with headsets in his price range. I advised to pay a little more and get a good set of David Clarks, but I wanted to see if anyone else had opinions on the topic.
What Hoss said.
Also, I started flying long before noise reduction headsets came into existence, and suffered noticeable hearing loss from a few thousand hours that way. Don't be penny-wise/pound-foolish – spend the money to save your ears.
As for brand choice, DC certainly makes excellent headsets, but so do Bose, Clarity Aloft, Lightspeed, and maybe one or two more. My observation is that headset brand is like underwear brand – what's comfortable on me may not be comfortable on you, and vice versa. Visit a pilot shop where you can try them all on. If you can, borrow some different types from friends to fly with before you decide.
I agree. I wouldn't skimp on a headset unless money is a real issue and you don't have a choice. This is an area to think long term. A good headset will last many years if you treat them right. Comfort is key as they'll be wrapped around your head for many hours at a time. Active noise cancelling should be high on the list as well to protect your hearing as much as possible.
I purchased a Gulf Coast ANR from Amazon as my first headset ($250-$350 depending on adding Bluetooth).
The idea was to use it during my training then use it for my passengers later thinking I would get an A20. I liked it so much, I bought another one for the passenger. The third headset was a rugged for a little over $100.
@Hoss At AOPA
I used David Clark H10-13.4 passive noise reduction (NR) headsets for years before buying a Lightspeed Zulu 2 automatic noise reduction (ANR) headset about 10 years ago. I upgraded to the Lightspeed Zulu 3 but I've also used the Bose A20. The Bose is top of the line but I like my Zulu 3 better since the ear cups are deeper and don't press against my ears. The Lightspeed and Bose are comparable in noise reduction and comfort. You absolutely must use an automatic noise reduction headset if you want to save your hearing. The ANR headsets also incorporate Bluetooth connectivity, which is important to me because Foreflight on my iPad Mini 5 gives me audible TIS-B traffic and terrain warnings through the Bluetooth connection.