I don’t often go out of my way to endorse or recommend a product, unless I’m asked. Typically, a student will inquire about the best item for a given situation, it could be a headset, flight bag, iPad app, etc… There is one product in that I have evolved into a brand evangelist for, that is the Lightspeed Zulu headset.
When a student inquires about the best headset I reply that for their current situation as a student the David Clark 13.4 is the bulletproof best-in-class, leader in the clubhouse. My DC headset served me well for more than 10 years from my early training through a lot of flight instructing. In 2010, while I was working a booth at Oshkosh, during a break I was walking around and got to try all of the noise reducing headsets on the market.
The final decision came down to the (then newly released) Bose A20 and the Lightspeed Zulu. In the end, the Zulu simply felt better in terms of comfort and sound quality, in my opinion, on my head. I know a lot of pilots that use Bose headsets and really like them. Moreover, I have used Bose noise cancelling headsets myself and think they are an excellent alternative. However, the Lightspeed simply feels more solid, and still light on my head in-flight.
Since I purchased the Zulu headset in 2010 it has served me very well. But it is not just the product; it’s their incredible support. On January 1st I was flying (very) early in the morning to watch the first sunrise of the year, as I wrote about on this blog. After watching the sunrise and a great breakfast at the Plymouth, MA airport (Plane Jane’s restaurant – great fly-in food destination) we started up the Piper Challenger and I was disappointed that the noise cancelling in my headset would not power up. I tried replacing the batteries and still nothing…
After a quick flight back to Mansfield, using the Zulu without noise cancelling, I submitted a support case on the Lightspeed website. I included as much detail as I could in the description of the issue, and within 24 hours I received directions to send the headset to Lightspeed in Oregon. I shipped the headset off and in just a couple of days I received an email that the service was completed and very soon after that the headset arrived at my airport (back in Massachusetts). The whole repair from first-issue to flying with the working headset again was well under two weeks.
I was extremely impressed! I knew the repair would be covered by warranty, but I also wanted a new microphone-boom cover so I included a note with the headset to call for my credit card to charge for the cover. I never received the call, but my headset returned with a new “mic” cover. It may be a small item, which would only cost a few dollars, but it just goes to show you that Lightspeed goes the extra mile to keep their customers happy. I really appreciated the quick service and I let them know when I completed my post-service survey.
All of that said, if you are planning on flying a lot in the future and you want a quality product with a great team behind it, I highly recommend the Lightspeed Zulu headset. Whether you are a student, aircraft owner or flight instructor, I truly believe you will enjoy the Zulu (now Zulu.2) in your flying as I do in mine.
-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9