I’m a proponent of a high-quality headset and that usually means expensive. I made the decision to go with the Lightspeed Zulu, inspire of the Bose A20 debuting at the 2010 Oshkosh when I purchased my headset. It’s been a few years now and new headsets have hit the market and I’ve looked… But in the end I come back to my preference for the Zulus.
Pilots wear headsets on every flight, sure they cost a lot of money for a “good one” (think noise cancelling, bluetooth, etc…), but I look at it like a watch. I wear my watch everyday, spending “a lot” of money on a watch is a good investment, because I use it everyday, all day. When it comes to aviation a headset is the same, I spent good money on my Zulu when I purchased it and I’ve gotten plenty of use out of it, making the investment payoff in my favor.
But, just because my Zulu headset is a “luxury” item, does’t mean it is ageless. On a recent flight, I opened my flight bag and noticed that what greeted me was an aged, tired, old headset. The headband pad was frayed and showing its wear and one of the ear cups was completely ripped exposing its insides…
Luckily, I anticipated giving my headset some TLC (tender love & care) and had the needed parts on hand. In just a couple of moments my near-thousand dollar investment transformed from a ragged, tired old piece of flying equipment to a refreshed like-new flight bag favorite!
Previously, I did similar “upkeep” for my David Clark 13-10 model headset, replacing the gel ear seals every so often as they tended to lose their luster after a few years.
So there you have it fellow aviator, anticipate the upkeep needs of your headset so you can keep your gear in tip-top shape! It’s a lot better to spend a few dollars on replacement pieces (headband pad, ear seals) as opposed to spending hundreds, if not more than a thousand dollars on a new headset! But, if you’re going to get a new headset, I recommend LightSpeed!
-Fly Safe, @MTElia1B9