You’d be surprised to hear that the noise-reducing headsets used for aviation are more affordable than other alternatives with similar functionality.
These specialized headsets also function as a hearing aid in reverse. Some are built to work in high and low volumes, and others are optimized for noise-canceling or isolation.
This article aims at providing information on choosing the right aviation headset. Whether you need it for private jet travel, commercial flights, or if you work in an avionics environment, there are many factors to consider when buying your next headset.
What Is An ANR Aviation Headset?
An ANR headset is a hearing protection device to reduce ambient noise and improve the clarity of the sounds a pilot or flight crew member needs to hear during a flight. ANR stands for “active noise reduction,” a technology that uses an external microphone to pick up unwanted sounds. An ANR headset is a modern headset that can also serve as an introduction to ANR technology.
This headset then uses a special noise-canceling circuitry that filters these noises out of the audio sent to the user’s ear. This allows the person to use the headset to hear the most important sounds, even in a noisy environment. A good aviation headset is built with this in mind, and it has a microphone and speaker system that reduces surrounding noises.
How To Choose The Best ANR Aviation Headset?
The first thing you should do is decide what purpose you’re buying the headset for. Will it be used for commercial, private jets, or even work in an avionics environment?
This will narrow your options considerably, as certain models are better suited to specific uses. Once you have limited your options, you should consider the following factors when choosing the best ANR aviation headset.
Noise reduction – This is the most critical aspect of the headset and should be your top priority. You want to ensure the headset you choose will reduce as much noise as possible.
Noise Isolation – This doesn’t always go hand in hand with noise reduction. Noise isolation is when the headset seals outside sound by creating an airtight seal around your ear.
Sound quality – The headset’s sound is also fundamental, and you want to ensure you can hear everything from the person beside you to air traffic control without distortion.
Weight – Aviation headsets can be cumbersome depending on your chosen model, so it’s vital to ensure you find a comfortable and lightweight model.
Ease of use – You should choose a headset that can be used with little effort. When you’re in the air, the last thing you want to do is fiddle with your headset.
Price – You don’t want to spend a couple of thousand dollars on a headset, but you also don’t want to purchase a poorly made model with cheap materials.
Anti-fatigue technology helps reduce eye strain, neck tension, and overall fatigue.
Warranty – Look for a brand that offers an extended warranty period and has a good reputation for customer service.
How To Find The Right Fit?
If you’ve ever flown commercially, you know that the flight attendants announce how everybody should ensure their seatbelt is fastened correctly. This is for a reason, of course, and that reason is to keep you in your seat during emergency situations when you most likely will be thrown around.
This is where the importance of the fit of your headset comes into play. You wouldn’t want to be wearing a headset and have it come free while being flung across the cabin, leaving you unable to secure it again. This will not only be uncomfortable but could also be extremely dangerous.
While every airline has specific rules regarding the type of headset you can wear, it is crucial to ensure your headset fits appropriately.
Pilot USA PA-98 ANR Aviation Headset
The Pilot USA PA-98 ANR aviation headset is a favorite for many pilots. It has some of the best noise reduction technology on the market and does a great job of blocking out unwanted sounds from outside the cockpit. This means you won’t be distracted by what’s happening around you, allowing you to focus on flying safely without any interruptions or distractions.
The PA-98 features an adjustable headband that will easily fit different head sizes. The padded ear cups are comfortable enough to be worn for long periods without causing discomfort or pain in your ears or head after wearing them all day at work or during flight training sessions.
Keep in mind that, unlike some other versions, this headset does not come with built-in Bluetooth capabilities before making a purchase; however, it does come with an adapter cable so connecting your phone via Bluetooth is still possible if needed (this feature isn’t available on all versions though).
Top ANR Aviation Headsets You Can Choose From
1. Aspen Avionics PA-50 ANR aviation headset
The PA-50 is a premium headset that has been certified for use in both civil and military aircraft.
- It’s also lightweight and comfortable, with a padded headband and ear cups.
- The headset is designed to be used in high-noise environments
- The headset uses dual microphones with active noise cancellation for crystal clear communication during flight.
2. Bose A20 ANR aviation headset
The Bose A20 is the king of the hill regarding aviation headsets.
- It’s a bit pricy at about $1,200, but if you have that money to spend, you deserve it because you’re an excellent pilot who deserves all the best things in life.
- These headphones provide fantastic sound quality and won’t cause discomfort to your ears, even after extended use.
3. Pilot USA PA-98 ANR aviation headset
- The Pilot USA PA-98 ANR aviation headset is a favorite for many pilots.
- It has some of the best noise reduction technology on the market
- The PA-98 features an adjustable headband that will easily fit different head sizes.
- The padded ear cups are comfortable enough to be worn for long periods.
- Comes with an adapter cable, so connecting your phone via Bluetooth is still possible if needed.
- Cons – It doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth capabilities like some other models do.