Headsets for a new pilot


I am starting training in two weeks and have been told that I need to purchase a headset. Training will be done in a Piper Cherokee 140.

I see there are many brands/types out there, with some costing way more then others. I understand you get what you pay for…,but what is reality here?

Will a sub $200 pair work well, or will I find that I want to upgrade in a year?

Any input will be helpful.


I did do a search on the forum regarding this topic prior to posting. Only discussion I saw was regarding the diff. between (2) Dave Clarks…

Thanks again.


I know many pilots who are have 1000+ hours on their first pair of $200 headsets. I’d recommend the Pilot USA PA-2170T Passive Headset, about $185. There are many others that are decent for the price, don’t go wasting a ton a money on a headset until you try a couple different pairs out, borrow a pair from another pilot for a flight. I used to suggest that people buy a cheap pair at first to use for a while, and then get a nicer pair, using the first one for your passengers. Me, when I’m flying for fun I use the FlightCom Denali ANR. I love 'em, have over 2500 hours on them (well, it’s been repaired a few times, it is plastic after all.)

Also, Sporty’s has a neat headset wizard to find the perfect set for you.


Thanks for the reply. I am thinking about the sub $200 range with the idea of upgrading later and using the first pair for pass. just like yous aid.

I will look into the Pilot USA PA-2170T Passive Headset, again thanks–


Ditto what James said. You might check eBay etc…

FYI I have an 18 year old Flightcom 4DX that I still use. I broke the connection to the mic and just had that fixed. They work great for the type of flying I do and for what you are going to be doing. NEW 4DX Classic Style $115.00 on their website.


I agree with the others, borrow different kinds and try them. If I was going to suggest a set I’s go with the Lightspeed QFR Solo.

I have a set of D/C that I bought a while back. I bought my son a pair of Lightspeed QFR Solo 3 years ago. I end up using the Lightspeeds as much as my D/C. Might want to look at them, $195.00.

sportys.com/acb/showdetl.cfm … 9&DETAIL=1


I’d suggest looking on eBay. You can find a good set of David Clark headsets for under $200 and they seem to last forever. Lightspeed is another good brand than typically costs less than DC. If you can afford it, I’d recommend noise canceling headphones. They do cost more, but it is well worth it for all of the time that you will spend in a plane. Bose is generally considered the best ($1000 new and 500-600 used), but Lightspeed makes some good ANR headphones as well.


Lightspeed QFR SSc – best value for your money at $155. http://www.gulf-coast-avionics.com/detail/8735/Headsets/LightSPEED/QFRSSc/


Thanks to all who provided me with answers and insight… I did finally purchase a set of Flightcom 4DLX Classics for only $99. I am sure I will upgrade later and use these for a pass. I start training this Friday!!


Good luck and have fun with your training.

Where did you get the headset?


I got it on Gulf Coast Avionics (gulf-coast-avionics.com/). They were running a special.


I got a pair of lightspeed 20xl on a flight training special for around 350. since then my instructor got the same ones instead of his david clarks. Also got a pair for his wife, my parents have lightspeed 20s and now I bought my wife a pair. I had mine crack in cold weather a while back, and they have redesigned the piece. They sent my replacements, plus a spare for my trouble and new ear seals for the fun of it, and that was like a two minute conversation with a person, and I didn’t push for anything more than the broken piece. Needless to say, I think lightspeed has been fantastic for me, so I don’t mind recommending them. Try a pair before you invest.


Off topic a bit but I didn’t want to risk starting a new topic…

Anyone know of a good source for sunglasses. I need some new RayBan Aviators. I used to order from a place called Hidalgo Supply, they advertised in Flying but appear to be gone.


Oakley has some new wire frame designs that are VERY comfortable when you wear your headset. You can even customize most “models”, even the etching on the lens where it usually says “polarized”. I recently ordered a pair for my FIL and had his n-number etched into the lens. He loves how they feel compared to my old “bottlecap” model Oakleys.



Not the cheapest source, but at least they actually deliver what you purchase, unlike some eBay sources.


Aviation Consumer (a good aviation gear review magazine) did a review of passive headsets. No surprise that David Clark 10-13.4 won the top honors. LightSpeed QFR SSc at $155 got good reviews at the value point. The biggest surprise was Gulf Coast Avionics 4T at $89 had among the best audio quality, but was downgraded for its high clamping pressure.


Do you recall the model or style, might give me a place to start searching. Thanks for the info.


You would ask that, wouldn’t you. Figures, I can’t remember off the top of my head.

I know if you go to www.oakley.com, click you way to the customize stuff (easy to navigate), I think it was one of the first 4-5 types. As you scroll over the names, you see pictures.

If I can get time tonight when I get home, I will edit this and put the name of the type we got my FIL.

Edit: HOLY CRAP!! THE SITE ISN’T BLOCKED ANYMORE (I just jinxed myself) AT WORK!!!

Anyway, we got him the Crosshair. I am probably going to customize a pair of the “spikes” or “juliets”

If you don’t care about customizing them, there are about 3-4 guys at RVS that have the nanowire 2.0 and say they are really comfortable.


Beware using polarized glasses with glass panel instrument displays.


Minor detail since you can’t see them… :smiley: