Lightweight, ANR headset less than $350?


I need advice from you more experienced guys on a headset. I’m a newbie pilot (~175 hours) who’ll hopefully be spending a lot more time in the cockpit building my experience over the next few years.

Currently I’ve been using an old heavy DC headset, not sure on the model number, but it’s not cutting the mustard. It’s too heavy, doesn’t drown out engine noise well enough, and gets uncomfortable after long flights. On my long XC I noticed that my earlobes started hurting because it was pressing too hard on them, and that the top of my head started hurting as well.

So I’d like to pick up the best bang for the buck headset I can and spend less than $350ish if possible. Lightweight and quality are the top of my list, and I’d like to try an ANR headset if one can be had that is lightweight and of good quality in my required price range. Brand doesn’t matter to me.

Almost everyone I know uses DCs so I don’t have much opportunity to try out different brands or different headsets.

Can anyone give me some ideas?


I’d recommend that you go to a pilot shop that carries a range of headsets and try flying with some different ones. Sporty’s pilot shop … 9&CATID=94 carries a broad range and is good about allowing exchanges. Lightspeed is a popular mid-price option. You should also check eBay where you can sometimes find Bose X’s for around $500.


Here are a couple of previous threads on headsets which should help: … php?t=3805 … php?t=3566


Thanks for those links, I’m checking out the sporty’s headset choice guide right now.


All of the brands are going to tout comfort. And their testimonials are merely subjective. My advice is to do what CAFlier said…go to a pilot shop and try them on. Only then will you really know which will fit and feel the best for you.


Even then, you can’t test long term comfort. I think Sporty’s will let you exchange for up to a year.


I agree, you should fly them, not just try them on for a few minutes in the store. It’s like hiking boots, you can’t just put them on and walk one lap around the store and expect to know what they will feel like after a day on the trail. Sporty’s, as well as many pilot shops, will let you either buy, fly and return if you don’t like them or take them out for a test flight.


True… But hopefully the field can be narrowed to minimize the exchange process of long-term testing.


Please report your findings.


I agree.


The problem with trying them out is that the only local places that sell them have hardly any variety, so I’d be severely limited in what I could test-fly.


If you plan on doing the professionally I would get a very nice pair. I have the Clairty Aloft headsets and used them while I was instructing and currently use them in a jet. The noise cancelling is excellent!! They are not ANR, but the ear pieces you put in your ear are excellent. These headsets don’t need to be ANR