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Headset Advice--Clarity Aloft?


bqmassey
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I will be starting my flight training soon. I'm trying to decide on a headset.

 

Even if the flight school provides one, it's a purchase I know I'm going to have to make sooner or later. I'm very protective of my hearing, so I'd like to get a headset with good attenuation. I plan on flying commercially, so I'd like to go ahead and get one I can use for quite a while (instead of buying a cheap one now and upgrading later).

 

I've heard a lot of good things about the Clarity Aloft set. I really like the idea of good passive noise reduction. I think it'd be a lot more comfortable to wear, as well.

 

It looks like they only sell the fixed-wing style. Would it be a big disadvantage to not have the coiled cord you usually see on helo headsets? I'd have to buy an adapter to make it work in helos. Will this ever cause me problems? I thought I read once that there can be impedance issues, but maybe I'm wrong.

 

Any thoughts on using the Clarity Aloft set? Any other recommendations?

 

Thanks!

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About a year and a half ago, I switched to the Lightspeed Zulu (as I too was becoming concerned about my hearing (my dad just got a hearing aid!)). Its awesome! Its so quiet I'm hearing some lower frequency sounds in the helicopter I've never heard before (which was actually rather weird at first), plus I can finally turn the radio down and still hear it!.

 

Stick with the coiled cord, otherwise you'll have to bunch up the excess so it doesn't fall into the Collective well.

 

If you plan on teaching, get a helicopter headset. In the past (while using "loner" airplane headsets with adapters) I've had to play "volume wars", on dual flights.

:)

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The Clarity Aloft is a good quality headset. You'll need an adapter, since it only comes with fixed-wing plugs, but that hasn't been a problem for me. The cord comes with clips on it for attaching it to your clothing or whatever is handy, and it stays out of the way at least as well as a coiled cord, plus it's a lot smaller and lighter. If you have volume problems, it will probably be with too much volume, and you can easily use disposable foam earplugs instead of those provided, and this will reduce the volume to a comfortable level if necessary. I know I'll never buy another standard headset.

 

Quiet Technologies also has a similar headset, but it's a little cheaper, and the owner is very helpful in working with customers to get a good impedance match for keeping the volume at a reasonable level. It uses tubing instead of wires from the headband into the ears. This is probably a little cheaper, but it's also easily repaired if necessary. I have both, and I think they're of comparable quality.

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I had a combination of a Bose headset (which in my opinion are the best out there) and the ER15 musician earplug. The new A20 headset is supposed to be fantastic too when it comes to noise cancelling.

The earplugs are not your typical insert, they are custom fitted for YOUR ears. They have a special filter that allows you to hear everything perfectly while providing 15 decibel reduction. I wear them to concert and everything and because they are countersunk and no-one can see them I You should find a place that fits them. They carry a bit of a price tag, I paid $120 for them. Totally worth it though.

 

http://www.etymotic.com/ephp/erme-acc.aspx

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It's a good plan to get a good headset early. I currently use the Telex Heli XT headset. I is an ANR headset and designed for helicopters. When I first started in helicopters, I used a Telex ANR4000 headset. It was an airplane headset, so I used an adapter with no problems. Before I got the first Telex, I was using DC head clamps. I looked at the Bose also, but for the difference in money I really couldn't see or hear much difference between them. I like my current Telex so much, that I have an adapter so I can use in airplanes. Personally, my suggestion is to look at them all, try as many of the different headsets as you can and then make your choice.

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I will be starting my flight training soon. I'm trying to decide on a headset.

 

Even if the flight school provides one, it's a purchase I know I'm going to have to make sooner or later. I'm very protective of my hearing, so I'd like to get a headset with good attenuation. I plan on flying commercially, so I'd like to go ahead and get one I can use for quite a while (instead of buying a cheap one now and upgrading later).

 

I've heard a lot of good things about the Clarity Aloft set. I really like the idea of good passive noise reduction. I think it'd be a lot more comfortable to wear, as well.

 

It looks like they only sell the fixed-wing style. Would it be a big disadvantage to not have the coiled cord you usually see on helo headsets? I'd have to buy an adapter to make it work in helos. Will this ever cause me problems? I thought I read once that there can be impedance issues, but maybe I'm wrong.

 

Any thoughts on using the Clarity Aloft set? Any other recommendations?

 

Thanks!

 

I suffer from noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus and am VERY protective of my hearing (what's left of it). I never fly without double protection.

 

If you truly want to protect your hearing, I recommend a good passive over-the-ear headset (for airplanes, I use a David Clark with Oregon Aero upgrade kit) with a CEP (Communications Earplug) modification. Nothing on the market that I know of can match the total NRR of this combination (about 60-65 dB) while providing a high level of clear communication at low volume settings.

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I always used a Bose which IMO was great but I do have a few friends that bought the JH Audio headsets. They can't say enough positive about them. You will need custom ear molds for them but they really seal out the outside noise. I tried the Clarity Aloft but did not like them. I attribute that to the fact that I was at close to 1000 hours with Bose and was used to a headset being on my head. It just felt wrong flying without it to me. I was also not a fan of the foam earplug style inserts or the need for a FW adapter. I did use the FW adapter and it wasn't a problem nor was the straight cord, no issue. I think it was just sort of a personal preference for me but if I were to do it all over again I would buy a JH Audio.

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I just checked out the Clarity Aloft, and JH Audio stuff, and,...I thought those were for a more "sealed" cockpit type of environment, like an airliner?

 

Does that type of headset really work well in the open environment of an R22, or S300?

:huh:

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Yes I use Light speed Mach 1 with custom plugs but GomerP has more hours than most & uses in ear with standard plugs.

We also use Pilot 17-79 anr which I like but most anr use batteries unless working of panel power, (unlikely in training ships) also anr not so good at high freq.

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The headset manufacturers publish NRR (noise reduction rating) numbers, and you can use these to decide which are appropriate for you. The in-the-ear headsets give better NRR across the spectrum than any other type. In the end, it mostly comes down to personal preference, and it's your money, so spend it on whatever you like.

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I have a pair of brand new LightSpeed Zulu's That I would be willing to sell for a reasonable offer. I used them twice just to see what that it was like. While they are extremely nice I am required to wear a helmet at work so I have no use for them. They are coiled cord for helicopters. $900 new from Sporty's. PM me if you are interested. (PS I received permission from Lou to post these for sale.)

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I have the Clarity Aloft and feel like I have been free'ed! I used a Bose for years and loved them. Great sound quality and not as much clamping and weight as a DC. I looked at the in ear headsets before my Bose but they where new and I couldn't find anyone that had used them in Helicopters. Recently I decided to give them another look so I evaluated several pairs.

I tried the Light-speed Mach 1 and loved it but I couldn't keep the mic in position. It kept dropping down to my chin. Other than that I liked the sound and love the light weight. I think if you had the custom molds it may work better. I wanted to return them if I didn't like them so I didn't try the custom molds.

I tried the Quiet Technologies, very similar to the Clarity Aloft but you get what you pay for. I found the sound quality pour and tinny and the foam plugs where not as soft in my ears. I also found the air tubes to make noises when I moved my head and was very distracting. I did like the flexible wrap for the support.

The Clarity Aloft is the one I have now. The Bose has become my "spare" for passengers. Once you get used to the freedom of no clamping, no sweaty ears, and quiet clear sound is great. Also, no weight and you don't have problems with sunglasses like the clamp style does. I would recommend the Pro version. They have a little better adjustment for the support and the more flexible cord would be nice. I have not had a problem with the strait cord or adapter. I usually put the extra behind my back and clip the cord to my shirt so there is no pulling.

 

What ever you decide I would suggest doing what I did and try several. It is different for everyone and all the manufacturers will refund you in the first 30 days if you don't like it. If they won't then don't buy it from them. You may need to buy it on line as I found some stores only want to give you credit.

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  • 2 months later...

I have the Clarity Aloft and feel like I have been free'ed! I used a Bose for years and loved them. Great sound quality and not as much clamping and weight as a DC. I looked at the in ear headsets before my Bose but they where new and I couldn't find anyone that had used them in Helicopters. Recently I decided to give them another look so I evaluated several pairs.

I tried the Light-speed Mach 1 and loved it but I couldn't keep the mic in position. It kept dropping down to my chin. Other than that I liked the sound and love the light weight. I think if you had the custom molds it may work better. I wanted to return them if I didn't like them so I didn't try the custom molds.

 

I agree, I love my Clarity Aloft Headset too. But I had some custom molds made from L2K Technologies "l2ktech.com" and they feel even better with the custom plugs. They also had the custom earplugs for the Mach1 Headset available. The best part is when I fly Army I can also use the same molded earplug set with my CEP set because the speaker housings are identical.

Edited by Mike2k
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  • 3 months later...

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