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Telex Stratus 50D or Bose Aviation X


RotorRunner
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I tried both headsets mentioned (and several others) at a pilot shop that allows you to listen to them with prerecorded phony transmissions. Also, they had background noise of an aircraft engine running that you may turn off & on to check the noise canceling. I found the Stratus 50D to be the best at canceling background noise, but the Bose close. The Stratus 50D was the absolute most quiet of any I tried with the noise canceling turned off. I have flown the Bose X on flights of 3 hours or so, and they were uncomfortable to me after about 2-1/2 hours, but that is because I wear glasses. They would probably be fine if I didn't wear glasses. I have never worn the Stratus 50D on a long flight, and don't own them. They are definitely more heavy and bulky than the Bose X, but seem as comfortable otherwise. I went to the pilot shop with the intention of possibly buying the Stratus 30XT, cause the features and specs sounded awesome for the price.... ...Similar to the Stratus 50D for the lower price... But I was disappointed with the noise canceling on the 30XT. It hardly seemed to make a difference. It was so poor, I was wondering if the set I tried was damaged. I also tried the new David Clark headset, the X11. I was really disappointed with the X11. The noise canceling seemed poor compared to the others except the Stratus 30XT mentioned. Also I thought the fit and finish of the X11 was toy-like, and the ear cups seemed small and uncomfortable. The headset that surprised me was the Denali ANR headset. For the money, the noise canceling was right up there with the other good ones. Almost equal to the Bose X and 50D. I have an old set of the passive Denalis as loaners. They are comfortable with glasses if you get the thick Naugahyde (phony leather) ear cups. Originally, they came with thin vinyl ear cups. They delaminated. I sent a picture of the delaminated ear cups to Flightcom, and they overnighted the thick Naugahyde ones to me. I have worn the passive Denali headsets for up to 14 hours a day in a noisy twin, unpressurized turboprop when I used to fly airfreight with those ear cups and glasses and they never gave me a problem.

The sales person kept telling me I should get the Bose X. On further querying, I found he had never used the test rig in the store himself. I made him try all the headsets the same as me and he agreed with all I mentioned above afterwards....

My $0.02...

Edited by nbit
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Don't know about the Telex, but the Bose (and the Lightspeed, for that matter) has poor passive performance. I've had issues (esp w/ the LS 30G) problems with ground-based radar interference.

 

You want one that is comfortable for extended periods of time in order to reduce fatigue. One thing I've been looking at are CEP's. I THINK they can be installed on headsets. I've used these with the SPH4B and HGU56 and are ok. Another option is a good ol' DC 10-something with a good pair of ear plugs. Just crank up the radio and headset volume. This gives you the 20+ db from the headset and another 20 or so from the ear plugs. Batteries not required.

Edited by deadstick
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Get the best, most comfortable headset that you can afford. Don't buy a Bose or a telex or a lightspeed or a david clark based on what other people say. Go to your local FBO or avionics dealer that sells the headset you want to try...and try it! If nobody local sells it, ask other pilots. It's likely that somebody you know has one, or knows somebody who will let you try theirs.

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If you wear glasses, including sunglasses, then the quietest, and most comfortable headset by far, is one of the in-the-ear models. I have both a Clarity Aloft and an Auricomm Halo. Both work about the same. I use disposable foam earplugs with them, but the Clarity Aloft comes with very good plugs, while the Auricomm has cheap yellow things that don't suppress noise very well. You can make your own from foam plugs with either, though. The NRR is higher than for any standard passive or ENC headset that uses domes, and the comfort factor isn't even in the same class. I won't go back to any headset that uses domes, ever. I've been building my own headsets for about 20 years from DC hearing protectors, the kind used on aircraft carriers. They are quieter than any production headset I've tried, and more comfortable, but the in-the-ear models are far better in both areas.

Edited by Gomer Pylot
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nbit: That is exactly the kind of info I was hoping for. Where were you able to try them out? Thanks!

 

PhotoFlyer: Coming up with a Bose to try out is no problem, but I don't know anyone with a Stratus 50D. I don't know of anybody close to my area that stocks either of them. I love the avatar. Is that you doing the flying?

 

Keep the comments coming. I greatly appreciate the input. I want to be as well informed as I can before I fork over the cash.

 

Thanks,

RR

Edited by RotorRunner
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PhotoFlyer: Coming up with a Bose to try out is no problem, but I don't know anyone with a Stratus 50D. I don't know of anybody close to my area that stocks either of them. I love the avatar. Is that you doing the flying?

 

Me doing the flying? [sarcastic tone] Absolutely! I am the most awesomest pilot in the world and can make the helicopter do ANYTHING I want. I even had a main rotor departure in a R22, and the rotor came back when I whistled! [/sarcastic tone] :P :D

 

It's a clip from a Dennis Kenyon video. If you search his name you can find it on the forum.

 

Where are you located? I'm sure there is somebody in your area, you just need to ask around. Hang out at a busy FBO, or pilots lounge at a GA airport and talk to the pilots who come in. I bet one will have, or know somebody who does.

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PhotoFlyer: I am familiar with Dennis Kenyon. Just wondering if there was someone else out there with that kind of tallent, nerve, or whatever... How did he know that he wouldn't have a main rotor departure the first time he tried that?

 

I am in the Knoxville, Tennessee area. Most GA pilots around here either wear the Bose (20%) or some cheap piece if garbage (80%). Well in all fairness there are very few helicopters in this area and you don't need as good of a noise suppression headset in most GA aircraft as you do in a piston heli.

 

Any body else out there done a side-by-side comparison between the Bose X and the Telex Stratus 50D?

 

Thanks,

RR

Edited by RotorRunner
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RotorRunner,

When trying the headsets, I was a transient at Banyon Pilot Shop, at Fort Lauderdale Executive, KFXE. Flown into Knoxville many times... Nice place. Originally from Nashville myself. Good luck in your research & selection.

Maybe I am wrong, but I believe that is Dennis Kenyon in PhotoFlyer's avatar.

 

Regards....

 

nbit: That is exactly the kind of info I was hoping for. Where were you able to try them out? Thanks!

 

PhotoFlyer: Coming up with a Bose to try out is no problem, but I don't know anyone with a Stratus 50D. I don't know of anybody close to my area that stocks either of them. I love the avatar. Is that you doing the flying?

 

Keep the comments coming. I greatly appreciate the input. I want to be as well informed as I can before I fork over the cash.

 

Thanks,

RR

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Gomer. How often are you replacing your ear plugs on those? I've been thinking about getting an in ear headset for a while now, just not sure how well it would work out in the flight training environment. Not just the number of times you're taking it on and off, but also the amount of time it takes to put it on. If you're putting your headset on during run up, that's just more time off the controls. Those are my only concerns.

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I tend to replace the plugs after every hitch, whether they really need it or not - after about 7 days of flying. It's possible to wash and reuse them, but it's not really worth the effort. I get the plugs for free at work. The Clarity Aloft comes with good plugs, but they're expensive. I just peel the foam off a set and use the remainder as the inside connection for regular foam plugs - just stick something through the plug to make a hole, insert the connector, and you're ready to go.

 

It doesn't take long to don the headset, and I do that before I start the engines. I do not run, or even stand around, helicopters without hearing protection. You can hear normal noises fine with the plugs inserted, so I never make noise without the noise protection. You can just do a quick roll on the plugs, stick them in your ear, and start the engine(s).

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Ahhh, I see now. Thanks for the Auricomm "hint." ;)

 

With that, Google lead me to this kit http://anr-headsets.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi. I could get this and wire it into my current headset no problem and still transfer it over later when I go to helmets.

 

And what you're saying is that you, instead of using their ear plugs, just take a standard foam ear plug, drill a hole in the middle, and insert the .133 diameter tube in the middle so you can attach it to the speakers??? Easy cheesy.

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The link you posted results in a null search. I assume it's an ANR kit. I bought my Auricomm from that place, and can't say anything bad about them. I did have a problem with the first Auricomm I got, but both Morris and Phil at Auricomm were very helpful, and replaced the headset quickly. I do think the HALO is the best model.

 

Yes, I just punch a hole in a foam earplug, push the tube in, and screw the tube onto the speaker. The yellow EAR plugs provided just aren't very good, but decent plugs make the headset work well. I provided Morris at ANR-Headsets with pictures of how I do it, but I don't know if he's posted them.

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I have tried out headsets from Marv Golden and ANR Headsets. No problems other than the cost of shipping. Both (and many other sites) offer a money-back guarantee, and AFAIK live up to them. I know Marv Golden did, and ANR Headsets would have, but I opted for a replacement, not a return. I don't see a problem, if you're willing to pay the shipping.

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Oops, sorry about the link. You are correct though, it's just their CEP kit. Solder the plug side into your headset, and then the CEP speakers will plug into that port. I'll copy the info from there just for the sake of others that are interested.

 

Once again Gomer, thanks, you've provided me with the answers I couldn't seem to get anywhere else. There is plenty of factual data on these out there, but that only gets a person so far. Thanks for taking the time to provide your feedback.

 

Here is a copy paste from the kit I was looking at.

 

Item No.: CP-HHK

Manf.: CEP, Inc

 

CEP Kit, Helmet or Headset

 

Each: $139.00

 

Detailed Description

 

The Communication Ear Plug (CEP) can be used with most military and general aviation helmets except for *US Navy and Marine helmets.

 

Tests by the US Army** proves that CEP system provides the aviator with the best hearing protect possible across the entire noise spectrum, while increasing the speech inteligibility. When used in headsets and helmets, the CEP noise attenuation is actually better than ANR systems. ANR systems are designed to attenuate noise in the low frequency spectrum.

 

Easy installation procedure, requiring making only two soldering connections. Requires drilling a hole in the headset or helmet shell to mount the CEP plug-in adapter.

 

Includes two trial pair of earplug tips, one regular and one small pair.

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Those look like exactly what both Clarity Aloft and Auricomm use for their headsets, just bundled with a mike and plugs, etc. The Comply earplugs are what come with the Clarity Aloft (you get a set of a dozen or so), and you can easily strip off the foam from them when they get too filthy to stand, and use the remainder to put inside a standard foam earplug. That's what I'm doing. You can wash the eartips a few times, but I only bothered once, just as a test. The rest of the eartips are still in the container, because I prefer the standard foam earplugs. The Comply tips are quicker and easier to insert, but I feel they're not quite as quiet, and I'm willing to put up with a few seconds longer for inserting in return for a few dB more suppression. YMMV.

 

You will certainly get better noise suppression using the CEPs inside a headset or helmet, but it's not that much higher. I've tried using my headset, as well as dome hearing protectors, over my in-ear headset, and don't hear much difference at all. The comfort factor is much, much lower, however, so I don't bother with domes.

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Looks like it would be easy to forget to "unplug" the CEP's before removing your headset/helmet. :o

 

Just curious Gomer, have you ever forgotten to Unplug before getting out with the Claity Aloft headset?

 

The Clarity Aloft has been on my wish list for a while now........ Maybe Santa will come through

Not sure that I've been a good boy though :(

Maybe if he only checks the list once this year :lol:

 

Anyway.....

 

Fly safe

Clark B)

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