July 2007 Issue

Passive Headsets: Clark, Telex are Tops

The lab reports say one thing, the flight trials quite another. Performance and price donít always go hand in hand.

With the exception of GPS, hardly any segment of the GA gadget and accessories market lacks for competition. Thatís especially true of headsets, where there are dozens of models to pick from in both active and passive noise reduction designs. There are so many, in fact, that itís impractical to test them all. So for this article, we picked seven popular passive headsets and wrung them out, both in the audio laboratory and in an impartial, focus-group aircraft test. Interestingly, our lab findings and inflight results diverged dramatically on some of the headsets. It turns out that just because a headset has good lab numbers doesnít mean itís a go-to model in the airplane. Comfort and perceived audio quality can and should rule the decision.

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