April 2008 Issue

LightsPEED Zulu: A Bose Contender

In a one-on-one fly-off between the new Zulu and the reigning Bose, there’s no clear winner. But the champ is in for a fight.

Bose created the first aviation noise-canceling headset and has always held the title of "Best Performer." Many manufacturers have challenged the champ, but nobody has equaled Bose performance and comfort, although some have improved the features and value. Now, LightSPEED, with a reputation for solid-performing economical headsets, has introduced the Zulu that, while not clearly superior, may well be preferable to many buyers. LightSPEED has clearly targeted the Bose X with the Zulu. Sound quality is as good or better and the Zulu clearly surpasses the Bose with features. The Zulu is also in the Bose’s price stratum, although still about 15 percent less. They even look somewhat similar. Of note to some pilots is that the Zulu’s mic is not reversible — the mic is always on the left when you’re properly wearing the headset. The Bose mic is reversible, but requires a screwdriver to do so. The Bose is a TSO’d headset; the Zulu is not. But this is of little significance to the GA pilot.

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