ANR Headsets Worth It?

Got my annual bonus last month, some of it will cover my COM rating (slated to start mid-September when my CFI has space in his schedule) but I was thinking of getting an active noise reducing headset. But I wonder whether it’s worth the extra $ ? I’m not buying the Bose (too expensive and it’s almost a religion for me never to buy anything they make) but is there a unit people think is worth it? Part of me worries that it will be too quiet, there is something reassuring about hearing the engine. But it would be nice to buy myself a present. What do you think? And any recommendations?

5 thoughts on “ANR Headsets Worth It?”

  1. Saw your post on the Plus One board and hadn’t had a chance to respond yet.

    I bought a Lightspeed Twenty 3G about a year ago and haven’t regretted it. It’s extremely lightweight and comfortable. I wore mine for 3 hours going to VGT with sunglasses on and it didn’t bother me or make my head hurt. The Thirty 3G is a little better (in ANR and PNR rating), but I don’t fly enough to make it worth it so I saved a few bones.

    You can still hear the engine in the background and enough sound to tell if something is going wrong, but the improved clarity in communications is amazing due to the overall reduction of background noise. The overall total noise reduction will also preserve your ability to have a conversation with your grandkids when you’re 65.

    Bottom line: I would highly recommend ANR, but especially a Lightspeed. Bought mine at Marv’s.

    Taking an Archer to CNO with a few friends on Sunday. Some pictures at the museum and a Flo’s gut bomb should make me a happy man.


  2. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it. I bought myself a Pilot 17-79 a few years ago as a present for having gone solo and I don’t regret it for a moment. It has a little magic in its circuitry which amplifies the speech band slightly – reduced my “say again” rate even further. And I can still hear the engine; the ANR doesn’t kill the engine noise, but just turns down the lower, more annoying frequencies to the point where I think it’s more likely I’ll pick up a funny-sounding engine sooner than if I had no ANR. (FWIW I fly the standard spamcans – C150/152, PA28/28R.)

    Good gel earseals are a particularly worthwhile addition if you don’t get them as standard.

  3. I got a LightSpeed QFR Xc when I started my training. I’ve been really happy with it and it is noticeable when the batteries are dead. It’s a great light and inexpensive headset. Haven’t had any problems with it. My instructor recommended an ANR and I’m happy she did.

  4. I used to have the Lightspeed 15XLC. Then I bought the Clarity Aloft. A much better headset! It’s extremely lightweight and its ANR capability is as good as the 15XLC. If you aren’t used to wearing foamy earplugs, it might take a few flights to get used to them. Special bonus – no headset hair.

  5. Thanks for all the suggestions, I am definitely going to check them out. I do like the idea of the ‘in ear’ products, and I see the Lightspeed version is a little cheaper than the Clarity Aloft. Still some serious bones though…. but an annual bonus only comes once a year!? Though the difference *is* a couple of hours flight time…..

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