Aviation Headset

What are the best aviation headsets for pilots?

Aviation Pilot Headset
Finding the best aviation headset is a matter of pilot preference. Decide which features you are looking for, and then consider comfort and price.

Pilots rely on aviation headsets in the cockpit to reduce outside noise so they can better hear instructions from ATC. Furthermore, noise cancelling headsets enhance safety. For example, headsets may be passive or active noise reduction. So, with so many headsets to choose from, which ones do pilots prefer? We checked with pilots. Based on customer reviews, here are some of the top rated headsets you’re likely to find inside a pilot’s flight bag.

Bose A20 Headset

Bose A20 Headset
Pilots report excellent noise reduction with the Bose A20.

The Bose A20 is one of the most popular aviation headsets based on pilot reviews. Prized for their noise reduction, pilots claim it’s the best in high-noise situations meeting or exceeding FAA TSO requirements. Points to consider:

  • Bluetooth audio and cell phone support
  • Auxiliary audio input
  • 40 hours of use with two AA batteries
  • 5-year warranty
  • Cost: $1,000+

David Clark H10-13S Stereo Headset

David Clark H10-13S Headset
Student pilots love the reliability and affordability of DC headsets.

David Clark has also been a popular manufacturer for decades. The H10-13S offers a stereo version of the popular H10-13.4 headset. The noise reduction rating of 23dB makes it a popular choice. Other features include:

  • Lightweight and comfortable at 16.5 oz.
  • Designed for comfort with double-foam headpad
  • Noise-cancelling M-7A electric mic
  • Dynamic earphone frequency response: 200-5,500 Hz
  • Cost: $300+

Lightspeed Zulu 3 ANR

Lightspeed Zulu Headset
Popular for flight training, the Lightspeed Zulu cancels engine noise surprisingly well.

Pilots are raving about this headset and reporting is cancels out the engine noise of the Cessna 172 and other aircraft. This makes it popular with student pilots. This headset offers Bluetooth with dual GA plugs. Other highlights:

  • Active noise cancellation/Bluetooth
  • Durable construction (stainless steel and magnesium)
  • Tapered ear seals enhance comfort
  • 7-year warranty
  • Cost: $800+

Whether you are flying with an airline or just learning to fly, choosing the right headset is important. For instance, although you may be focusing on something used or cheap, be sure to consider your priorities. Comfort? Price? Features? Avionics stores carry every possible type. So, whether you choose in-ear or over-ear aviation headsets or even helmets, variety is not a problem. Above all, your primary consideration should be safety first.