I told myself that after I had flown solo for the first time I would buy my own aviation headset and stop using the club’s headsets. Although there’s nothing stopping me continue to use club ones, I feel that using my own headset will give me a little extra consistency and reduce the number of variables that can change in the cockpit. Maybe I’m kidding myself, perhaps I just want to spend more time looking like Maverick from Top Gun!
Whatever my reasons for buying my own headset, the biggest obstacle was choosing the right one. There are dozens of makes and models on the market, with price tags from just over £100 to nearly £1,000. They range in weight and comfort as well as with features like Active Noise Reduction (ANR) and even Bluetooth® connectivity so you can make and receive phone calls.
The choice was overwhelming, and so hard to evaluate without trying them on. I spent hours trawling websites, looking for recommendations, comparing features and checking specifications. Although cost was clearly a factor (ruling out fancy things like Bluetooth® and ANR) I was willing to pay a little more for a comfortable and lightweight headset.
So, after discussing my requirements and budget with others at the club, I plumped for the David Clark H10-13.4 Aviation Headset. At £305 it was a little more than I had planned on spending, but it came highly recommended and is the same model used by the club, giving me the assurance I would find it comfortable to wear.
I ordered it from Flightstore on Sunday afternoon, opting for their free delivery option. So I wasn’t expecting it to arrive until later in the week (which would have been fine as I don’t have another lesson until Saturday), but they dispatched it on Monday and it arrived today (Tuesday). Thank you @FlightstoreUK.
It came with a free headset case. However, my Flight Outfitters Lift Flight Bag has a large headset pocket (pictured above), meaning I can fit all my equipment in one bag and won’t need to carry a separate headset case. As to whether this will help with my crosswind landings, we’ll have to wait and see…