Questions To Ask Before Choosing Your Aviation Headset

Posted by Erika T. on Jun 9th 2022

The primary purpose of aviation headsets is two-fold. Because of how loud planes can be, a headset’s primary purpose is to reduce the level of noise so that a pilot doesn’t damage their hearing and can communicate with air traffic control. Because of how vital a headset is for any pilot, there are a few questions to ask before choosing your aviation headset to ensure you select one that is both functional and comfortable.

What Are You Flying?

The first question relates to the kind of plane you’re flying. Some planes are better at blocking noise than others, and the ones that do the poorest job blocking sound can get loud enough to cause permanent hearing damage. The kind of plane you’re flying will also determine what kind of headphone jacks you need from your chosen headset. There are four common types of jacks to consider:

  • Standard Twin/Dual Plugs: The most common plug
  • Helicopter/Military Plug: Found primarily in military aircraft
  • 6-Pin LEMO Plug
  • Airbus XLR Plug

What Features Should You Look For?

While blocking noise is the primary purpose of an aviation headset, you should consider what kind of features you need to have and what you may want to have as a luxury. For example, if you’re expecting to fly for long periods of time, comfort may be your most pressing need. Other features to consider are separate volume knobs, Bluetooth, and active noise reduction for further noise cancellation. Consider what your budget looks like and what your priorities are in order to slim down your choice of headsets.

Is This a Professional Environment?

If you’re flying for business or in any kind of professional capacity, the last question to ask before choosing your aviation headset is whether the model is certified by the FAA or the EASA. These headsets provide the minimum functionality necessary for civil aircraft in terms of material, components, and application. If you’re flying solely for pleasure, you don’t have to get a certified headset, but it might lend you some peace of mind and confidence if you know the headset is thoroughly tested and approved by professionals.