A20 vs Zulu 2

Which do you prefer?


  • Total voters
    33

middies10

Well-Known Member
I know this has been discussed before, but I would like to see a poll regarding the two. I'm torn and wouldn't mind seeing the community response. If you would like, post reasons below.
 

crfguy51

Well-Known Member
Bluetooth is nice (and more affordable on the Zulu 2), but I do believe the A20 is superior in every way except pricing. I'm actually boxing up by Zulu 2 for service tonight. Random clicking electrical type noises in the earcups, mic is too short, squelch is nearly impossible to dial in no matter what airplane I'm flying and when the batterys get low the "passive mode" produces an intense pulse that make it borderline painful and can be impossible to hear any ATC (no sunglasses, good seal). The hard plastic earcup mounts are peeling back and it looks terrible after 1 year of use, soft items are still alright same thing with the control unit.

When everything was working fine it is a good headset, its just not as nice as the Bose. If you have the money to spend get the A20.
 

Romulus

Well-Known Member
I own the bose but have used the lightspeed. The only thing I can say the light speed does better is passive noise reduction, as long as you have batteries the bose is far superior.

Bose also has a 5 year warranty and is made in America. They offer an interest free financing program too.
 

CFI A&P

Exploring the world one toilet at a time.
Never used a Zulu, but here is what I have to report. Been using the Bose X for a couple years and recently won the A20 at a raffle and here is my observations of the two- A20 has far less clamping force, which has a significant gain in comfort without compromising noise reduction. Mic boom is shorter on A20, which can be a problem for some. A20 has a larger battery pack, which can be difficult to manage in some airplanes.

Been using it in typical GA aircraft, including some with louder cabins such as the Cub, Pitts, Cessna, etc...So far it has been a nice headset in my short ownership.
 

rd757

Well-Known Member
I flew with the Zulu, Zulu.2 and ended up with the A20. The Zulu fit nicely, but the Zulu.2 gave me some hotspots toward the back side of the ear cups. The A20 fits my head the best and sounds great. I've listened to music with it and been blown away with the sound quality that is emitting from an aviation headset. I've put about 400 hours onto the set already and love it so far. It seems to be holding up great and still fits as well as it did on day 1. Battery life is holding steady around 40-55hrs in a C172S/C172RG. Overall, no complaints here.

Most of my CFI buddies who have upgraded from DC's bought the Zulu (or .2) because they were more money conscious that I was, but the ones who have gotten the A20 love it. I've only heard that price was the reason they picked the Zulu.2 over the A20. There is a CFI program out there that gets you the set at a discount and then $50 every time someone buys them that you recommend.
 

Inverted

Give your balls a tug Jonsey..
I own both and like the Zulu2 better. It fits better, I cannot STAND when the earcup speakers touch my ear. It is fatiguing and annoying as hell, the A20s do that. Quality of the Zulu2 is way better. The A20 is built with crudly molded plastic, flash left on from the molding process. It has exposed wires as well. The Zulu2 is much more finished. It may be at the sacrafice of an ounce or two, but its worth it in the looks department. I did not like the head pad on the A20 either. Overall the Zulu2 is much more comfortable. ANR on both is fantastic, except the A20 on takeoff in very loud airplanes would get overpowered. Having the ability to listen to music with bluetooth is huge for me. Bose can kiss my butt with their excuses on why they didn't do it. Lightspeed got it right. Also they just released an app that allows you to record ATC audio with the Zulu2, that is awesome should you need that.

Saying the mic is too short might be one of the more weird complaints about the Zulu2 I have ever heard. I do not find that to be the case in the least, and I do not have a small head.

Also, right now until sometime in Sept, the Zulu2 is 100 bucks off so for 800 bucks you get a better looking, better functioning, more featured headset for 300 bucks less than the Bose.
 

FlyingScot

Spanish Proficient
I have owned nothing but ANR Lightspeed since a student pilot, and am now on the Zulu. Each one has gotten better and better. The customer service is excellent, unfortunately you will need it. Depending on conditions your cord will develop a shorter ear seals will wear out. Send it back and they will repair it. I hated the Bose x compared to my older lightspeeds, the A10 compares favorably, when I have borrowed them, maybe not as comfortable though as LS. One thing I would consider is packed size, the Bose are smaller if you travel lots.




crfguy51 said:
Bluetooth is nice (and more affordable on the Zulu 2), but I do believe the A20 is superior in every way except pricing. I'm actually boxing up by Zulu 2 for service tonight. Random clicking electrical type noises in the earcups, mic is too short, squelch is nearly impossible to dial in no matter what airplane I'm flying and when the batterys get low the "passive mode" produces an intense pulse that make it borderline painful and can be impossible to hear any ATC (no sunglasses, good seal). The hard plastic earcup mounts are peeling back and it looks terrible after 1 year of use, soft items are still alright same thing with the control unit.

When everything was working fine it is a good headset, its just not as nice as the Bose. If you have the money to spend get the A20.
You might have gotten a lemon. After 12 years and 4 models of LS headsets I have seen some of what you describe, not on my Zulus though. Keep sending them back till they get it right or replace them.
 
D

Deleted member 21509

Guest
I purchased a set of A20's about 9 months ago on the payment plan and couldn't be happier. They are quiet and listening to music with them is top notch. I have used the zulu 2 a couple times and while they are a great headset, I still prefer my A20's. As far as customer service goes, the credit card they had on file for my monthly payment broke and I forgot to tell them. They called and I told them I wouldn't have the new card for a week, no problem and they were very understanding.
 

Goonie

Never say die
I have the Zulu 2's and they are much better than the Bose X I used to use. I have never worn the A20 but I heard they can not stream music through bluetooth?? Is this true?
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
I have the Zulu 2's and they are much better than the Bose X I used to use. I have never worn the A20 but I heard they can not stream music through bluetooth?? Is this true?
Believe that it does not support the A2DP profile for BT, but it does have the standard Headset profile.
 

rd757

Well-Known Member
I have the Zulu 2's and they are much better than the Bose X I used to use. I have never worn the A20 but I heard they can not stream music through bluetooth?? Is this true?
That is correct. The audio quality though the line-in cord is great, though! I have an iPhone (bring it on Droid lovers! :) ) and the BT kills my battery faster than forgetting to quit out of FB and Mail. I'd rather just run the cord and have plenty of juice left when I get to my destination than run it dead in-flight using BT for my listening pleasure.
 

Inverted

Give your balls a tug Jonsey..
I use my iPad for music with BT and it lasts all day. I dont use my phone very often just because of what you said rd757.
 

Rudabega

Well-Known Member
I absolutely love Lightspeed, my Zulu has about 2500 hours on it, but the Bose A20 is just a better headset right now. The ANR on my A20 is much better than on the Zulu 2. The Zulu 2 beats it in just about every other feature but the whole purpose of a ANR headset is to reduce noise. The difference is just to great for the Zulu 2 to make up.

Those wondering about upgrading from the first Zulu to the Zulu 2, don't bother. It is almost the same headset.

The Zulu 2 is like sitting in a quiet airplane, the A20 is like sitting in a quiet room with a bit of aircraft noise coming in the window.

Bose A20 > Zulu 2 > Zulu > Bose X
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Just to throw a third contender into the mix here, the Sennheiser S2 is AMAZING. German built quality, amazing audio, and a very comfortable and quiet set. Full Bluetooth (including BT control from the Senn's battery pack).

Couldn't be happier with mine.
 

crfguy51

Well-Known Member
Saying the mic is too short might be one of the more weird complaints about the Zulu2 I have ever heard. I do not find that to be the case in the least, and I do not have a small head.
It's a good inch to 1.5" shorter than my co-workers Zulu.2 (that's what she said), mine is an early model. Evidenced by the fact that it cant connect to the iPad app as well. Eh.
 

crfguy51

Well-Known Member
You might have gotten a lemon. After 12 years and 4 models of LS headsets I have seen some of what you describe, not on my Zulus though. Keep sending them back till they get it right or replace them.

I hope, honestly the more I think about it (and going back to using my Bose X day to day, damn ear cups are so small but the sound and ANR is far superior) there was a bunch of odd things about that headset.

I think it's funny that everyone knows how great Light speeds customer service is (and so far it has been), because they've all used it.

I hope they can sort it 1st try and quickly, I've worn it for about 800 hours now. Over $1/hr since I've owned it. I just want it back and working as advertised, I don't want to play the 'return it 3 times until we finally fix the issues' game. Already into it for $35 bucks just to ground ship, package, and insure it (no RMA? Weak...) I'm sure another $40 for the soft goods if I want them (or if they try and blame issues on that) replaced. Basically, I'm going to be pissed if they just tweak something and send it back to me and it does the same thing again.

I don't expect it to be better than the A20 because it costs less for a reason, I just want it to work as described.
 

FlyingScot

Spanish Proficient
crfguy51 said:
Basically, I'm going to be pissed if they just tweak something and send it back to me and it does the same thing again.

I don't expect it to be better than the A20 because it costs less for a reason, I just want it to work as described.
Follow up with a phone call to customer service about the time they receive the headset. Calmly elaborate on your experience and your disappointment so far with their product. If your a CFI let them know, as a happy CFI product user should be their best advertising.

To give you an idea of their cust service. I had sent my older headset in to them and then was went to work at the Portland base for a week. I called LS and the women answering the phone expedited the repair and then dropped off my headset at my hotel after hours.
 

Inverted

Give your balls a tug Jonsey..
It's a good inch to 1.5" shorter than my co-workers Zulu.2 (that's what she said), mine is an early model. Evidenced by the fact that it cant connect to the iPad app as well. Eh.
Do you have a Zulu? And a call to Lightspeed will fix your issues. I am sure they will take care of you.
 
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