first headset


Well-Known Member
Hey everyone,

I'm a senior in high school and am planning to attend UND next year. I have a PPL and fly a C152. I'm looking into buying a reasonably priced headset soon and I'm considering the Sigtronics S-20 or S-40 and the Telex Echelon 20. Does anybody know the difference between the 3? I know the Telex headset has a 20 db passive noise reduction and both the sigtronics have a 24 db passive noise reduction but other than that I don't know what the differences are. Which one would you recomend for me?
I've had a few students with the Sigtronics S-40. They never complained about discomfort or too much noise getting through the headset. I don't have any particular details for you, however, only that my students were generally pleased overall.
Get whatever's comfortable in your price range. Bells and whistles and the like aren't gonna be worth a hill o' beans if you're grimacing because your head hurts or distracted by pain.
I just upgraded to an ANR headset, and I'll never go back to passive. If you check eBay, you can find good-quality used ANR headsets for the same price or less than a brand new passive set. I got a Telex ANR-1D and love it!
ANR wasn't worth much IMO in singles, which you'd be spending the majority of your time in. Personally the tried and true David Clark H10-13.4 is probably the best bang for your buck you can get. Mine is 10 years old and still works great. Plus the resale on them is still good.

To put it in perspective I bought a Lightspeed 25XL ANR, used it for a year, then sold it on ebay. I kept my DC which I had bought before the Lightspeed. The DC makes a great, while slightly expenisve, first headset that can be used for a very long time.
Here is one guy that looks upon the DC 13.4 with utterable loathing. I absolutely hate the thing. However, I have the Telex you mentioned and think it is very comfortable. Dirt cheap too.
I've heard a lot about the DC H10- 13.4 headset before. So what makes so great other than it lasts long? It is a better quality one than the sigatronics or Telex ones I mentioned?
I have an even-more-ancient H10-30. I bought it when I was a student pilot in like 1992 or 3. 15 years and 4000+ hours later, it's the only headset I've ever needed, had, or used. I've replaced ear seals a few times, and that is the sum total of maintenance the thing has required, but if it does ever break I send it to DC and they fix it for free. That should tell you everything you need to know about DC.
My first pair were the DC 13.4. Now, 4 years later I still have them. The gel seals work great, they fit comfortably over sunglasses. I can hear perfectly through them, no hearing/mic issues whatsoever with mine. I have never had to replace anything on my headset. Overall, I have had no reason to try out Telex, Sigtronics, or Lightspeed.
I have a DC H20-10S that I love, never had ANY problems with it. I also have a backup Soft Comm C-80 headset for days I feel like using something different or for any passengers; never had any issues with the Soft Comm's either.

I do have to say though I wish the DC's came with a pair of cloth covers like the Soft Comm's do.
My first pair was a Sigtronic and I really liked them. I wore them until they broke in an unfortunate non aviation related accident. I had a Lightspeed 30 3G but they sucked and kept breaking as in the ANR would constantly go out and they would send me a new cord I'd have to replace myself. I have a Bose now and will never look back. They are awesome. They make the ATR whisper quiet. Life is now worth living.
I'll just 2nd 3rd or 4th or whatever all the positive comments about the DC's My 20-10's were cutting out a lot. Sent them in and 2 weeks later they came back with fresh ear seals, new mike boom, cover and new jacks. Can't beat that service. Plus if you go to a local pilot shop they are likely to be selling one that is barely used for a great discount.
You can't go wrong with the DC 13.4's. I upgraded to the x-11's after I got my PPL and keep the 13.4's as my back up set.
The david clamps work pretty good for your first headset because you dont fly much more than 2 hours a day. I can't wear them now because after that they start to kill me so I got some lightspeeds.