In this section we cover everything about aviation headsets, including reviews, a buying guide for choosing the best aviation headset, and answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Whether you’re a student pilot or an experienced pilot buying a headset isn’t something you want to get wrong, especially when you consider just how expensive some can be. Therefore, in our buying guide we break down the top ANR (Active Noise Reduction), PNR (Passive Noise Reduction), and In-ear headsets. We also include a comparison table so you can easily compare all headset features and specs against each other.
ANR Aviation Headsets
Most pilots prefer ANR (Active Noise Reduction) headsets for all the added benefits they provide over passive noise reduction models.
For one, ANR headsets, except for budget options, come with Bluetooth which is a feature that many pilots can’t do without. Then there is the comfort factor.
ANR headsets use a tiny microphone and speaker inside each ear cup that produces an exact mirror of the original sound to cancel out certain frequencies. This means that, unlike PNR headsets, a tight seal is not required to reduce noise. It’s thought by many pilots that ANR does a better job at protecting your hearing too.
PNR Aviation Headsets
PNR (passive noise reduction) headsets are a better choice for student pilots and anyone who is generally on a budget. This is why they are common in flight schools across the globe and for passenger use. The ASA HS-1A is particularly common.
Unlike ANR headsets, to protect your hearing no technology is used, which is why they are significantly cheaper. A premium PNR headset, such as the David Clark H10-30, is similarly priced to budget ANR models, for example.
How well a PNR headset is able to protect your hearing is all about how good of a seal you can get. This can sometimes mean that comfort can suffer, though.