Similar to the Rugged RA200, if you’re looking for an pilot headset at the very low end of the market, the Kore Aviation P1 is the only other model worth considering.
It is similar to the RA200 in almost all aspects. The price of the two are very similar, both come with an audio input, single volume control, and foam earpads. They both even have a Noise Reduction Rating of 24 dB, and in practice the passive noise reduction of the two is hard to tell apart.
It’s quite frustrating that Kore Aviation don’t seem to release the weight of the P1, though. The the P1 does seem heavier than the RA200, though, so this does have a small effect between the comfort of the two – the latter is slightly better.
It won’t matter to most but Kore Aviation also don’t list the frequency response of the headset or microphone. It’s unlikely to factor in your decision-making process, but is still frustrating to see when pretty much all other manufacturer’s do.
The P1 is backed by a 1-year warranty, which is the lowest of any recommended aviation headset for pilots. This might make you think that the headset isn’t particularly well-constructed, and won’t last. However, this isn’t the case and its build quality is on par with the RA200.
For whatever reason Kore seem to be playing it safe here by offering a 1-year warranty when it is probably unnecessary. Take another headset by the company, the KA-1. Sure, it’s more expensive, but it’s backed by a 5-year warranty, and the difference in build quality is by no means huge.
It can be hard trying to choose between the P1 and the RA200 in the budget headset realm, but the RA200 appears to be the better choice. That 7-year warranty really can’t be beat, and the slight weight advantage is another plus when it comes to comfort.
However, the P1 is the more recently released of the two, so you would think that this might have an impact on the quality of the audio. In fact, audio does come across slightly clearer on the P1.
Really, it’s a toss-up and you can’t go much wrong with either. Is the slight improvement in audio quality enough to make the P1 the better choice? Probably not for the majority of pilots, as the difference is by no means large. Many pilots will feel safe in the knowledge that the RA200 is backed by a 7-year warranty, and find comfort more important.
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