The Rugged Air RA200 (along with the Kore Aviation P1) is the only headset at the very low-end of the market worth considering.
It is one of the best selling headsets for pilots and a good choice for student pilots as they get to grips with flying, and passengers who just need protection on short flights. The audio input is definitely something they will appreciate too.
While there’s quite a lot of plastic in the RA200’s construction, this doesn’t seem to have a negative effect. It’s clear that the headset will be able to withstand a good amount of use. The cable also seems thick enough to last and not fray over time.
Rugged Air are clearly confident in the headset’s construction because they are able to offer a very generous warranty despite its low price.
No complaints when it comes to the headset’s passive noise reduction capabilities. Not really much to say here apart from the RA200 is designed well enough to reduce noise to low levels and protect your hearing.
The NRR stands at 24 dB.
The first and usually biggest thing that budget headsets suffer from is their comfort factor. The RA200 is no different in this regard – to an extent. The comfort will never be able to match a David Clark PNR headset, but can be said to be decent. After a long time on your head the pressure might become too much, so you will have to readjust.
The RA200 is one light headset, though, weighing just 13.4 oz, which does enhance comfort at least somewhat.
The RA200, despite its lower price point compared to some other budget headsets, features an audio input so you can listen to music. A feature that many pilots and passengers will no doubt appreciate.
Sound quality, both in terms of when listening to music and more importantly when communicating, is good enough to come through clearly to be understood.
One thing to note is that there is just a single volume control instead of dual volume controls.
It comes as quite a surprise at just how generous the warranty of the RA200 is given its low price point. It can’t match the ASA HS-1A, which costs twice as much and is remarkably backed by a lifetime warranty. But at 7 years, the RA200 beats out all headsets, including those from David Clark.
At under $100, with an audio input, decent comfort, PNR and audio, and backed by a 7-year warranty, the RA200 manages to do everything right at its price point. It’s easy to recommend if you are on a tight budget.
If you can stretch your budget slightly, the RA900 would be the next logical choice due to its improved comfort, dual volume controls, and push-to-talk function.
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