Features to Look For in Aviation Headsets

After flying aircraft for years, pilots get quite accustomed to the noise in the cockpit. In fact, depending on the aircraft they are flying, pilots may even feel that the noise is negligible or not that loud. However, according to one of the safety brochures, the FAA Hearing and Noise in Aviation, the sound levels in a single-engine cockpit can go up to 90 decibels. If you are a pilot, you already know how important it is to protect your ears from this noise, as exposure to such high noise can cause permanent hearing loss. The best way to protect your ears from this sustained exposure is by wearing a high-quality pilot headset.

Headsets do not just provide protection from hearing loss. They also provide pilots with a way to communicate with the air traffic controllers (ATC) and passengers hands-free. In this blog, we will discuss the features that you should look for while buying headsets, and the different technologies available in such equipment.

Should You Purchase Your Own Headset?

Many new pilots may wonder if they should buy their own headset, if they really need it, and if it is really worth the purchase. Though obtaining a headset through a rental program or on a loan is possible, it still makes sense to buy your own headsets as a pilot, even if your budget only allows you to buy an entry-level model.

While communal headsets through a flying school may be available, they may not perform up to their intended mark, and probably would not be in the best condition as they would have already been subjected to a lot of wear and tear from students. Additionally, used, entry-level headsets would not be as comfortable and there is a chance of them malfunctioning after a short while.

Desirable Features in the Ideal Aviation Headset

Now that you have set your mind on buying your own headset, let us get into the desirable qualities and useful attributes of a good headset. As there are plenty of headset brands and styles available in the market, shortlisting and deciding which one is the best can be overwhelming at first. Deciding what features you are looking for will narrow your search and help you in deciding which one is the best for you. While purchasing an aviation headset, you should look at your budget, the type of noise cancellation, comfort, signal type, frequency response range, microphone type, cable plug type, warranty, and more.

Types of Noise Cancellation

A big criterion that is a deciding factor for many pilots is the type of noise reduction a headset provides. The most commonly available types of noise reduction are active noise reduction, passive noise reduction, and dynamic noise reduction.

Active Noise Reduction or ANR headsets require some form of a power source. Usually, the power source is a battery that is planted in the earpiece or on its wires. Also known as electronic noise canceling (ENC) headsets, ANRs monitor incoming sounds electronically with the help of a tiny microphone placed on either the inside or outside of the ear cup.

Passive noise reduction or PNR headsets physically stop the undesirable noise from entering your ears. These are over-ear models, rather than in-ear or on-ear models. Moreover, they are the lowest, least advanced, but most affordable headsets available on the market.

Dynamic noise reduction or DNR headsets digitally remove noise from incoming headphone signals. These are the most high-end of all aviation headsets. These headsets look for repetitive, redundant, and identical noise signals on the transmission and suppress those portions of the signal.


If you are a pilot and looking for top-notch aviation headsets or other aviation gear, Limitless Purchasing is your one-stop destination for all your needs. Operating as an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited company, we offer only the best quality aviation, NSN, electronic, IT hardware, and marine parts. As such, we invite you to have a look at our vast product catalog and order your favorite items today!


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