Buying Guide 2022: Student Pilot Aviation Headsets
One of the most important pieces of equipment a student pilot needs is an aviation headset. You can’t fly without one. Not only is the cockpit extremely noisy, but students need to hear their instructor, and also communicate with Air Traffic Control themselves as they progress through training. Therefore, a suitable aviation headset is critical, with at a minimum headphones, microphone and correct connection plugs, but ideally additional features like noise cancelling, purpose built for aviation.
At the time of publishing, it is also near the end of 2021, which means we’re entering not just the holiday season of gift-giving, but also the season of New Year’s Resolutions, including for many beginning pilot training and starting a new career.
With this in mind, we’re looking ahead to 2022 with our favorite student pilot aviation headsets, either for you or a loved one. The final choice in aviation headset may vary based on many factors, most notably budget range and expected use. Within these recommendations we have selected options for a range of budgets, but are assuming student pilots will be following a career path like our own Pilot Pathway Program – i.e. one that will see students on a fast track to a future aviation career.
With that said, here are our top aviation headset recommendations for student pilots in 2022
Best Overall Student Pilot Headset
The Bose A20 with Bluetooth aviation headset is our ultimate recommendation for student pilots. This headset is built to last with quality construction and sturdy cables. It’s also designed for comfort with leather earpads and 30% less clamping force than conventional aviation headsets. Bluetooth integration may not sound like an essential feature, but it has been known to save the day in the case of a total electric failure, connecting to a cell phone to call air traffic control (ATC) as a backup option.
The Bose aviation headset also has active noise cancellation which cuts out much of the engine noise in the cockpit to better hear your instructor and ATC, without having to fight against it with increasingly loud volume settings. The price may be too high for some student pilots, but if you are certain about your future in aviation, this headset is a worthwhile investment that will steer you well as a student, instructor and at the airlines. Plus, Bose has a fantastic reputation for customer support.
Warranty: 5 Years
Best Mid-Range Student Pilot Headset
Student pilots looking for a quality, long-lasting aviation headset at a slightly lower price point than the Bose A20 may like the Lightspeed Zulu 3. This headset has a lot of the same features as the Bose aviation headset including active noise cancelling and full Bluetooth integration, plus other nice features like powering down automatically when not in use which will save battery life.
The Zulu 3 is slightly bulkier than the Bose A20 and may feel a little heavier on long flights, but it is still considered to be a very comfortable aviation headset. It also boasts the longest warranty of all the headsets on our list.
Warranty: 7 Years
Best In-Ear Student Pilot Headset
As a student pilot, the last thing you want is to be distracted by an uncomfortable headset. If you’re not a fan of over-the-ear headsets, the Clarity Aloft Pro Plus is your best bet for an in-ear aviation headset. It is lightweight and designed to remain comfortable throughout long flights. Its petite frame also ensures that it won’t take up too much room in your flight bag. While it does not feature active noise cancelling, the earbuds are designed to mold to the ear canal and provide noise attenuation. Although the warranty is the shortest on this list at three years, the build quality of the microphone and speakers is good.
Warranty: 3 Years
Best Entry-Level Student Pilot Headset
For student pilots on a budget, the David Clark H10-13.4 aviation headset is a worthy choice. Generally considered the go-to entry-level pilot headset, it’s a great option for brand-new student pilots who are not sure exactly what they want in an aviation headset yet. At the lowest price point on our list, this one won’t break the bank, which gives students the flexibility to upgrade at a later date. Typically, this headset might be used by more recreational pilots, perhaps flying for their Private Pilot License. Once flight time increases and you’re wearing your aviation headset all day, you will likely want to upgrade.
While the headset is designed to block as much noise as possible by creating a seal around the ear, it does not feature active noise cancelling. It may not contain all of the bells and whistles of more expensive aviation headsets, but David Clark aviation headsets have a solid track record of getting the job done and lasting through flight school.
Warranty: 5 Years
2022 Aviation Headset Conclusion
In our opinion, these four options are the best aviation headsets for student pilots entering training in the new year. Ultimately, the choice will come down to personal preference and budget. Any of the aviation headsets we’ve highlighted here will work well for flight school, some will work beyond that and others should last for many years to come into the start of your professional career. Of course, there are plenty of other pilot headsets out there, and only you know what will work best for you, so we suggest doing as much research as possible.
When you have made your choice of headset, ensure that you buy the version with the “General Aviation (GA) Plug,” “Twin Plug,” or “Dual Plug”, should different versions be listed. While adaptors are available, this will ensure that it has the right connections for the aircraft you will be flying. You will also want to throw a few extra batteries into your flight bag – these are used to power auxiliary features like noise cancelling, you don’t want to be caught half way through a flight without it!
Whatever you choose, we’re excited for what the future holds for you, or the student pilot in your life! Happy flying in 2022.