Headsetinc ANR Retrofit

With up to five hours flight time per day and my first pilot job starting within the next months, I thought, I should take care of my ears. Every evening I have a light headache – I hope I can change that. I purchased an active noise reduction (ANR) set from Headsetinc for my David Clark H10-13.4 and installed it today.


What you need:

  • IMG_3263ANR kit, MX-001-A (shallow depth), from Headsetinc for $169
  • small screwdriver or Swiss Army Knife
  • soldering iron, bought one for less than $10
  • wire cutter
  • power drill, I went to the local store and they gave me one for two minutes
  • hammer, only if you fix things like Jeremy Clarkson does 😉
  • download this wiring diagram: http://www.headsetsinc.com/wiring_diagram.pdf

It helped me a lot to watch tutorials on youtube (AvWeb tutorial and official tutorial). However, they both install the AMP cable, which is used to connect the headset directly to the airplane’s electric system. I took pictures of all the steps needed for the battery case and its power cable installation. I chose to use the battery case because I fly many different planes and the minority has the power plug needed. With the batteries it will always work. By the way, when a power source is not available the headset simply becomes passive again. My soldering skills are limited; the only thing I soldered before was a pickup change on my guitar. But, how hard can it be? At first I looked very closely at the videos and tried to understand the manual. It just confused me and I got the feeling that this whole thing was a bad idea. After I found the wiring diagram online, it all became easier. I simply connected everything according to figure A (David Clark H10-13.4 is mono). I didn’t bother to take pictures because you really need to follow the diagram, even though this is the most complicated part. If you are inexperienced in soldering, just make sure you aren’t in a hurry and ask wikiHow.

IMG_3313Now it was time for testing, I didn’t want to risk cancelling a flight. When I turned it on I heard quiet, constant static noise and was already afraid it didn’t work. Then I realized that I was able to make the bathroom ventilator noise disappear by turning the ANR on. 🙂 I checked the microphone and headphones with a guitar amplifier and a sexy red Ibanez S 570. I played Metallica’s Enter Sandman and Master of Puppets. But honestly, I cannot recommend using the ANR kit for musical purposes since it removes all treble and base and makes even the hottest guitar sound bad. With the ANR turned off, however, the speakers sound pretty awesome. 😉 Now I just hope that the headset works as tested tomorrow. I am going to fly about four hours and will be back with a quick review. Cheers!


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