I had two flight lessons today for my commercial pilot license and took my upgraded headset along, a David Clark H10-13.4 with ANR set from Headsetinc.
Honestly, despite the successful tests yesterday. I still had doubts if it would actually work in the cockpit. After all, the last time I soldered it was my guitar’s pickups and all the switches and knobs had a new arrangement afterwards – and that project went on for days until it worked as advertised. 😉 Therefore, I asked the front desk for a backup headset. Just in case.
The starting engine checklist was completed, followed by the intercom check, and the headset worked just fine. The voices over the radio were much clearer than before, thanks to the suppressed engine noise. I was happy with the sound quality of the original David Clark speakers, but the difference is huge. Usually, when I communicated with mumbling tower voices etc., I kept increasing the volume. Today I actually had to make it quieter. As I already knew yesterday, from the “Master of Puppets check” with my guitar, my voice sounded different in the intercom due to the lack of treble and base. I think it was more a nasal speech sound than with the original speakers. I didn’t test it thoroughly with the ANR turned off, but I suspect the passive noise reduction is less than before. There is less insulation after all. But talking and listening still worked fine. The only thing I amended after the flight were the cable ties, which were still sharp from cutting.
I think this ANR set is an excellent option if a bit of soldering doesn’t put you off. It cost me just $179, including tools. A new ANR David Clark would have cost 700 dollars. As a student pilot that is a lot of money to spend on actual flying. As far as I can tell after today, my ears are thankful I did the upgrade. Happy landings!