Categories Latest Blogs, News and Events

How Active Noise Reduction Headsets Promote Safer Piloting

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Although the history of powered flight dates back nearly 100 years, concerns about the effects of aircraft noise on hearing are relatively new. We’ve all heard the axiom, “there are old pilots; there are bold pilots; but there are no old, bold pilots.” We could add, “and precious few with normal hearing.” In fact, in the days of open cockpits and wire struts, pilots flew with ears unprotected and gradually damaged the hearing they desperately needed to be safe while flying. It is said that the whisper test, still used in the flight physical, has its roots in the perceived necessity for pilots to hear the singing of the support wires while in flight.

While most cockpits today are closed and there have been advances in sound treatment (i.e. mufflers, soundproofing insulation, etc.), cockpit noise levels still are well above safe levels. Today’s pilots and passengers are subjected to noise that can have numerous adverse effects, including:

  • Permanent hearing loss
  • Stress and fatigue
  • Masking of wanted sounds
  • Negative effects on speech perception and recall

 

Categories Latest Blogs, News and Events

The Importance of a Specialised Aviation Headset

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If you’re a new pilot or are looking at riding along on a friend or family member’s aircraft, you are going to need a headset. With a bit of luck the aircraft’s owner will have provided a headset for each passenger seat. If not, showing up for the flight with your stereo’s headphones just won’t do the trick. The unique environment of an aircraft cockpit requires something a cut above any headphones you might have used in any earth-bound activities. Read on to find out what you should be looking for in an aviation headset and why.

Clearer communication in noisy environments

All powered aircraft make much more noise than first-time pilots and passengers imagine and you need a headset that will attenuate as much of the noise as possible. There are several reasons for wanting to do this. Among them are protecting your hearing and ensuring that clear communication between the pilot and passengers and air traffic control can be maintained. This is a critical requirement for safe flight.

The aviation headsets providing the highest level of noise attenuation use active noise reduction (ANR), in which the headset generates a sound wave with the same amplitude but an inverted phase to that of the background noise, cancelling it out. This results in the greatest possible attenuation of cockpit noise.

Additionally, aviation headsets always come equipped with noise-cancelling microphones. Noise cancelling microphones have two sound inputs, one facing outwards and facing inwards, towards the user. The result is that general cockpit noise enters both inputs and is cancelled out. The pilot speaks into the inward side of the microphone which is positioned very close to the lips, preventing the speech from entering the outward side of the microphone. This means the user’s speech is heard by the recipient as clear as possible, with cockpit noise minimised.

 

Categories Latest Blogs, News and Events

Which headset do you wear the most?

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Lightspeed Zulu PFX Headset

“ The digital ANR capabilities of the PFX are worth the extra batteries.” – Michael Wolf

The new Zulu PFX raises the bar for active noise reduction headsets, and is Lightspeed’s best headset ever. The company has long been known for making aviation headsets with innovative audio and noise reduction technology, and the Zulu PFX is no exception. From the latest Active Noise Reduction (ANR) technology to innovative aux audio features, this headset has it all.

 

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