If you’re a private pilot and you carry passengers on cross country flights or on local sightseeing trips, you might be looking for the best aviation headsets for passengers.
Your passengers need hearing protection like you, and having communication with the pilot on the intercom during a flight can make it more enjoyable, so it’s imperative that you furnish your passengers with decent aviation headsets.
If your budget allows, buy ANR headsets. They are definitely worth the investment. You don’t have to spend $1,000 to get a good one, either. They have become more affordable and can be purchased for around $300 or a little higher.
The alternative to ANR is of course, passive noise reduction headsets. Some of these models can be purchased for less than $100, which sounds good, but beware of being too cheap!
Whichever brand or model headset you select, make sure you take note of the following:
Compare the actual weight of several brands and models. Find a set that weighs as little as possible. A heavy headset can lead to neck and shoulder pain on a long flight, especially if the passenger is a slight woman.
Passive noise reduction headsets are rated by the EPA for their ability to reduce noise. They give each headset a NRR (noise reduction rating) which is shown in decibels. The higher the NRR, the quieter the headset.
The most comfortable ear cups are gel-filled, not foam filled. Gel has a way of conforming to your ear better than foam. Gel equipped headsets cost a little more than foam ones and are slightly heavier, but your passengers will thank you for them.
Some headsets also have padding under the top headband. This helps reduce the pressure on top of the passenger’s head, thereby improving the comfort level.
Finally, the best aviation headsets for passengers should be fully adjustable. Because everyone has a different sized and shaped head, having the ability to be adjusted for height and width is crucial.
The clamping pressure should also be able to be adjusted for different width heads. Clamping pressure can lead to a severe headache over a couple of hours. Make sure to personally check for the right fit on your passenger’s headsets.
So when choosing the best aviation headsets for passengers, you have to strike a balance between the comfort of your passengers and staying within your budget.