Imagine someone asks you, “What is the purpose of an aviation headset?” Naturally, your mind goes to comms. Headsets are vital for communication, right? Absolutely, and they play another role which may be less obvious to new pilots – noise reduction.

At first it may seem quiet inside the cockpit of your aircraft – after all, it’s not like you’re at a heavy metal concert. Still, put on a noise reduction headset and you will instantly notice the difference.

Although the cockpit’s background noise isn’t overly loud, it is loud enough that long-term exposure can cause permanent damage and hearing loss.

Because of this, headsets are designed to not only allow pilots to communicate, but also to protect their hearing. Of course, some companies get it better than others, and today we will share our research with you.

Together let’s explore the choices that are available for each budget. We will compare their features and discover the best aviation headset to kill the noise.

Table of Contents:

The 11 Best Aviation Headsets:

  1. Bose A30 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth
  2. David Clark H10-13.4 Mono Headset
  3. Lightspeed Delta Zulu ANR Headset
  4. Lightspeed Sierra Headset
  5. David Clark Pro-X2 ENC Headset with Bluetooth
  6. David Clark H10-13X ANR Headset
  7. David Clark H10-30 Headset
  8. ASA AirClassics HS-1A Headset
  9. Telex Airman 8+ ANR Headset
  10. David Clark H10-13S Stereo Headset
  11. Lightspeed Zulu 3 ANR Headset

Additionally Valuable Information:

    The Best Value Aviation Headset
    How to Choose the Right Headset

Ready for our list? Let’s get started!

11 Best Aviation Headsets

1.      Bose A30 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth

Bose A30 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth

It’s no surprise that #1 on this list would be none other than the Bose A30! Be ready to enjoy style and comfort with the industry's undisputed leader in crystal-clear sound quality.

The Bose A30 is a fantastic headset encompassing advanced active noise reduction technology that allows a pilot to remain focused on communication and important tasks mid-flight.

This headset has an ergonomic design and is lightweight, the perfect headset to wear for long flight durations with easy-to-use controls and Bluetooth capabilities.


    • Style: On-Ear
    • Noise reduction type: ENC
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Battery Powered, Straight Cord, (Dual Plugs)
    • Weight: 14.2 oz.
    • Price: $1,299.00

2.      David Clark H10-13.4 Mono Headset

10 Best Aviation Headsets Kill Noise David Clark H10-13.4

Coming from a brand well-known for its proven record of excellence, the David Clark H10-13.4 headset is reliable and dependable. It has been around for years and is one of the most popular tried-and-true headsets.

Make yourself heard with the advanced M-7A noise-canceling microphone that eliminates background noise from your transmission. A 23-dB reduction in ambient noise levels protects your long-term hearing.

The proprietary gel undercut ear seals and double foam head pad provide all the comfort you are craving for long flights.

Expect this headset to be durable and stand up to use, but if anything does break, relax knowing that you are covered by David Clark’s 5-year warranty program.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: PNR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual plug
    • Weight:5 oz.
    • Price: $349.99

3.      Lightspeed Delta Zulu ANR Headset

Lightspeed Delta Zulu ANR Headset

Get ready to enjoy life-saving features and advanced technology with the Delta Zulu! This headset has Kanari™ smart technology that can signal the pilot to warn them of dangerous carbon monoxide levels to help keep both the pilots and passengers safe.

On top of Delta Zulu’s CO sensors, their headset provides crystal-clear audio for inflight communication. Delta Zulu’s HearingEQity™ feature lets you optimize each ATC call and conversation and adjust it for your specified hearing profile.

Enjoy the easy-to-use replaceable battery packs, and the Delta Zulu allows you to connect with a UAC plug. Simply charge it during the flight via USB.

Lightspeed App

The Lightspeed App gives a pilot the ability to visually check sensor data and review safety metrics from any of their previous flights for easy viewing on their favored phone or mobile device.

The Lightspeed Delta Zulu headset is a marvel of modern audio engineering. Outfitted with all the features you could possibly need, the Delta Zulu boasts even more. The ear seals have been specially designed to contour along the curves of your jaw, creating up to 50% more room than other similar headsets.

This provides an improved fit for extended wear, perfect for those long distance flights. With the Delta Zulu, you can experience comfort and quality that will last all flight long.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: ANR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: UAC
    • Weight: 14.9 oz
    • Price: $1,199.00

4.      Lightspeed Sierra Headset

10 Best Aviation Headsets Kill Noise Lightspeed Sierra

The Sierra headset by Lightspeed shares many features with her big sister, the Zulu 3. Like the Zulu, the Sierra comes with FlightLink compatibility, integrated Bluetooth, auto shut-off and an auxiliary input option.

Without the Kevlar construction, the Sierra weighs just about an ounce and a half more than the Zulu 3, and the Sierra comes with a 5-year rather than 7-year warranty.

One extra bonus feature of the Sierra? The microphone is reversible so you can place it on whichever side works better for your cockpit set-up.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: ANR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual plug
    • Weight: 16 oz.
    • Price: $699.00

5.      David Clark Pro-X2 ENC Headset with Bluetooth

10 Best Aviation Headsets Kill Noise David Clark Pro X2

Pilots looking for an ultra-lightweight and low profile on-ear headset will appreciate the David Clark Pro-X2 ENC. GA pilots are usually resigned to the need for a larger profile headset to achieve the needed noise reduction.

But the crossover Pro-X2 headset manages a 30-dB noise reduction even with its streamlined style. This is thanks in a large part to an excellent hybrid noise cancelling system.

The Pro-X is all about your comfort. In addition to its very light weight (7.5 oz.), this headset also keeps you cool with a heat-absorbing headband and leatherette earcup material.

A swivel-hinge stirrup minimizes pressure points on your cheeks and jaw.

Add in the Bluetooth features, Enhanced Auto Shutoff, Automatic Gain Control (AGC) for high-noise environments and a 5-year warranty, and you will agree that the DC PRO-X2 packs quite a punch.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: Hybrid ENC and ANR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual plug
    • Weight:5 oz.
    • Price: $745.00 

6.      David Clark H10-13X ANR Headset

10 Best Aviation Headsets Kill Noise David Clark H10-13X

The H10-13X ANR headset by David Clark is a balanced blend of hearing protection, comfort and crisp audio clarity. Even with the headset turned off, the headset provides 23 dB of noise reduction. Switch the set on and the single 9V battery adds an extra 17-22 dB of noise reduction.

As you would expect from this David Clark, the H10-13X is built with the undercut gel ear seals for comfort.

The M-7A electret mic cancels out background noise to support clear communication and an auto shut-off feature extends battery life.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: ANR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual plug
    • Weight: 18 oz.
    • Price: $739.99 

7.      David Clark H10-30 Headset

10 Best Aviation Headsets Kill Noise David Clark H10-30

Are you searching for a quality on-ear headset that both you and your budget can appreciate? The durably built H10-30 headset from David Clark shares the same quality manufacturing standards as David Clark’s higher-retail models.

Even though the price is lower, you won’t have to worry about inferior parts. Plus, you are covered by the 5-year quality guarantee.

The H10-30 is built simply and smartly. It has the M-7 noise-canceling electret mic and provides 24 dB of passive noise reduction.  The body of the headset features David Clark’s comfortable undercut gel ear seals.

You may not be connecting to Bluetooth and listening to your music through this mono headset, but if you are looking for a headset that offers quality performance at a great value, this is our vote.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: PNR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual plug
    • Weight: 20 oz.
    • Price: $299.99 

8.      ASA AirClassics HS-1A Headset

10 Best Aviation Headsets Kill Noise ASA HS-1

Student pilots who are just starting out often reconcile themselves to dealing with a low-quality inferior headset because one that performs is simply out of their price range.

Enter the ASA AirClassics HS-1A. You get stereo sound, a 23-dB noise reduction and electret flex-boom noise canceling mic. A lifetime manufacturer’s warranty for the original owner is the icing on the cake.

At 31.2 oz, this is the heaviest headset on our list, but for the price, value and durability, the HS-1A gets our vote.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: PNR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual plug
    • Weight: 2 oz. 
    • Price: $139.99

9.      Telex Airman 8+ ANR Headset

Telex Airman 8+ ANR Headset - Pilot Mall

If you like the on-ear style of headset and a lower-profile look, the Telex Airman 8+ may be a good fit. Its streamlined ear cups are made of a comfortable leatherette material and swivel in all directions for maximum comfort. As an added bonus, your headset comes with replaceable ear cushion and cup covers plus a 3-year warranty.

A unique feature of the Airman 8+ is that it is the only ANR headset with battery-free operation. The noise-cancelling feature is powered by the microphone system.

Tip: This headset comes with either an airbus plug or dual plug. Make sure you purchase the version that's right for your aircraft.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: ANR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual Plug Airbus plug
    • Weight: 20 oz.
    • Price: $569.00

10.  David Clark H10-13S Stereo Headset

David Clark H10-13S Stereo Headset

What can a few dollars get you? Usually that barely buys you a decent lunch, but when it comes to the best headsets, a few dollars is all that stands between you and an upgrade from mono to stereo.

The David Clark H10-13S Stereo Headset is nearly identical to the H10-13.4 model except for a couple of key differences. The 13S has dual volume controls and stereo capability as opposed to the H10-13.4’s mono audio.

All that for only ½ ounce more weight and $9. This makes the H10-13S a best value recommendation on our list.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: PNR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual plug
    • Weight: 17 oz.
    • Price: $359.99 

11.      Lightspeed Zulu 3 ANR Headset      

Lightspeed Zulu 3 ANR Headset

What is one of your biggest pet peeves of low-quality headsets? Have you had a headset that pressed in on your jaw, squeezed your cheeks, squashed your ears and left you feeling sore after a flight?

The designers of the Lightspeed Zulu 3 feel your pain and they made sure to contour the ear seals so that they hug the curve of your jaw. This new seal style creates 30-50% more room for your ear than other similar headsets. Now you can wear your headset comfortably for an extended flight.

The cables of the Zulu 3 are built around a Kevlar core for lighter weight, increased flexibility and improved strength compared to the industry standard.

Extra Bonus

Extra bonus features include Bluetooth, FlightLink compatibility (for Apple users) and an auto turnoff function to save battery power.

An auxiliary input option lets you listen to your favorite tunes and the ComPriority feature makes sure you don’t miss any important communications. It automatically lowers the auxiliary device volume during radio or intercom transmissions. Feel comfortable with active noise reduction ANR as an included feature in this product.

A very generous 7-year warranty program gives you peace of mind in knowing that you won’t need to buy a replacement headset if this one should fail.


    • Style: On-ear
    • Noise reduction type: ANR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual plug
    • Weight: 6 oz.
    • Price: $899.00

Bonus: Best In-Ear Aviation Headset

10 Best Headsets Kill Noise B ProFlight

As we said, on-ear headsets are the preferred style of headset, but if you are looking for a good in-ear option, we have you covered. The Bose ProFlight Series 2 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth Dual GA Plugs is our top in-ear choice.

At only 4.5 ounces, you will barely notice you are wearing this headset. Like Bose’s on-ear model, the in-ear version has full Bluetooth connectivity and an electret noise cancelling microphone.


    • Style: In-ear
    • Noise reduction type: DNR
    • Microphone: Electret
    • Connection: Dual plug
    • Weight:5 oz.
    • Price: $1,045.95 

The Best Value Aviation Headset

You might love our top 11, but maybe it’s not all of them are within your budget right now, and that’s okay! Try checking out this list of our personal favorite pilot headsets on a budget.

Best High-End Headsets (over $700)

Best Mid-Range Headsets (under $700)

Best Value Headsets (under $400)

Bonus: Best In-Ear Headset

Pilot Wearing a headset in the cockpitHow to Choose the Right Headset

It’s hard to shop for and compare headsets if you don’t know what to look for. There are some key features to be aware of and to consider.

You will want to know the pros and cons of the two styles and signal types of headsets. The method of noise reduction and the type of plug the set comes with are also important factors.

Before we jump into the details of our top picks, let’s first review what to look for in high-quality aviation headsets.

Styles of Headsets

Aviation headsets come in two styles: in-ear and on-ear. As the names sound, an in-ear model is designed with earbud speakers that fit into your ears. On-ear headsets fit over your ears like ear muffs.


On-ear headsets are more common. They have the advantage of fitting almost everyone and having a wide range of products to choose from.


While a less popular choice, in-ear headsets are comfortably light-weight and low-profile. This is an advantage for long flights. A well-fitting in-ear headset is very comfortable, but the fit varies from person to person. Know that you may have to shop around a bit before finding a set that works well for you.

Signal Types

If you are simply using your headset for communication purposes, a mono set will work just fine. It provides the same auditory input in each ear. Most radios are designed to work with mono signal headsets.

If you plan to listen to music or connect to your phone, you may want to upgrade to stereo. A stereo headset feeds a slightly different signal to each ear. This allows music to sound richer. Most stereo headsets can switch between stereo and mono as desired.

Noise Reduction Type

All aviation headsets are designed to reduce noise and protect a pilot’s hearing. There are four types of noise reduction. Each works differently and results in varying levels of noise reduction (measured in decibels).

From least effective to most effective, the four types of noise reduction are:

Passive noise reduction (PNR)

Headsets using passive noise reduction reduce ambient noise by physically insulating your ears using foam or a similar material.

Active noise reduction (ANR)

Active noise reduction is accomplished by the emission of a second sound which is designed to cancel out the ambient noise.

Dynamic noise reduction (DNR)

A dynamic noise reduction headset is a similar, but more advanced version of an ANR headset. The DNR uses digital techniques to reduce noise and it performs slightly better than an ANR set.

Electronic noise reduction (ENR)

A hybrid option that isn’t as common as the others is electronic noise reduction. This type of headset works with standard ANR techniques plus an added automatic gain control (AGC) to optimize performance in high-noise environments.

Plug Type

Wouldn’t it be nice if all aircraft were built with the same types of plugs? Unfortunately, right now that is not the case. Before you purchase your headset, know which type of plug your aircraft has.

The standard types of plugs you may have are:

  • Dual plug (PJs)
  • Helicopter plug (U174)
  • 6-pin plug (LEMO)
  • Airbus plug (XLR)

If you are flying GA aircraft, you can expect to be using dual plugs. All but one of our recommended headsets already come with dual plugs. If the headset you want to purchase comes with a different type of plug, you can buy an adapter to convert it.


For long flights, lighter-weight headsets are generally more comfortable, although design is also important. A well-padded heavier headset can still have fewer pressure points and be more comfortable than a lower-grade lightweight model. The lightest models on our list weigh less than half a pound and the heaviest comes in at about 2 and a half pounds.

Quick Tips

Pro Tip: Passive noise reduction (PNR) headsets are usually heavier because they rely on foam in the earcups to reduce noise. In-ear styles tend to be lightest because they are made with small earbuds instead of large ear cups. 

The Final Run-Down

As a pilot, our headsets protect our ears and allow us to communicate with ATC and other pilots. We can even use them to listen to music.

We’ve talked about what to look for in an aviation headset and have shared the top 10 that made the cut for us.

When shopping, consider:

  • Style
  • Signal type
  • Noise reduction type
  • Plug type
  • Weight

Remember, the headset that is best for someone else may not be your favorite. Review your options, then shop based on your own preferences, budget and needs.

Want to learn about the best ANR aviation headsets?

Check out these guides! 

Did you find this article helpful?

Do you think we missed anything important? Let us know in the comments below!





This current (July 2023), is the most comprehensive, useful & helpful reviews of Aviation Headsets that I’ve encountered.
Well done,



Some great choices in here! My pick would be the Bose A20s, I’ve worn my pair for 7 years now and done about 3000 hours in them, replaced the ear cup seals once but the electronics and everything is still going strong !

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