David Clark or Bose? Pros/cons, can you use for both general and commercial aviation applications?

Dude, Bose, Bose, Bose, I love me my Bose! Yes they’re expensive but well worth it. Now don’t get me wrong, Dave Clark makes a fine product. They’re tough, industry standard at most airlines and are an excellent quality headset, but they ain’t Bose. Bose are ridiculously comfortable, light, quiet and did I mention ridiculously comfortable? I used mine for 12yrs and never regretted the purchase. As a student, instructor and Regional pilot you will have some LONG days in the cockpit and having a vise on your head is no fun. At one point the plastic yolk that holds one of the earcups cracked. I called Bose for the part and they said send them in (I was out of the 5 yr warranty). Three days later I got them back completely refurbished (new leather ear pads, head pad and windscreen). No Charge, AND they overnighted them back. The other thing is while they were out I did have a trip, no biggy, I wore the company DC’s. The weight wasn’t horrible (but they were short days) but they were tight and LOUD. Made me appreciate my Bose even more.

Oh and they look cool!



I need a bit of clarification. Does a pilot have their own headset throughout their career, or does each cockpit or airline provide headsets that pilots must use?


Once you reach the Regional level all the planes you’ll fly will come with a headset. BUT (and this is a BIG but) there’s no guarantee they’ll be the most comfy (usually they’re basic Dave Clark’s. Industry standard for durability NOT comfort or noise reduction) nor that they’ll be cleaned, ever. First off at the Regionals you’ll have some long days and some loud cockpits. I’m telling you from experience it’s nice to have something that doesn’t feel like a vise on your head. Second, and I’m not a germophobe, but let’s just say when you see some of your co-workers you may notice some don’t share your feelings on proper hygiene and it’s nice to know that the headset you’re wearing for the next 8hrs is your and yours alone.

Now that I’m on the Bus it’s actually a very quiet cockpit and we only wear headsets below 18,000’, plus they’re the very light, on ear Telex so I’m less concerned. My opinion again, get something nice for the first few years.


Ok good to know thanks. On that note, I’m seeing some of the expensive headsets feature bluetooth. Is this something I’d realistically use? and for what? I can’t imagine cell phone use as being sanctioned by the airlines.


Understand headsets are sold to both professional and private pilots. What a private pilot does in the comfort of his airplane is his business but as a “professional” airline pilot no there’s no need or use for Bluetooth.


At United we are provided with headsets and they are pretty decent, some people do purchase their own though. You will want to purchase one for your time as a student and CFI. I wouldn’t go crazy on it, just a basic headset will be fine and like Adam said, no need for Bluetooth at all.


Speaking of headsets. Are there specific type of plugs for airplane headsets?? I do have some aviation experience from my military days (Army) as a Helicopter crewmember but our headsets and helmets just had the old, large, single plug-in back in those days. I’ve seen headsets with single plugs, 2 plugs, and even a USB plug in!!


For general aviation aircraft I would get a two prong set. On most airlines the dual or single prongs will work, I have never seen a USB headset port, that is too fancy for us.

I Figured I’d post here rather than starting a new post. After flying today with my cheap headset and it hurting my head I’ve decided I need a new one before starting with ATP. I have a few options I’ve been looking into and was wondering if anyone has input.

The Bose A20 is an obvious front runner, from the reviews I’ve read and when I used it when borrowing it from a friend, it was nice.

My former flight instructor recommended looking into the Quiet Technology’s Halo headset or the Clarity Aloft Headset. Both of these are in ear headsets and the are both appealing as they are $395 and $525 respectively. I have read reviews that say in a noisy cockpit they do just as good if not better than the nose, any input on that?

Saving the $400-$600 would be nice and I might get one to try out since they offer a 30-45 day money back gaurentee, but figured if anyone had an experiance with them I could save some time. Thank you!

Also do the regional and major airlines require a TSO certified headset?

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As said earlier in this thread most (maybe all?) general aviation planes use the 2 prong plug ins, while the airlines use the 2 prong or single prong.

I will be using a D.C. Headset I had bought 3 yrs ago. Planning on investing on the Bose headsets after sometime or if I see that the D.C. get uncomfortable

If you can find a Sennheiser S1 on eBay or somewhere, I love mine. Unfortunately they quit making aviation headsets right after I bought mine but I still like them almost equally to when I use the A20 on some of the bigger planes we fly.

I have tried on the Bose and didn’t like them, but that is just me. For some reason I have always thought that the noise canceling aspect generated an odd sounding side tone, I have always preferred passive noise canceling.

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My plan is to use my DC’s through training (mostly because I am already used to them) and probably pick up an A20 non-bluetooth once I’m flying more than a few hours per day as an instructor, and have at least some income again.

Thomas, there are a number of different plug options, dual GA plugs being the most universal, but there is a 6-pin single plug style (LEMO), helicopter plug (single multi-contact phono plug), “Airbus” plug (XLR like a recording microphone), and a couple types of military specific plugs. Most people will go with the dual GA plugs because they will work in nearly all training aircraft as well as many larger commercial aircraft excluding Airbus, the 6-pin LEMO are occasionally installed in peoples personal aircraft because they like that style for whatever reason, helicopter plug is usually only found in helicopters, and the military styles are usually only used in the military or on some ex-military aircraft. I do know one instructor who bought an A20 with Airbus plug because he can get an adapter to pretty much any other plug for about $50 (per type) from Sporty’s…

There was an article about this I read a while back, I’ll see if I can find it.

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I agree 100%. I sent back my S1 Digital to get the S1 Passive.


Finding this reminded me of why some people have the LEMO 6-pin installed in their personal aircraft, to power their ANR headsets from the panel and never need to remember batteries…

Chris is strange (just ask him about sock?). Passive noise reduction is a nice way of saying they squeeze your head tight enough to not allow in any noise. I’m telling you Bose rock! They’re quiet and comfy and you cannot beat Bose’s customer service (as I think I said earlier in this thread, mine crapped out after 7yrs, out of warranty, sent them in Bose completely refurbished the whole headset, NO CHARGE). I do have many friends who use the QT Halo and the Clarity Aloft and they love them. Personally I don’t like things IN my ear. I know you guys may be short on cash but a good headset is an investment. I used my Bose during training, instructing and 9yrs at ExpressJet. That’s my .02. Oh yea and the Bose look cool :slight_smile:

As James said there are a number of plug types but the 2 plug 1/4" RCA is standard in every plane ATP flies as well as the Embraer, Bombardier and Boeing which covers most planes you’ll fly till you get to Fifi (again she has to be different?) and they sell an adapter for that as well.


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My instructor had one and said the same thing, I loved it!

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I think I will get an in ear and try it out, they offer money back within 30 days so it’s worth a shot.

Do headsets need to be TSO Certified at any of the regionals/majors?