Avionics News August 2016 - 32
YOU COPY ME NOW?
Continued from page 30
technology system and a proprietary adapter plugged into the
headphone and mic jacks in the panel.
The advantages should be immediately obvious: No wires
to tangle up in yokes, sticks or other wiring used to connect or
power other peripherals - such as ADS-B In receivers and tablet computers to show the traffic and weather information these
portable receivers can deliver to portable and installed displays.
The main limitation of these wireless headset systems comes
down to their need for power - batteries - and the smart practice
of carrying spares within reach. That's not a new habit, however, for users of ANR headsets. And these models tend to all be
ANR systems, expanding on the ANR's benefits, so extra batteries won't even be a new habit for converts already using ANR
In-the-ear headsets have come and gone in recent years, but
seem to be making real inroads into cockpits with the advent of
in-the-ear systems with ANR integrated into them.
Downsides? Well, first there's the process involved in obtaining a set. Each human being's ears vary enough that there is no
off-the-shelf option with the attenuation capabilities of models
custom-molded to the buyer's ears. The process is painless and
possibly a little awkward or messy, and the processing of your
custom-made earpieces may take some time.
The benefits, however, seem to be driving their growing popularity. Among the advantages are an end to the clamping pressures that accompany both passive and ANR over-the-ear mod-
els. Speaking as a former user of in-the-ear sound protection for
hunting and shooting, the comfort difference is substantial. And
no worries about anyone other than an identical twin "borrowing" yours.
They're also compact to store and so light you won't know
you have them in your bag or on your head. And with the advent
of ANR in-the-ear headsets, their popularity is likely to increase.
Decisions: What to recommend
With so many options available from so many manufacturers,
perhaps headsets fall into that category of product that should
be test worn before shelling out the bucks - and some of these
options run up to the four-figure range in price. In other words,
unless a pilot has tried on a set elsewhere, shops might suggest
that mail ordering could be unwise.
But for the prospect that's flown with a friend's set, or tried on
different models at a trade show or fly-in, there's truly no way to
tell how it's going to fit from photos and manufacturer specifications.
The images and specs won't tell you how they'll rest on your
head, how tightly they clamp on your ears - even whether your
ears fit comfortably within the cups or an over-the-ears set.
And a true confession from yours truly, there have been headset models with relaxed clamping pressures, excellent attenuation and great features - such as auto shutdown - that were beyond uncomfortable because the shape of my ears clashed with
the shape of the earcups.
The main things a prospect needs to assure is comfort and
compatibility. Is the headset compatible with the aircraft's audio
system - and is it comfortable? Is it comfortable with glasses the
pilot wears? Regular specs and sunglasses? q
IN-THE-EAR: Ear pieces, either connected to or with
integral speakers, which fit into the opening of the ear canal.
MONAURAL: One sound channel, played in both ears
of two-ear headsets.
OVER-THE-EAR: Earcups containing the speakers and fit
over and encompass the ear.
STEREO: Two independent sound channels routed
individually to the left and right ear pieces.
Smaller than over-the-ear and larger than in-the-ear headset
ear pieces, these sit over the ear canal but don't encompass
the whole ear as do over-the-ear units.
WIRED HEADSET: Models that connect to the
aircraft via electronic cables and phone jacks.
PASSIVE SOUND REDUCTION: Long the dominant
and most-common type, passive headsets reduce noise
reaching the ear by using insulation built into the earcups.
ACTIVE NOISE REDUCTION: ANR headsets employ a
microphone in the earcup dedicated to picking up sound that
a small computer instantly translates into an exact opposite
sound wave emitted by a second speaker inside the earcup
that cancel out the unwanted sounds.
WIRELESS HEADSET: Models with electronics that
transmit the mic and ear channels to the aircraft audio
system via a paired transmit/receive module, one in the
headset, the other connected to the aircraft audio system;
wireless links can be commonly available, open technology
BLUETOOTH: A proprietary form of two-way wireless
communication initially popularized by small wearable
headsets paired with wireless phones and now being used
in aviation headsets. q
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News August 2016
Avionics News August 2016 - Intro
Avionics News August 2016 - Cover1
Avionics News August 2016 - Cover2
Avionics News August 2016 - No label
Avionics News August 2016 - 2
Avionics News August 2016 - 3
Avionics News August 2016 - 4
Avionics News August 2016 - 5
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Avionics News August 2016 - 7
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Avionics News August 2016 - Cover3
Avionics News August 2016 - Cover4