While we like the comfort of Bose and LightSpeed headsets, the circumaural—around the ear—design isn’t comfortable for everyone. So veteran headset maker David Clark is out with the new Pro-X2, a hybrid ANR model that’s supra-aural—that is, it sits on top of the ear. It’s mid-priced at $745. In this AVweb video, Aviation Consumer magazine’s Larry Anglisano offers a bench and audio flight test of the new product.
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“…mid-priced at $745.”??? Since when is $745 mid-priced? If I were to offer tier levels for headsets, the “budget” tier would be in the $100-$150 range, “mid-priced” would be in the $300-$400 range, the “I want to project that I’ve made it in life” tier would be in the $600-$750 range, and the “I have way too much money and am very brand/image conscious and/or very delicate eardrums” tier would be in the $800+ range.
Honestly! When did headsets become such a massive expense? $350 used to buy the top-end DC’s and students could get into a reasonable quality headset for $100-$150 (e.g. Flightcom 5DX). Now imports are stealing the low-end of the market because a few manufacturers went after the extreme high-end of the market creating the expectation that an average headset should cost $1,000. Is it any wonder prospective pilots are alienated by extreme costs before they ever take their first flights?
For reference: my preferred solution is the ~$370 Quiet Technologies Halo Headset (and I’m well beyond student pilot status). Excellent quality, comfort, features, and value, even for seasoned pilots. No, I’m not a paid spokesperson – just a happy customer.
For $750+, headsets should be plated with your choice of shiny chrome or shiny gold with rhinestones and any other bedazzle bling worthy of the fashion statement they’ve become.
And yes, I’m well aware of the ANR arguments (I’m not trolling uninformed). If you think you absolutely need ANR to survive in this life, more power to you – I’ll keep buying stock in battery companies.
My point? To the product marketing people at the major headset manufacturers: please put some effort into the real “mid-range” headsets for the “rest” of us who’d rather put our money into our fuel tanks for great flying adventures, additional beneficial training, or Young Eagle flights.