Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Sean. 101
Hi, so I'm currently looking at buying a new headset. I'm looking at the Lightspeed Zulu 3 over the Bose A20 as it's a bit cheaper and from a few reviews seems better value.

Currently have the DC H10-60 just wondering if anyone has had both and is it worth the £810 upgrade?
User avatar
By cirrostratus
Bought Zulu 3s ( 2 off) at Oshkosh last year. Have flown with them 150 hours since and very satisfied. Excellent ANR , very comfortable and they are well designed and built . We did a back to back comparison with the Bose at Oshkosh and favoured the Lightspeeds .
As always, that will be a personal and subjective opinion.

I thought it was worth spending the money - others might disagree, preferring a different make, or not think it worth spending that much on a headset.... Your choice.
User avatar
By Kemble Pitts
Whichever way you decide, I recommend that you get some sort of ANR set-up. Once damaged, you can't fix your ears.

FWIW I have used Zulu PFX for 5 years and find them excellent. Had other ANRs previously.
User avatar
By Jonzarno
I have just replaced a 13 year / 2000 hr Bose X with a Lightspeed 3.

My first impressions after about 10 hours is that the Lightspeed is a bit more comfortable and the sound quality / ANR is also a bit better.

That said: I don’t think you would go far wrong with either the A20 or the Lightspeed.
User avatar
By Rob P
Kemble Pitts wrote:Whichever way you decide, I recommend that you get some sort of ANR set-up. Once damaged, you can't fix your ears.

Definitely ANR but the ear damage thing is a total red herring. Any passive set will not allow enough decibels through to damage your hearing in the usual run of four and six cylinder aircraft

Rob P
Sean. 101 wrote:So would I notice a difference when flying compared to my David Clarke? Just wanted to know if they are worth spending £810.

Hell yes! :D

ANR is something you won't want to live without once sampled. Even with a £375 ANR set or £200 conversion kit you'd notice a big difference.
Rob P, JAFO liked this
By Glidingdoc
Bought a Zulu ANR set to replace my DC PNR set. I find the sound quality of the Zulu ANR to be a bit "tinny" and sound discrimination easier with the DC passive set. I was a bit disappointed. (Flying a Cessna and a Beagle Pup). As people get older, they loose sound discrimination and higher frequencies become attenuated. I wonder if the higher frequency sound with the Zulu ANR circuitry is pushing the sound I need to hear to a higher frequency that my hearing is not well adapted to. Does the Bose ANR setup provide a more rounded sound?
BTW I see Bose offer an ANR headset for fixed wing and helicopters. Is there a difference in the quality of sound or noise reduction? WHat would happen if one listened to the Helicopter version in a fixed wing? Or is it just a matter of plugs and wiring?
By Lefty
The Lightspeed is physically much larger than the Bose, both in the “Volume “ of the earcup, and the radius of the cup and is more suitable for people with larger ears. Eg there is a lot more space between the side of the head and the inside of the headset. Perhaps this accounts for a slight difference in sound.

The Bose fixed wing and Helecopter erosions are identical except for different cables and plugs.

I certainly won’t be going back to a non ANR headset.
User avatar
By skydriller
Lightspeed will also send you a thicker headband for those with a smaller head that find the standard size "hang" on the head. This was the decider for my GF & I as she found the Bose we borrowed from a friend was too big. The Zulu3 with enlarged headband is perfect. Apparently ladies have this issue with alot of headsets. Wrt the sound quality on the Zulu, have you got the headset set up correctly with the dip-switches inside the control box?

Regards, SD..
By riverrock
The passive attenuation of my light speed Zulu 2 seems to me better than the old borrowed DCs I had before. Then you turn on the ANR. Considerably more comfy as much reduced clamping force and ear cups with more contact area. Flights become more relaxing and you have greater mental capacity to think about other things. I also find I could hear ATC much more clearly ( I don't recognize the comment above).

However only you can determine if the price is worth it. I'm at the point that the ear cups in my Z2s need replaced but I believe the Z3s are a different material which last longer.
skydriller liked this
By NickS
I bought a Zulu 3 headset to replace my non-functioning 14yo Sennheiser HMEC450 headset that has gone PNR on me. The new ones are a massive improvement on the old ones, even when they were working. What has impressed me even more is their customer support when fatboyfingers here messed up the product registration.
User avatar
By Boswell
NickS - "What has impressed me even more is their customer support when fatboyfingers here messed up the product registration"

You were lucky. Last year I tried to claim within the guarantee (cable/plug problem) on a Lightspeed;it took 11 weeks to get a reply from their US base, who eventually told us to contact some outfit in Germany for repairs. We used Harry Mendelssohn in Edinburgh who repaired it with next day service for a modest fee.

Might be worth a test enquiry to Lightspeed (phone or email) to see whether support has improved. I can't see Covid's an excuse for that sort of delay. Post-Brexit export/import hassle from Germany could be an added factor to consider.