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10 Answers

Please Help Me Pick a Headset (DC H10-13X vs DC H10-60)

Asked by: 10972 views , , , , ,
General Aviation, Student Pilot

Hello Friends,

I've done some research and I'm down to two headset models from David Clark and I can't decide which one to go with; can you please help?

In blue corner, David Clark H10-13X:
-Electronic Noise Cancelling
-M-7A Noise Cancelling Microphone
-Non-Stereo, Dual Volume Control
-Single Super Soft Head Pad


In red corner, David Clark H10-60:
-Standard Noise Attenuation
-M-7A Noise Cancelling Microphone
-Stereo, Dual Volume Control
-Double Super Soft Head Pad
-Adjustable Headset Pressure


In plain english, H10-13X has an Electronic Noise Cancelling feature, it is lighter, bit more expensive but isn't as comfort configurable as the other.

H10-60 doesn't have ENC, it is little heavier, less expensive but sounds bit more comfortable due to double layer of head pad and adjustable headset pressure.

I'm a student pilot and I don't plan on flying as often - doing this for fun and not for career.

Thanks in advance.


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10 Answers

  1. James MacGregor CFI on Jun 27, 2011

    If you are looking for noise canceling (ANR etc) stay away from DC, look at Bose or Lightspeed.  If you dont need ANR then David Clark is the way to go, any model including the the 13s are great I have been using a pair of Lightspeed Zulus for a few years now and love them!

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  2. airnomad on Jun 27, 2011

    Thank you James; is there a specific reason why I should stay away from ANR DCs?  I’d love to go for a Bose headsets however their prices are double or tripple the money… where I can score one of the Noise Cancelling DCs (H10-13X) for around 400 bucks.

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  3. Micah on Jun 27, 2011

    I have a pair of DC H20s and love them. Very comfortable despite the weight (they fit well) and rock solid (except when my student’s brother-in-law drove over them in his SUV). I’ve never been disappointed with the H20, but don’t know anything about the H20 ANC. If I were buying a new pair of ANC I would consider the X11 as well, but it gets spotty reviews so you’d want to try it out first.

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  4. James MacGregor CFI on Jun 28, 2011

      There are many reviews on avcanada, pprune, backcountrypilot as well as a few on here about the ANR sets.
     David Clark is like the Zippo of headsets, they make more or less one flavor of headset and make it very well, it just isnt noise canceling.   As of recently they have tried to get into that market, key word is tried.
     Bose and Lightspeed have been making ANR sets for a while now, they are highly reviewed and from personal experience they do everything they claim to do.
     If you dont want/need noise cancelation go with DC, other wise go with one of the other two. One good selling point for me was the Lightspeed Zulus not only have a port for my ipod they also have bluetooth to make a phone calls (which has helped with arranging services at a few FBOs, changing hotel reservations etc.).
      For the best deals search some of the forums for anything for sale, also check out ebay and cragslist

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  5. airnomad on Jun 28, 2011

    Thank you James, thank you Micah, I really apprecite it.

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  6. Kent Shook on Jun 28, 2011

    Get ANR (Active Noise Reduction, aka ENC or Electronic Noise Cancellation). You can’t buy back your hearing later in life. Also, passive headsets tend to use more clamping force to achieve their attenuation, which results in discomfort toward the end of flights, when you need to be on top of your game to land safely.
    For someone who’s not going to be doing a ton of flying and wants to get a good value ANR headset, I recommend the following (and have had many positive comments about it): http://www.gca.aero/detail/5990/Headsets/GCA/GCA-ANR-II/ Extra plus: It’s about a hundred bucks cheaper than even the passive David Clark that you mentioned – So, you can get a headset that will be more comfortable, offer 14dB more noise reduction (remember, dB is a logarithmic scale so 14dB more = about triple the protection) and leave you with enough money to go flying and try it out. 🙂

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  7. John D. Collins on Jun 28, 2011

    I used to use David Clark Exclusively until one day I tried some Lightspeed ANR headsets. The DC headsets use high clamping force and become very uncomfortable for me after an hour or so of use, particulaly since I started wearing glasses.  I sold all my DC headsets and bought Lightspeed ANR and haven’t looked back since.

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  8. Earl Kessler on Jun 28, 2011

    I dumped my David Clamp headsets for Bose 8 years ago and never regretted it.  Yeah, they are costly, but what is your hearing worth?  They are comfortable, well supported, look good and are the last headsets you will ever need to buy.

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  9. airnomad on Jun 28, 2011

    Thank you everybody; I find it very interesting that, my initial research lead me to debate between two headsets and now reading about your valuable personal recommendations, I will probably end up with Zulu or Bose X.

    I think I decided to score a lightly used one to lower the cost.

    I truly appreciate it.

    safe flights

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  10. Len Laughridge on Jul 05, 2011

    My headset recommendation for students is the Telex Stratus 30.  ANR, rugged, excellent price.  If you can afford a Lightspeed Zulu, go for it, but the Stratus 30 is a much better value.

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