There is not a lot of this kind of stuff in my life, but one thing I would do different if I had the chance to do it over again is to start out my flying career with the best headset I could find and protect my hearing. There have been too many noisy airplanes and guns in my life, as far as my ears are concerned, and I am paying for it now. Those things are fun, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, but if I were doing it from scratch I would get a great headset, with noise canceling ANR for when I fly, and whenever shooting at the range I would always wear hearing protection. I guess I have tendencies toward being cheap when it comes to buying the latest thing, so I waited a bit long on the headset. But how do you put a price on your hearing? I love music. I love knowing birds by their call and I love knowing all the animals by their sounds in the bush. Jackals, hyenas, the little squeak of rhino and of course lion and elephant. Knowing these sounds may just keep me alive when in dangerous African game country if I hear them first. At the very least, I may have the chance to see something incredibly unusual that the average person doesn’t get to see, if I hear it. Just think what it costs for a few doctor visits nowadays, let alone hearing aids. Protecting your ears is so much better! You really don’t realize how great it is to hear until it becomes a challenge.
I recently got a new Lightspeed Zulu.2 noise canceling headset and I love it. There is something wonderful about hitting a little button and having half the extraneous noise you are hearing, even with the headset on, just go away because of the ANR feature. Noise can be fatiguing and distracting and who would not want to take that stress out of their life? I think it even adds a level of safety to your flying when your hearing is crystal clear, you get every word the controller says and you are less stressed. And it is comfortable. I am totally sold on this headset.
Just take the advice of a seasoned pilot and get a great headset. “Make the jump to Lightspeed.” Now! You won’t regret it.
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