• Lightspeed Thirty 3G Headsets

    Personally, I like the Lightspeed products very much, and the company has treated me very well over the past ten years. Paula and I started out with the first 15Ks, that were introduced at Sun-N-Fun many years ago, at $169 versus the $1,000+ prices for competing brands. It took several months to get those first 15Ks, and it was a revelation to put them on. As time went on, I upgraded the two 15Ks to 20XLs (to get the auto-shutoff), then added two 20XLs for the back seats. Over the ten plus years I have had these Lightspeed products (about 1,500 hours), I have sent in two for repairs. Despite being technically out of warranty, both were repaired and returned for free. The repairs were for minor wiring faults, but the repaired units were returned with new earcup seals. In fact, they may have been new or refurbished exchange units; they looked like new each time. Lightspeed is also excellent about giving you a free replacement set of earcup seals at Sun-N-Fun, if the originals became torn. The newer version (as used on the 3G and others) is much more durable. The new seals just snap on after unsnapping the old ones; an easy fix.

    For what it's worth, I just paid the upgrade fee to trade my two oldest 20XLs for two new Thirty 3Gs. I was frankly amazed at the difference. It sounded like the same improvement I experienced when I first purchased the 15Ks, and again when I bought two 20XLs.

    One of the notable improvements in the Thirty 3G is the complete absence of "motorboating", which I used to hear during the takeoff roll. I could stop it on the 20XLs by pressing in on the earcups, but it wasn't worth doing; I just waited it out. The new headset is markedly more quiet overall than the 20XL. The new 3G headset also came standard with the cellphone and personal entertainment interfaces.

    Lightspeed is offering an upgrade program for several of their older models. You can check it out at: http://www.anrheadsets.com/tradeup/default.asp There is more on this in the FAQs. If you choose to pursue ANR headsets, don't make the mistake of buying units with too low an active db noise reduction rating (just because they have a lower cost). Those may be OK in a low-powered single, a twin, or in a rear-engined plane that has a lower cabin noise signature. Most of our Aero Center aircraft have larger props and higher horsepower with a correspondingly stronger noise signature. You also don't want to buy something that works fine in a Skipper, but then can't cope if you move to a Sierra (for example). And one last comment; try to spend the money to get auto-shutoff. It will save you a boatload of batteries.

    Submitted by Mike Rellihan

    [ID#7]
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