Saw this on AvWeb; should I pursue this?:
RECONDITIONED 25XLs AVAILABLE FROM LIGHTSPEED AVIATION
When new, these headsets had a list price of $599. Now, for a limited time, you can buy reconditioned 25XLs for $350. Most of these headsets come to us from pilots who have upgraded to LightSPEED Thirty 3G headsets. All have new ear seals and head pads and are upgraded and tested to current factory specifications. In addition, they are backed by LightSPEED’s 30-day money-back guarantee, one-year warranty, and the LightSPEED emphasis on customer service and satisfaction. Go online for more information and to purchase an R25XL at http://www.avweb.com/sponsors/litspeed/r25xls/avflash.
I got a reconditioned (I can’t tell it from new) 25XL about a year ago, and am very happy with my choice. It is really nice to have a headset comparable to Bose, for about 1/3 the price.
Here’s a direct link to the reconditioned headsets on the Lightspeed website:
In addition to the 25XL for $350, 3 other models may be available for $300, $250, and $200. I recommend choosing between the 25XL and the 20XL.
Lightspeed’s current “top of the line” model is the 30G, $599. Here’s a review of it, including comparisons with the 25XL (which was “top of the line” model until about 2 years ago).
Here’s a review of the 25XL, including comparisons to the older 20K. One note: The reconditioned 25XL only comes with their standard ear seals (they’re excellent), not two different sets as mentioned in the article.
Here’s a review of the 20K:
The main difference between the 20K and 20XL is the automatic shutoff feature for the XL’s. That feature on my 25XL has probably already saved me a dozen sets of batteries so far. I’m still on the first set of alkaline batteries, and they still show a full charge (there’s a 3-level indicator).
Lightspeed offers 5 excellent detailed tutorials on ANR technology, airplane noise, etc.
Here are 4 follow-up tutorials:
Great info from Steve. I plan to post this on the BAC website. There is already a lot of good info there on selecting headsets, and on Lightspeeds in particular.
I’ll add a couple of things to this. I second Steve’s satisfaction with the brand. I have been using them since the very first 15K’s, for which Lightspeed took orders at Sun-N-Fun many years ago. I think they were $189, when the first other brands to market were $1,000. It was Summer before those first 15Ks arrived, but in their day they seemed to turn the Sierra into a turbine plane in terms of cabin noise.
I upgraded to 20XLs in a program like this one, primarily in order to gain the auto-shutoff feature (which I seem to recall was a “first” in the market at the time). Along with the auto-shutoff came significantly improved ANR performance, and greater resistance to interference. Early this year I took them up on their Thirty 3-G upgrade offer. The performance improvement over the 20XL was much more dramatic than I even remotely expected. The cellphone and personal music interface features have also proven to be pretty convenient.
If you are buying your first ANR headset, don’t make the mistake of buying an underpowered unit just because it is the lowest-cost option. You need a minimum of 20-22 db of active noise cancellation for our larger-engined planes (as opposed to a C-152 trainer or a Tomahawk). You can read more about this on BAC; just do a search on “Lightspeed” in the upper tight search box.