I’ve spent a while agonizing about what I carry in my flight bag. As happy as I am with my gear, it’s just too big — and not too practical for instructing. The biggest contributor to the bulk? It’s my headset.
For the last few years, I’ve been flying with a Lightspeed Zulu.2 headset — you can read the review of that here.
It’s a great headset. It’s comfortable, the sound quality is fantastic, it’s got nice extra features like bluetooth, and it cost a pretty penny. All of those facts made me hem and haw quite a bit about even thinking about switching the headset I carry.
But ultimately, the prospect of lightening up my gear won out — and I decided to at least try out one of the super lightweight headsets that have hit the market.
Lightweight, in-ear headsets have become incredibly popular lately, particularly with professional pilots (like CFIs) who switch equipment frequently. A few of the popular contenders include the Quiet Technologies Halo (which we’re talking about today), the Clarity Aloft line, and now the relatively new Faro Air.
The Clarity Aloft and Faro offerings are very similar designs — they both use earbuds that go in your ear, with a boom mic that hooks around your head. The QT Halo uses the same microphone setup, but one major difference with the Halo is that the speakers are actually located on the headband — acoustic tubes connect the speaker output to earplugs that actually go in your ears.
Because of that, the electronics are quite a bit removed from the threat of sweat, snags, and… earwax.
(QT’s owner is an audiologist, which makes me feel a lot more confident in the safety aspect of their in-ear headset.)
If you snag earbud on the plane door when you’re getting out, and rip it off, you’re looking at a minor $10 fix versus wrecking your brand new headset. That really appealed to me. So did the price. At $359, the Halos are actually cheaper than either of the competing in-ear headset models.
Apparently, that appeals to a lot of other people too, because, as of this writing, they’re actually pretty hard to get ahold of.