About a year ago, I took a trip to San Jose with the Governor and Chris Johnson from the University of Utah. The Governor flies in a KingAir B200 and it can be a little noisy. Chris pulled out a set of Aiwa noise reduction headphones and popped them on. Pilots have enjoyed noise reduction headsets for some time. I use an expensive model in my own plane, but this was the first time I'd seen a consumer version (without a boom mic). We passed them around and it was amazing how much more clearly you could hear conversation on the plane when you had them on. I bought a pair after I got home and use them whenever I fly commercial. Here's the rundown on the AIWA headset:
- They're inexpensive. I saw a pair at Radio Shack the other day for about $40.
- The really great news is you can listen to music or the movie at a reduced volume. For example, when I'm using them and turn noise cancellation off, I can't hear the music anymore because the cabin noise drowns it out. I think you arrive more relaxed because you haven't been in a noisy environment for 2-5 hours.
- The bad news is that they are not really very comfortable after about an hour.
Now Bose has come out with a set that look like a real step-up. Bose always makes good gear and the engineering is excellent, so I'm anxious to try a pair. The biggest down side is that like anything from Bose, they're expensive: $249. Ouch! Even so, I think they'll make the perfect companion to the new iPod I plan to buy.