As a student pilot one of the first major purchases you make is a headset. I have been borrowing one from the school however I really needed to get my own. After doing a LOT of research online one headset came up time and time again. For that reason I decided to purchase it and see what all the fuss was about, so this is my David Clark H10-13.4 Review.
The first choice I had to make before getting this headset was whether to purchase a ANR (Active Noise Reduction) headset or just a PNR (Passive Noise Reduction) one.
I tried an instructors ANR headset but the prices of a good one were pretty expensive. For this reason I decided I would just get a PNR one for now and if there was a need later on I would then get a ANR headset.
The next step was what PNR headset to get. I didn’t want to get a headset that was cheap and would just break and then would need replacing again. So I eventually narrowed it down to the David Clark H10-13.4 and the Sennheiser Passive S1.
I must admit, I preferred the look of the Sennheiser Passive S1 over the David Clark H10-13.4’s pea green army look. Also I knew Sennheiser had a great name in the audio world having owned a few pairs of their consumer headphones. One thing that did put me of was the fact that Sennheiser are pulling out of the aviation headset market so in a few years the out of warranty support will most likely be a problem.
However in all my time searching I never found anybody who had a bad thing to say about David Clark’s. I had heard people who said they had 30 year old pairs that still work perfectly and people describing them as indestructible! What more could you ask for.
The best price I could see for a new pair of David Clark H10-13.4 were £289 and £254 for the Sennheisers.
However one day I was on an auction site and saw someone selling some brand new for £200. The item didn’t sell and I contacted her, negotiated a deal and got them for £185 all in. So I have saved myself £100 there and as we all know, when it comes to flying any saving is welcome.
Turns out the lady I purchased them from is a student on the Easyjet MPL and she already has a Bose A20.
Some of the features of the David Clark H10-13.4 are as follows –
- Super Soft, Double Foam Head Pad
- New Comfort gel, undercut ear seals
- Certified Noise Reduction Rating – 23 dB
- Reduced headband force
- Universal Flex Boom for perfect microphone placement
- Exclusive M-7A, the most advanced noise-cancelling microphone available
- Low-profile volume control knob with detent settings
- Molded cord assembly made to exceptional pull and flex standards
- FAA TSO Approved C57 Cat. B and C58a
- Exceeds RTCA/DO-214 Standards
- Weight (without cord assembly): 16.5 oz.
- 5 Year Warranty
I managed to use these 3 times over the weekend and I must say they are a big improvement on the loan ones I was using previously.
First of all they are very light, in fact I forget that they were even on my head. On top of this I didn’t feel any pressure at all which allowed me to concentrate even more on my flying.
The passive noise reduction on these is pretty good, they were defiantly quieter than the school headsets that I was using previously.
My instructor said that I was loud and clear and ATC didn’t seem to have any issues either.
Even with its lightweight the headset feels very well put together and sturdy, all the parts seem to be made of high quality and I am sure that most of the parts are replaceable too.
The head pad is a really nice addition and I am sure that is part of the reason why there is a reduced force. The gel ear seals are also very comfortable.
I can see why these are the worlds best selling headset and so far I am another satisfied customer. In fact I brought this headset without even trying it based solely on its reviews and people’s recommendations.
I can’t say that there are not better headsets out there as im sure the active noise reduction headsets are pretty amazing, however for the price I paid £185, I am more than happy with my purchase.
Just a FYI by standard this headset does not come with a headset bag to store them in. However these are readily available so not really a big deal.
While I don’t have a massive amount of headsets to compare them to I will give them the following score.
Noise reduction 3/5
Build Quality 5/5
So overall I will say a 4.5 out of 5. They only got a 3/5 for noise reduction because they are not active noise reduction. However I think they are one of the best passive noise reduction headsets you can buy.