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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Zulu Zulu

Thanks to an anonymous sponsor, I was already able to order my headset. So, I did: Ordered on Monday, delivered on Wednesday already!! :)

Lightspeed Headset
I now own a Lightspeed Zulu.2 :). The second generation Zulu performs even better that the first, on pretty much every aspect, judging from the numbers. I had borrowed an "old" one for quite a while (thank you, Emile) with which I was extremely happy already. Comfort (now: even lighter!), passive Noise Reduction, and especially Active Noise Reduction (ANR): exceptionally good!
For the non-aviators: ANR takes the environmental noise, and compares it to the sound inside the ear shells. The difference between the two should be the wanted signal (ATC, Intercom, music), which, of course, it isn't, because the environmental noise will enter the ear shells as well (dampened, but entering). So "subtracting" the wanted signal from that inside-the-ear-shell sound, gives the unwanted noise. Very rapidly subtracting the unwanted noise from the signal (like anti-sound) should leave one with the wanted sound only. That process takes some electronics, and some logic. The difference between a "good" and an "excellent" headset is in exactly those two. That comes at a price, of course, but I think it's well worth the one-time investment.
Back to the properties:
Even the sound quality when playing music is comparable to that of my regular Sony headphones, which I think is exceptionally well for a headset. Now, I won't be listening much to music during my lessons. So I think this is of slightly lower priority than the other features. Even after graduating, I don't see myself cruising through Class G airspace for hours at a time (if only because of the fragmented airspace in and around the Netherlands). So it remains to be seen if I will ever really use my IPhone (SkyPhone) as an MP3 player in the cockpit at all.
The newer Zulus have an app that can record the "wanted signal". Now, that can be useful, especially in combination with an actioncam. Then, I can record, and later play back, my lessons and try to learn from my mistakes over and over again ;)

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