When it comes to aviation headsets there are many to choose from including; David Clark, Bose A20, Lightspeed Zulu, and Hobbs Flyer H2 Active depending upon your budget and the features that you are looking for. However, it can be argued that there is probably no headset brand more legendary and ubiquitous than David Clark. Those in the know can spot those green domes (ear cups) anywhere. And they seem to be everywhere, from your local airport to the big screen. David Clark headsets have been in more movies with flight scenes than any other headset and, are worn by more pilots across the globe than any other headset. Why? Because they are rugged and reliable. They simply work. The design is simple and hasn't changed much since 1975, but pilots everywhere love them.
For a student pilot on a budget, does it make sense to buy a used David Clark H10-13.4 headset and overhaul it with new parts? This is a question we get often as a seller of used headsets. The answer is yes, they are great headsets and well worth it for student pilots on a budget. You can buy a used H10-13.4 for anywhere between $50-$100 on the low end. Add an additional $50 for new parts to make it like brand new and it will last you a lifetime.
So, what parts do you need to completely overhaul and refresh your old H10 to make it new again? This post will guide you through the entire process with the parts you'll need to get the job done. It should take you all of 5 minutes to complete.
Let's start with the microphone cover (mic muff). If you buy a used headset, the mic muff is the first thing you should take off and put in the trash for obvious reasons. The mic muff is easy to replace and our new mic muff will come with a new O-ring so no need to keep the old one. Next, remove the old ear seals and take out the dome filters. Besides the mic muff, the dome filter on a used headset is probably the filthiest part of the headset. Our new dome filters come in pairs and installs easily.
After you've installed the dome filters, you will then install the new ear seals. Our Ultra Gel Ear Seals for David Clark offers maximum comfort and will conform to the shape of your head for a better seal, more comfort, and increased noise reduction. The final part to replace will be the head pad. Our precision fit plush padded Head Pad Cushions create unmatched, long-lasting comfort. All parts can be purchased individually or you can get the Soft Goods Renew Kit that comes with all the parts needed to renew your headset. If you live in the south or southwest where summers can get hot and steamy, I'd also recommend ear seal covers. Our ear seal covers are made of cotton and are designed to absorb moisture and keep you dry and comfortable during those hot and humid days. They will also protect your ear seals and help them to last about 10x longer.
David Clark represent the gold standard in general aviation headset. When we were in the process of launching our own brand, we wanted to take the tried and true David Clark design and improve upon it to ensure that our line of headsets are just as rugged and reliable. We aimed to improve on the design by making our headsets more comfortable and more capable by adding modern technology and features such as active noise cancelation, Bluetooth, and AUX. One of the biggest complaints we've heard from pilots over the years was that David Clark's were not very comfortable due to the clamping force. So, one of the areas we really focused on was comfort. Yes, the H10's are great for short hops around the local area but they can become unbearable for longer flights.
David Clarks are great starter headsets. If you want a headset with the same ruggedness and reliability as David Clark but with more comfort, combined with the ability to connect your portable devices, I would recommend a Hobbs Flyer H2 Active or Hobbs Flyer H2 Passive.