The Lightspeed Zulu 3 Headset is one of the best pieces of aviation gear on the market. Although it is known by pilots everywhere as one of the best aviation headsets on the market, each pilot is unique and requires a unique headset. To decide if the Zulu 3 is the right fit for you, continue reading our comprehensive review. We recommend you compare this headset with similar gear in your price range to make an informed buying decision.
• One-of-a-kind active noise cancellation (ANR) offers reliable performance throughout a large range of lower frequencies
• Lightspeed’s Dual Aperture Disc™ microphone makes transmissions clearer and easier to understand
• 99% of the headset is constructed from aluminum and stainless steel for lightweight durability
• Tapered ear seals are more comfortable and natural on the face
• Bluetooth connectivity.
This headset has some great attributes to it, so let’s take a closer look at what this gear can offer and how it performs in use.
The Lightspeed Zulu 3 Headset offers one of the clearest microphones we have ever used. The dual aperture disc microphone provides crystal clear transmissions and background noise cancellation for an intelligible and clear communication process. You can adjust the microphone gain to balance the varying voices in a cockpit with multiple pilots to ensure you hear everything you need to in a clear, balanced manner. For the pilots who enjoy listening to music as they fly, the headset uses cross-feed technology to allow you to distinguish between your audio channels and decide how they should interact with each other.
New and improved ear cups make the Zulu 3 more comfortable than ever (and more efficient at blocking out sound, too!). The tapered ear cups give the user a more natural fit for a sense of stability and comfort. To provide a better seal around glasses or hair around the ears, plush ear cups offer 18% more surface area coverage than leading competitors. This plush is also great padding for extra comfort during those flights that feel endless. The new ear cup design gives your ears 50% more space. In testing, this is one feature that has greatly improved our comfort while wearing aviation headsets. Ears of any size should be able to fit inside the ear cup without being pushed against the head by the padding. Pilots who are picky about their microphone placement will enjoy the hinged microphone with a bendable cable for great positioning. It would have been nice to see more thought put into the number of hinges and the placement of hinges at this price point, but this setup is definitely reliable and gets the job done.
Lightspeed is offering a new cable design with their Zulu 3 Headset. This new design consists of a Kevlar core with durable cables wrapped around it. As you would expect, this design is extremely durable, reliable, and lightweight. Almost all of the headset is built from stainless steel and aluminum. These are both metals that are extremely durable while also being lightweight, and they are a great luxury in aviation headsets. To keep the ears comfortable, magnesium ear cups are utilized to keep the ear cups light and reliable as opposed to bogging you down. As an extra bonus, the magnesium ear cups deliver superb noise attenuation at high frequencies.
Active noise reduction (ANR) is an essential feature to aviation headsets in this price range. The Zulu 3 utilizes Lightspeed’s award-winning active noise reduction which works wonders on low-frequency sound. Because of its great performance on the field, studies have shown that the Lightspeed Zulu 3 Headset is preferred 3 to 1 over the closest competitor by pilots who have tried both.
The active noise reduction in the Zulu 3 is powered by AA batteries, but there is a variant of the headset, called Zulu 3P, that can be powered by a control panel if you prefer. If you are worried about needing to constantly replace the batteries, don’t. An auto-off feature turns off the electronics when not in use so that you get the most out of your batteries.
The Zulu 3 offers an ergonomic and slim control module built into the wire. Because of its slimmer profile, this control module stays out of the way when you aren’t using it and is light enough to not bog you down during transport or longer flights. There is a clip attached to the module allowing you to fix it to a piece of clothing or other stable objects so it doesn’t get in the way.
In terms of apparel, the Zulu 3 takes on an old-fashioned approach. The tan, metal ear cups with curved edges provide pilots with a more classic look when compare to headset models with sharp corners and flat surfaces.
At a competitive price point of $850, we find the Zulu 3 offers a great bang for your buck. It clearly doesn’t offer the luxuries a more expensive headset would, like the Bose A20 Aviation Headset, but it is offered at a considerably lower price point.
We wouldn’t consider this an entry-level piece of gear solely based on the price, but if you are a new pilot or student who can afford to pick one up, then go for it!
The Lightspeed Zulu 3 Headset gives you the tools you need to communicate clearly, comfortably, and safely in the cockpit. It is a little pricey at $850, but by no means the most expensive aviation headset on the market. For the intermediate to the advanced pilot, this is the type of gear you should be looking into, and this specific headset is one of the most reliable. The best part is that you can buy this headset without worry thanks to a 7-year warranty.