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Used Aviation Headsets
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Used Aviation Headsets

Do you have an old set of David Clark’s sitting around in the hangar? Do you want to upgrade your older, used aviation headset for a newer one?

Used, pre-owned..whatever you want to call it, some shy away no matter what. Fearing the unknown history of the product, the lack of warranty and possibly dated technology are all reasons one might want to by a product new. That is fine. If you have the money and want the latest and greatest then buy new. However, a lot of folks like a good deal. Pilots are no different, and there are certainly a lot of pilots in the world with old gear lying around. Some bought their private pilot gear and never finished training. Others want to upgrade their used aviation equipment.

What can a pilot do to get rid of the old and bring in the new?

Fortunately, the world wide web is ripe with opportunities to unload used aviation equipment. Ebay and Craigslist come to mind. Traditional outlets such as newspaper classifieds are not really conducive to advertising items specific to pilots and are not cost effective. You could keep it local and post an ad on your local FBO bulletin board. This makes the transaction easy and low cost. For fun you could fly to a few local airports and post your ad. Word of mouth is always nice. Let the local flight instructors in your region know that have a used aviation headset, or handheld radio available for sale.

What should a pilot look for in a used aviation headset? The Three “C’s” :

Comfort - bottom line is that you will not like it if it isn’t comfortable. Now you are asking, how can I try it before I buy it , if the item is online? That is difficult. Your best bet would be to ask fellow pilots at the airport let you demo their headset. Most pilots do not have a problem lending another pilot their headset.

Condition - are the connectors and wiring frayed? Does the active noise reduction (ANR) work? Are the headclamp or headband pads frayed, torn, and still adjustable; Over time a lot of headsets “loosen up” and no longer stay in place. There is nothing more frustrating than a loose runaway mic. If you have the opportunity, definitely take them for a test flight.

Cost - You can get an idea of market value of aviation headsets with a quick search online. Discounted new headsets are rare and difficult to find. Generally, the brand name headsets like David Clark, Bose, Telex, and Lightspeed retain their value, primarily due to the quality of their construction and durability. The imitation/knock-off brands or less expensive (under $200 aviation headsets) can probably be negotiated to some bargain basement prices.

In summary, you can do a lot to keep the costs of flying down as a private pilot using online resources to get an idea of market value. Remember the 3 C’s and your hunt for a good deal will be successful.


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