In which my geeky side comes out and I detail the unboxing of my new headset.
After a lot of worrying about whether I made the right choice, I finally took the plunge and ordered a LightSpeed Zulu headset.
I ordered it from SkyShop for $1250 with $15 for overnight shipping.
Being a bit of an electronics geek, I think that half the fun of getting a new electronic device is the unboxing (and clearly I’m not the only one)
Opening the package, I discovered the (rather impressive) box.
The Zulu comes in a number of different types. I got the one with the straight cord, GA plugs and battery powered. It is also possible to get a panel-powered version (where it is powered by the plane) and a version with a coil cord for helicopters.
Opening the box, I find the hard case. It came with a little strap to hold on to but I took that off and put a shoulder strap on instead.
Opening the case, I find the Zulu! (yay!). There is a small divider in the middle of the case where the cord goes. This has the effect of stopping the earcups from pressing together while in the case and stops the ear seals from getting squished as a result of this pressure.
In the pocket on the opposite side was the instruction manual, batteries and the two cords for connecting phones and music players.
This is the LightSpeed Zulu out of its box. Unlike some other headsets it isn’t possible to switch the microphone to the right hand side, but since I don’t think I’ll ever be flying from the right seat, I can’t see this being a problem.
So far, both the headband and earcups seem very soft and squishy, although it is hard to tell whether they’ll be comfortable without wearing it in flight. If it turns out that they aren’t comfortable, then I may sell it on eBay and purchase a Bose. The main reason I chose the Zulu over the Bose was because it was slightly cheaper and also had music and bluetooth connectivity. Other than that, there was very little difference between them I felt.
I have connected my iPod to test the music feature, and the quality does seem quite good, especially when the ‘Front Row Centre’ option is selected (which supposedly gives a ‘surround sound’ effect). One of the main things I like is the ‘Automatic Mute’ function which mutes any music playing when radio calls come in. If it didn’t have this feature, I would be extremely reluctant to have music playing when I’m flying. I think that this music feature will be extremely useful when doing solo nav flights, to keep me alert.
It also has bluetooth connectivity which means it is possible to connect to mobile phones to make calls. My mobile does have bluetooth but I’m not sure how often I’d use this feature. It is handy to have for emergencies though.
Overall, I’m happy so far with my purchase, although it is hard to say for sure since I have never actually worn it during a flight! I have a lesson booked for Saturday so hopefully I can try it out then. I think J is planning on trying it out too, perhaps I can convert him to a Zulu (bwahahahahaha)…