The “next generation” aviation headset from Lightspeed pairs the manufacturer’s active noise reduction technology with industry-first safety and customization features, including carbon monoxide alerting credited with saving a test pilot’s life.
Lightspeed’s new Delta Zulu noise-canceling, Bluetooth headset boasts a host of features and new proprietary technology that puts it in a new class of headsets the company is calling, “safety wearables.”
The Delta Zulu features a built-in carbon monoxide sensor that keeps pilots and passengers aware of rising CO levels with audible warnings. These audible warnings can be customized when paired with the free Lightspeed app. Pilots can also visually check the CO sensor data and review the history in the app.
During the September 7 press conference, Lightspeed President and CEO Allan Schrader said that during beta testing, the Delta Zulu headset alerted a test pilot to high CO levels in his airplane, allowing the pilot to land the aircraft without incident.
Lightspeed also announced HearingEQity, a hearing test and audio equalization system that customizes the sound coming out of each speaker to compensate for hearing variations between ears. Schrader explained, “You take a hearing test, much like you would take if you went to an audiologist, but in this case you’re taking it in the quiet environment that is the headset itself…when you’re all done it will boost the frequencies where you have had some deficiencies.”
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman, who had the opportunity to test out the Delta Zulu headset, said, “Thanks to aging, too many rock concerts, and too many MU–2s and jets, I’ve got substantial high-frequency hearing loss. But the Delta Zulu tailors its sound for those deficiencies.” (See Hirschman’s full review below.)
The headset has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that can power the headset for 30 hours at a time and includes an AA-battery power pack that keeps the headset running for an additional 15 to 20 hours. To save more battery life, the headset also features Lightspeed’s proprietary Auto Shutoff feature when the headset is not in use.
The headset can be connected directly to other devices for charging, data communications, and auxiliary audio using the provided UAC charging cord. Using the app, users can also record air traffic control and radio conversations, play back transmissions, and archive flight recording.
The Delta Zulu will cost $1,099 and come with a seven-year warranty. The company said it expects to start shipping the product in the second half of September. You can learn more about Delta Zulu on the company’s website.