Saturday, May 31, 2008

Lightspeed Zulu Purchase

I decided that I really wanted to get a Lightspeed Zulu headset so I made a call to Tina's Pilot Shop in Roanoke,Texas and ordered. Total cost $829.00 and they will ship mid June. I really love my David Clarks but wanted to get something quieter and with the available bluetooth and music connections ready to go. I tried a pair of Bose and they were really quiet and fit well but the added extras for cell phone and music together with the cost savings ($150) made Lightspeed the best choice. I'm sure once Mary gets a listen she'll want a set too. Here is a breakdown of all the info.

From Lightspeed...

The new Zulu headset from Lightspeed Aviation hasn't just surpassed previous models in a few features. It's entirely leapfrogged them. Zulu is by far the quietest, lightest, and most comfortable headset the company has ever made. In addition, it incorporates advanced audiophile technology that has never before been available on any type of headset or headphone. In addition, Zulu has Bluetooth compatibility for cordless cell phone access.One of the first clues that Zulu is different is the size of the ear cups. They're shallow. Earlier Lightspeed headsets achieved optimal ANR performance with earcups that had a distinctively prominent profile. With Zulu, company engineers figured out a way to give the headset much better passive performance while making the ear cup significantly smaller.They accomplished this by using magnesium in combination with specially tuned plastics. When it comes to reflecting airborne acoustic waves, magnesium reflects 10 times more sound than traditional plastic cups while being both stronger and lighter. But by itself, magnesium resonates sound. So Lightspeed engineers created a design that uses both the sound reflecting properties of magnesium and the damping properties of plastics to provide an optimally quiet experience.

The sturdy Zulu weighs just over 13 ounces, not counting the cord and battery case. Inside the headband is a core of thin, flexible spring steel, which gives an excellent fit with 40% lower side pressure than Lightspeed's 3G series headsets. Luxurious, soft leather surrounds extra wide earseals made from temperature sensitive foam. Calibrated magnesium sliders adjust ergonomically to the wearer's exact head size with uniform pressure. The vented headpad evenly distributes the weight of the headset and can be removed. All wiring is fully concealed, using patented design features, and the headset folds flat for easy storage.

Lightspeed engineers analyzed how engine noise at different frequencies is experienced by the ear. Then they worked on cutting the most sound at the amplitudes that are perceived as the noisiest. They discovered that a 3dB cut at one frequency can make a bigger difference than a 10dB reduction at another. As a result, Zulu is really noticeably quieter than any other model available for comparison.The Zulu is so quiet, it's actually possible to appreciate high end audio performance. Typical aircraft headset designs allow distortion around 1%. Zulu's distortion is one tenth this amount. To achieve this, Lightspeed used audiophile components throughout, including gold contacts for all wire connections and high grade audio quality film capacitors. They also developed special Noise Gating Technology (NGT) to eliminate intercom noise.

The headset has two independent auxiliary inputs, both capable of cell phone and stereo connectivity. One is wired and the other is Bluetooth compatible, allowing the user to listen wirelessly to music or talk on a cell phone. The switchover from music source to phone is seamless, with an incoming call automatically getting priority.Human ears hearing music through headphones perceive it differently from music played over speakers. Because the right and left channels on headphones are totally isolated from each other, the brain is not able to create a true a 3D sound image. Lightspeed engineers solved this problem by electronically duplicating the sounds the left ear would hear from the right speaker and vice versa. As a result, someone listening to a commercial recording on the Zulu headset has the experience of being in the optimal listening position. Lightspeed aptly calls this new technology Front Row Center (FRC).

The Zulu FRC processor closely matches the shadowing effect of the head for the crossfeed signal to either ear. The signal is both amplitude and delay corrected to compensate for the increased distance the sound would travel.The Zulu headset marks a new direction for Lightspeed. The innovations discovered (and in many cases patented) while developing this headset will be incorporated in future models.

Weight: 13.9 ounces.
Batteries: Requires 2 AA batteries. Estimated to last 40 hrs.
Storage: Headset folds up when not in use.
Bluetooth compatible: Wireless phone and music interface with controls is embedded into the battery box.


Rob said...

LOL,... I just told Becky that you ordered your headset,.. "Lightspeed what?" "The headset Gary and Mary were talking about at dinner",.. "Oh,.. so what did Mary get when she went shopping" was her response. A few seconds later,.. "Or what did Gary have to give up to get them?"

Sounds like my wife has caught on quick. Looks like a great headset and I've heard that many pilots like them as well. I don't think I'll go ANR for a while, but we'll see how this year turns out. Let us know when they arrive!

Gary said...

LMAO....Dang these ladies do catch on quick. Well, it did come out of the corvette sale/IR fund not any house money. However, I am sure my Bride will receive something of equal or greater value in the long run. Thank God she is so understanding of my aviation addiction.

Anonymous said...


I guess that Becky really was listening. She gets a that'a girl!
Let her know I'm looking at David Yurman......


Anonymous said...

The performance of this headset is excellent, however if you plan on flying upside down, consider the Bose or a DC as they have chinstrap and cloth helmet options. The Zulu has nothing to keep their product on your head. Rather surprising since they have aerobatic, red bull and air racer pilots all recommending it. Take a close look at the video's they show, and at no time can you see any of these fellows actually wearing the Zulu while flying. Sad that they have ignored the needs of the aerobatic pilots. I hope they fix this soon. Skybolt