By Skip Aldous
I am sure that many of you already have ANR in your helmets and/or headsets, but being from the old-school, I have resisted the temptation to have ANR installed. I was told early on that if I was receiving too much noise through my helmet/headset that I didn’t have a good fit and needed to work on my helmet ear cups. For many years, I have replaced ear cups and padding trying to minimize the background noise I was receiving from my T-34. Just recently, I found myself turning the volume up so loud, in order to understand communications that I was getting a lot of feedback from my microphone. I finally decided it was time to try something different. And, I took a test flight in John Rippinger’s T-34 with the headsets, Inc. ANR kit.
It took less than ten minutes to convince me that ANR was what I needed and wanted. So, I contacted Richard Trotter of Headsets, Inc. and requested that they install their ANR kits in both my helmet and passenger headset. Both are from my days in the USAF and I don’t have a clue as to how old they are, but I retired in 1994, so do the math. And they weren’t new when I retired.
I have become a believer in ANR. Headsets, Inc. installed their kits, priced at $189/169 in the helmet and the headset. The turn around time was ten days and I could not be happier. Now my volume is set to a much lower level and the garbled transmissions I used make are clear and readable. My ears are much happier, I can tell you that and I suspect my hearing will last a bit longer. An unexpected side benefit was the fact that the flights I used to make are not as tiring. I did not realize how much the noise level in the aircraft just seemed to make me weary at the end of a flying day. I am amazed that for less than $200, I now have a communication system that I would have had to pay a $1,000 for and it still wouldn’t fit my helmet. In addition to the included battery box, I ordered the panel mount power supply, so that my ANR would not be operating off of 9 volt batteries, resulting in loss of ANR when the battery died. I also ordered the bail-out connection in order to take my helmet with me if I ever had to bail-out, which is a connector approximately eight inches below where the communications cord attaches to the helmet.
If you want to reduce the fatigue caused by the aircraft noise, save your hearing for a few more years, don’t want to purchase an expensive ANR equipped headset and do not already have ANR, then the Headsets, Inc. ANR kit is for you. For more information visit: http://www.headsetsinc.com/ANR_kits.html