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Headset Incompatibility Issues

I am having a problem with the volume of the RX radio transmissions and the volume of the Intercom in the Hughes 300C. My instructor uses Bose A20 headset and he can hear both RX transmissions and me just fine. I am using a Lightspeed Zulu 2, and have tried a plain DC 13.4 also. In the aircraft, there is a Sigtronics SPA-400 intercom and a Trig TY96 Com radio. We are not using the internal Trig intercom function.

Even if I have the volume on the intercom at max volume, the headset at max volume and the radio at max volume I am really struggling to hear the transmissions loudly enough to interpret them. If my instructor doesn’t speak up a bit too, I am struggling to hear him clearly enough.

I plan to get my bloody ears cleaned to ensure it’s not human factors, but I have no trouble in anything else I fly. My suspicion is the Bose headset he is using is the issue.

Any ideas?


Buying, Selling, Flying
EISG, Ireland

@WilliamF I have been caught out by this audio panel …

…because I didn’t realise you need to push the volume button to turn on the intercom:)

Am sure this isn’t the issue but thought I would share my lack of knobology skill.

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

Not all headsets are compatible. This is often a problem with mixed headsets although the Bose and Dave Clark are usually fine. Might be worth checking a different set than the Bose.


Not an answer, but I sympathize. I had a similar problem with this intercom; the aircraft had 4 panel powered Bose headsets, but I preferred to plug my own Lightspeed Zulu 2 in for the pilot position. I had to fight with it to get the volumes correct – I am not sure that I ever did.

It was a few years ago, so my memory is not perfectly clear, but I recall I had issues where I thought the voice activation was holding the intercom channel open (from the mic on my headset). I would get fairly loud aircraft ambient noise, but very low volume from the radio and/or other headsets. I tried a mic muff, which did not seem to help. I recall there are also DIP switches inside the Lightspeed handheld control for various adjustments, perhaps check the manual.

I sold my share in this aircraft before figuring the problem out… haha from RobertL18C – I didn’t know that you had to push the volume knob!! Oh my. I think it was always ‘on’… but who knows!

Last Edited by Canuck at 26 Jul 16:21
Sans aircraft at the moment :-(, United Kingdom

Are you sure you have to push the volume button? The ‘on’ switch looks inviting!

Sans aircraft at the moment :-(, United Kingdom

Different intercom, but I recognise this “different headset / different volume” story. My PPL instructor would always require the COM volume to be far too loud for me; well, he’s older than me but I have sufficient hearing loss that I barely qualified for IR at my initial medical, and it is a “subject of discussion” at each medical. So if anything, it should have been the opposite (me requiring higher volume). I’m using a Bose A20.


@Canuck oops thinking of another audio panel

Oxford (EGTK), United Kingdom

I sympathise – had a similar problem where the audio was distorted to the point of being completely unintelligible when having 2 headsets connected. My ’253 did not have an intercom, we were only using the built-in 2-seat intercom of the Funke radio. I solved the problem by reverting to an external intercom (PA-400 ASC). Not very convenient in flight to say the least! Now the aircraft is in Straubing to install, among others, a real audio panel!

You surely already thought of this: did you try whether the volume knob of your headset, as well as your instructor’s, has an effect?

EDQN, Germany

I think the solution here is to get into the hover solo without a second headset plugged in and see how a radio check goes. I’ll be able to tell if the volume of the reception transmissions has increased because right now all three volume controls are maxed out (headset/intercom/radio).

Buying, Selling, Flying
EISG, Ireland

Do helicopter headsets differ from fixef wing headsets? I seem to remember we always had different Peltor headsets for use when filming from helicopters than rhe ones we used in fixed wing.

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