Avery Sound Company and PilotStuff.com continue to receive a lot of inquires from Regional Jet pilots looking for a better alternative to the bulky, uncomfortable, “head clamps” or David Clark headsets. After several years of research, and a great deal of trial and error, we have developed a setup that works quite well for many pilots on the Embraer and Canadair Regional Jets (and some 737 cockpits). Our Avery Sound Company package for Regional Jet pilots features: the Telex 5x5 Pro III headset, two Satin Soft custom earpieces, a BoomBar, the Dual Y Adapter Kit with tubing to each ear, and an acoustic volume control valve.
1) We provide hearing protection for the pilot with a set of our Satin Soft custom earpieces. (Our acrylic earpieces are not recommended for this application because they do not seal the ear as well as the Satin Soft product.) Most pilots on large turbo jet aircraft can make their own impressions with our at-home impression kit. To obtain optimum noise isolation on the considerably louder RJ we highly recommend that the pilot obtain deep impressions from an audiologist or hearing aid center. In most areas of the country these impressions can be obtained for a charge of between $30.00 and $40.00 for the set.
Whether you use our impression kit or have the impressions done with a hearing aid specialist, the manufacturing process remains the same. The impressions will be mailed to our lab where our lab technicians will create custom earpieces from your ear impressions. While the custom earpieces will not provide the same level of sound attenuation as a David Clark headset (or equivalent), they will provide a significant reduction without the discomfort of wearing an earmuff type headset with a headband
2) We provide the ability to hear fellow crewmembers and Air Traffic Control transmissions by efficiently channeling intercom and ATC transmissions through acoustic tubing to our custom earpieces. The sealing properties of our Satin Soft earpieces help block out ambient noise, while the radio and intercom sound is directed into the ear canal through each custom earpiece.
3) Adjustments to the 5x5 microphone gain have been the key to elimination of excessive background noise in Air Traffic Control and interphone transmissions. While some pilots have been able to use the headset straight out of the box with the factory gain settings, most users find the need to make some adjustments to the gain to eliminate a background hiss or what some pilots describe as a “wind noise". The Telex 5x5 has a very small hole on the side of the amplifier housing. Using a small flat head screwdriver (the type found in eye glass repair kits from drug stores works very well) the microphone gain can be adjusted with very small incremental turns on the gain screw. This adjustment can be effective with as little as 1/8th of a turn.
The easiest way to make this adjustment is by using a David Clark type headset to listen while using the Telex 5x5 boom microphone plugged into the same audio panel. Use the large plug of the David Clark which is for the headphone speakers and the small plug of the Telex 5x5 which is for the microphone input. The pilot can now listen to the Telex microphone while making adjustments to the gain control until the background noise has been eliminated and yet microphone transmissions can still be heard. Most pilots have told us that once this adjustment has been made, it never has to be made again even when switching to another aircraft.
Be sure to look carefully at the picture above to identify the gain adjustment port. It can be accessed more easily by removing the boom bar clip as shown above. The port is covered with a small round dust cover. Carefully remove the cover to make adjust the gain and then replace the cover after making the adjustment. Do not confuse the other three screws and bolts with the gain adjustment. The other three screws are not for adjusting gain. They are holding the amplifier housing together and have nothing to do with gain control. The small screwdriver tip in the picture above is pointing at the gain control port with the dust cover sticker removed.
4) The final area that needs to be addressed with the custom earpiece setup is the extremely loud cockpit alerts and chimes. While the high volume is needed in the loud cockpit environment with earmuff type headsets, these same alerts are painfully loud through the efficient acoustic tubing and custom earpieces.
This problem is addressed by incorporating a small in-line adjustable acoustic valve which reduces the volume of the alerts to an acceptable level while leaving intercom and Air Traffic Control transmissions unaffected. Once again, most pilots have told us that once this adjustment has been made, it never has to be made again even when switching to another aircraft.
As stated earlier, the Regional Jet presents some unique challenges when looking for an alternative to the uncomfortable head banded headset. The Avery Sound Company headset setup WILL involve some testing and adjustment on the part of the pilot. Previous customers have assured us that replacing an uncomfortable headset with a lightweight setup including comfortable custom earpieces with superior sound quality is well worth the initial effort.
Many pilots ask if this is a headset and earpiece that will be suitable for use at the major airlines. The Telex 5x5 Pro III is an excellent headset for use on large turbo jet aircraft and is the headset provided in the cockpit at many of the major airlines such as American Airlines. The earpieces can be used individually for the right or left ear and the acoustic valve can be easily removed when not needed after leaving a Regional Jet. Thousands of pilots around the world are using our custom earpieces and headsets in a wide range of aircraft.
After placing your order for The Regional Jet Package, you will receive a set of impression kits (or a Lab Order Form if you choose to get deep impressions, which we recommend, see Deep Impression Advisory). We will make your custom earpieces, assemble the complete RJ Package with Boom Bar and tubing, and ship it to you. If you need the Telex 5x5 ahead of time, just let us know. We can process your order either way....
NOTE: While the Telex headset can be returned for a refund, minus a $25.00 restocking fee; the custom earpieces cannot be returned once created.
You will love your headband-free set-up. The comfort of your custom earpiece is guaranteed or we will remake it for free.
This set-up, along with microphone gain and volume control adjustments made by the pilot to customize the package for individual use, enables Regional Jet pilots the freedom to get rid of the David Clark headset and utilize a headband-free headset with boom microphone. The pilots enjoy superior comfort and sound via custom earpieces to both ears, while still blocking out a good portion of the cockpit ambient noise. No more headbands, and no more bulky, uncomfortable, over-the-ear headsets!
The Regional Jet has presented some unique challenges for pilots searching for a more comfortable headset. The Regional Jets in general have loud cockpits with the Embraer being worse than the Canadair. This loud cockpit presents four challenges.
1) Providing hearing protection for the pilot.
2) Providing the ability to hear fellow crewmembers and Air Traffic Control Transmissions through the custom earpieces.
3) Providing clear pilot transmissions without the microphone picking up too much cockpit noise.
4) Providing the ability to hear cockpit alerts and chimes at an acceptable volume level through the custom earpieces.